Firefox is one of the most capable and extensible browsers around, and has a massive collection of really great extensions. There are a few that are less than useful though, so we've rounded up 20 of our favorites.
There are more than 7,000 Firefox extensions in Mozilla's official catalog, and a good portion of them can drastically improve how you browse the Web. Then there are the stinkers. These add-ons that actually make the browser slower, or harder to use. We've compiled a list of 20 that you should steer clear from, if only for their lack of basic utility.
Tab Killer. Tabs are one of the most useful features in modern browsers. They let you browse multiple sites at once without having a bunch of windows littering your desktop. For Luddites who prefer the old way of browsing, however, there's Tab Killer. This extension simply removes them from Firefox.
Note: With the extension installed you wouldn't even see the image to the left. It's there for illustrative purposes.
This add on adds a menu option to your contextual menu to go straight to a link if it hasn't been set up as a proper URL. It's been designed to make it easier than copying and pasting, but you still have to go through the effort of highlighting, right clicking, then choosing an option from a contextual menu.
YouTube Auto Replay makes it so every video on YouTube can be set to replay over, and over, and over again. This is useful if you're trying to make your computer look like a kiosk, or for repeatedly watching slow motion clips of water balloons being blown up, but for little else.
Brisby adds a small mouse to the bottom right-hand corner of your browser. When you mouse over it (no pun intended), it gives you a tool tip pop-up that says "squeak!" Clicking it takes you to a user forum site.
A countdown timer with a hint of satire, this extension lets you know when it's time to get your drink on with encouraging messages like "only 4,000 lines of code 'til beer oclock." It wouldn't be so bad if it just sat there, but it actually flashes messages in the bottom hand corner of your screen, further distracting you from what you're doing. That and you can only set it to go off one day a week, which seems a bit overly optimistic for the audience it's designed for.
Pimp's Load creates a "splash" screen when you first fire up your browser that's either a picture or a sound file from your computer. Firefox usually takes only a second or two to start up, and this invariably only slows things down--so why install it in the first place?
Like pop-up messages? Of course you don't. But don't let that stop you from downloading SayHi, a code test that made it to Mozilla's add-ons directory. Every time you open your browser, it shoots a pop-up your way that says "Hi!" which you have to click on to get rid of.
A toolbar that calls you its namesake. Described as being built "for my best friend, Slider, who said we should create this," all it does is call you a Jackass, complete with a drop down menu and hover tool tip that does the same. You don't always have to listen to your friend's advice--or download this extension.
With this extension installed, you can see what time it is, as expressed by common colloquialism. So, say it's 9:50 a.m., it would say "ten to ten", and if it were 4:35 p.m. it would say "twenty-five to five", etc. While cute, chances are you have a digital clock lurking in your Windows or Mac taskbar.
This add-on makes it so that if there are no pages to go back to, the back button will close out whatever page you're on. This would be useful if it weren't so darn easy to close out an open tab by middle clicking it on your mouse button, or hitting the close button on the top of each tab. That, and if you're a bit too click happy going backward, you end up closing out the page you're on.
This extension randomly plays Tibetan bowl chimes during the day as long as you've got Firefox open. Its creator says it should "evoke mindfulness." That is, as long as you're not trying to get work done, and haven't left your speakers on full volume.
100 percent humor, but probably will only make you laugh once. This extension alerts you when you click on any MySpace.com domain. On the plus side it disables any Flash that's on the page, but will likely be annoying if you're using MySpace's nonprofile-based music commerce site.
This browser add-on limits the sites you can view based on China's whitelist. While useful to developers who want to see if their application or service is blocked, for most folks this is just going to be downright annoying.
This extension removes all the links from any given page. Why you'd want to do this is beyond us. Links are what makes the Internet work. If it's for the sake of security or printing that would be one thing, but there are better tools for that.
Note: With the extension installed you can simply disable links on any page you're on. The picture to the left is for illustrative purposes.
This add-on is actually quite cool, but ultimately useless. It scrambles up the letter order in words while retaining the beginning and end letters, something that lets you still identify the words on the page. Why you'd want to do this more than once is beyond us.
Note: This extension only works with version 2.0 of Firefox, and will not work with version 3.0 and beyond.
Chart your biorhythms in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser with smiley faces that track your physical, emotional and intellectual moods. How does it know these things? It can tell through your connection with the computer of course.
Nearly 200,000 people have downloaded this extension. It pulls double duty as a script- and URL-filtering tool, while also doing translation services. The thing is, it's translating text into the language of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets TV series. Nut ixectly useffool is it? Bork Bork Bork!
Extension Kyoote lets you add cat macros on top of any image you find while surfing. Moderately useful for a select few, but encourages a troubling trend in Internet memes, while endangering the usefulness of MS Paint.
This extension runs any site you're on through Bacolicio.us to insert a bacon overlay on top of the page. You could do this yourself with a copy paste or a bookmarklet, so why make it a permanent part of your browser?