For most of us, our default web browser is one of the most used applications on our computers. After all, it’s not just an app. These days, a browser is almost its own operating system, and its quality affects a lot of what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Which is why more and more extensions are being developed for browsers. A good browser is an excellent platform, and leaves room for developers to create add-ons that enhance user experience.
Of course, you don’t want your browsing experience cluttered with extensions which can lower your speed. You only want the crucial ones, that it’s foolish to go without.
Whatever your browser, these are 3 extensions you should be using.
- A powerful Ad Blocker
Adverts are an important part of the online experience. They are gateways to products and pages that can benefit you. But more importantly, they allow many web pages to exist without having to charge a fee. News publications, such as The Guardian, tech blogs, and just about every other news resource, rely on ad revenue. Without it, they would go under or have to charge. For these websites, you should consider not using an ad blocker.
However, you’ll all too often find yourself almost unable to navigate a site because of its adverts. This is especially true if you’re using websites that, although perfectly legal, are somewhat murky. Reputable advertisers avoid them, and they resort to intrusive ads from sometimes fraudulent sites, or even malware.
Some browsers, like Maxthon, have their own ad blockers. With others, you’ll have to download an extension.
- A virtual private network (VPN)
The importance of a VPN cannot be understated. These days, just being online is dangerous. Hackers can easily access your online data if you’re not protecting it. They can track where you are, who you are, and almost everything else there is to know about you. While a VPN is not foolproof, it does a lot to prevent this happening.
Basically, a VPN hides your location and encrypts your data, making you that much harder to track. You may just want to download the best VPN for Windows. But make sure that it works well with your browser, rather than slowing it down.
- Incognito mode
These days, a good browser should have an incognito mode that is easy to access. Incognito mode simply gives you the basic functionality of your browser without using any of the cache or history to shape your experience.
While some people use incognito mode for accessing content that they don’t want to appear in their browsing history, incognito has a much greater purpose. Whenever you access a website, the website knows about you and will tailor experience and prices to you. This means that the price of air tickets may be more expensive if you seem to be a higher earner. It can also make it difficult to get a picture of the internet outside of your own bubble.
Incognito mode is important, as it will show you what you would see if you were a brand new internet user. Learn how to use it – it will come in handy.