I really hated Microsoft Explorer. It was slow as molasses and it seemed that any malicious website that you went to could take over your browser. When Macintosh came out with Safari, I was in heaven; it was so much faster and had a pop-up blocker which I don’t think ME had at the time. I’ve recently discovered Firefox and I love it so much more than Safari because:

  1. It’s customizable; there are hundreds of add-ons (add functions) and themes (change the look of the browser) for free (as is the browser itself).
  2. The newest version has a built in spell checker (although my Google toolbar used to do that for me)
  3. Did I mention it’s customizable?

So what’s so great about customization? Add-ons make the browsing experience so much better. You can change the browser almost any way you want. It turns out that I have 15 add-ons, so I’m going to break it up into 2 or 3 posts. This week it’s add-ons that speed up your browser. Anything that you don’t have to download speeds up your browsing experience since it allows the rest of the page to load quicker.

Adblock– blocks adds on websites that you tell it to.

Adblock Filter set-You need to mark all the adds for adblock to block them (it’s apparently not smart enough to know that information about a car doesn’t belong on a adoption yahoo group). If you install this add-on, you can get a huge head start because someone has already marked most of them for you.

Flashblock-You know those annoying adds that have animation and those websites that load unbelievably slowly because they’ve got “cool” actions in their header, that’s Flash at work.  It looks nice, but it slows down the page loading a lot.  This thing blocks the flash from running but if you want to see it (like someones Flickr slide show), all you have to do is click on it.

Fasterfox-As if those weren’t enough, this add-on optimizes firefox to make it go even faster. The turbo mode will preload web page links so that when you click on them, they are already downloaded.

So, hopefully I’ve convinced you to switch to Firefox. So go download it. Then use the browser to visit the above links to install the add-ons. If I haven’t convinced you to switch (or even if I have), come back next week (unless I come up with a Christmas theme WFMW, in which case, it will be the week after) for more useful add-ons.

If you know of any other add-ons that make web browsing faster feel free to add them to the comments. Hold on to your other favorites for next post about add-ons to make your browser do cool things.

Making firefox faster works for me.  Visit Shanon for more cool ideas.