Tagged With extensions

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The web can be a lot of fun, but it's also a pretty dangerous place to venture out into — with phishing sites, drive-by downloads and other nasties lurking around every corner. If you're browsing on Firefox or Chrome you should give your browser some extra muscle for keeping you safe online by installing one or more of these security-focused add-ons.

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Many of us spend most of our time on the web, but all too often browsing sessions can descend into a sprawling mess of memory-hogging, audio-playing tabs that bring your computer and your productivity to a shuddering halt. It doesn't have to be that way. These extensions and tricks can bring some simplicity back to your browsing.

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Firefox was fighting the good fight against Internet Explorer long before Chrome showed up, and since its launch in 2002, Mozilla's famed browser has been attracting third-party developers in their droves. The add-ons and plug-ins are what make Firefox the powerhouse browser it is, and these are some of the very best you can install.

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In a rush to get through all the episodes of Luke Cage? Way behind your partner on seasons of House of Cards? You can get through your Netflix queue faster than normal and save yourself some time, as long as you're prepared to do a little bit of under-the-hood tinkering in your browser.

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Are you a fervent acolyte of the on-demand video streaming revolution and yet still yearn for some of the old-school television charm? OttoPlay is an add-on for Netflix (and YouTube and Hulu) that brings back the old channel surfing feel, letting you skip across "channels." It may be more rewarding than normal recommendations, at least.

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Building extensible software is a tricky business. On one hand, you want your platform to be as customisable as possible, while on the other you want the flexibility to update APIs to make them faster, more secure and feature-rich. These aims aren't always compatible, as we're now discovering with Mozilla and the fundamental changes it's making to Firefox's add-on infrastructure.

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Back in 2012, YouTube started hiding the tags associated with videos to stop people copying popular combinations. They can still be attached to clips — and they're still factored into searches — but they're not visible while you're browsing around the site. If you find them useful, you can bring them back with the help of a simple Chrome extension.

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Cortana makes the jump to the desktop in Windows 10, meaning you can get a more personalised experience through voice commands or the good old mouse and keyboard. But what if kind of hate Bing's search engine? You can use a browser extension to redirect Bing queries to any search engine you choose.

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Part of the appeal of Chromebooks lies in their lightweight minimalism, but that does mean you miss out on some advanced OS features — such as being able to set a display time-out interval. If you want to stop your Chrome OS screen from dimming then there's an extension that can help.