Secure your browsing with Firefox

If you haven’t read the previous post of this series, I suggest you do. If you have done that, or you are already a Firefox fan, then read on to know more on securing your browsing on firefox.

One of the major aspects of firefox is its extensibility, which is possible by the use of addons. Addons are either themes, plugins, or extensions. While themes enhance the appearance of the browser, plugins enable viewing of certain types of content from within the browser, such as flash and videos. However, extensions improve the functionality of the browser. Choosing the right extensions can effectively improve your online browsing experience.

The top five must have firefox extensions:

1. NoScript

NoScript is the best security extension that firefox has got till date. It works by blocking all scripts from ‘unknown’ websites. Once the page is loaded, you can allow or permanently block scripts on that website. You can also allow scripts to run temporarily for the current firefox session. This extension also blocks Java applets, flash and silverlight objects on the page. With a wide range of options to configure from, this is a must-have extension for all firefox users.

2. Adblock Plus

As the name suggests, this versatile extension blocks all the annoying ads on the webpages. All kinds of ads such as textlinks, banners, rotating images and video ads are blocked. You can also add a subscription list which is updated with all new ad loaders. Thus, once installed, Adbock Plus saves you the distractions arising from the adverts.

*This extension must be taken with a pinch of salt. Though it sounds all pretty and nice, you may lose out on good deals, and links to better websites. I suggest using it selectively for different websites.

3. DownThemAll!

The ultimate download helper extension for firefox. It is the best because, it does all the work of a commercial download manager program and the best part is that it works from within firefox. It splits the files upto 10 chunks and downloads them simultaneously thereby increasing download speeds.

*Did I mention that it works for rapidshare.com links as well? 😉

4. Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

Are you one among those who browse the internet at several places? Home, Office, Laptop, etc? Imagine having to maintain a separate list of bookmarks at each browser! Foxmarks helps to overcome this problem by synchronizing the bookmarks between the ones on your system with the ones on the server. All you need is sign-up for an account (or you could also use your own FTP server) and foxmarks maintains a global bookmarks list on the server which is updated every time you add a new bookmark. Hence wherever you log on to the internet from, your bookmark list will be intact.

*This extension has saved my bookmarks several times when there were browser crashes, and I have no need to make backups while I’m reinstalling my OS. 🙂

5. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is an amazing extension that helps you ‘stumble upon’ webpages based upon your interests. This is one of the long standing extensions in the history of firefox and is awesome fun and very useful when you are searching for something specific.

*I have elaborated upon how to acquire StumbleUpon in one of my previous posts, take a look for complete instructions.

The next part of the series, will contain information on more utility addons which are particulary useful and help you browse the internet with ease.

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Why Rapidshare?

Since few years, Rapidshare.de and Rapidshare.com, have come to be the most popular websites for file hosting. And moreover, its the most-popular amongst ‘warez’ uploaders. I myself, am not really happy with the rapidshare servers.

  • I don’t get the speeds that people claim to get. (Is it because I’m a free downloader? What if its the same even after I pay for it?!)
  • Their mirrors are not categorized by location; they give some silly names to their mirrors and expect us to choose among them!
  • If the file is too big, you need to download it in parts; and since I’m a free downloader I have to wait for half-an-hour between my downloads?! (That’s insane!)
  • Every time, I need to wait in front of a message which reads: “Download ticket reserved, wait for xx.x minutes!” They actually annoy people in order to woo them to pay!

If you are annoyed and still use Rapidshare for uploading your files, do take a look at the following alternatives. They are free; and most of them are better than Rapidshare.

  • Snapdrive.net – 2Gb free space to upload files and 500Mb maximum file size; paid upgrades available. Only restricted file types allowed.
  • Filewind.com – 500Mb maximum file size. No sign-up, and unlimited bandwidth. All file types allowed!
  • Filexoom.com – 2Gb free space and 500Mb maximum file size. All file types allowed.
  • Mihd.net– Maximum upload size 200Mb. Download accelerators allowed. No waiting for download! Resumable downloads! No bandwidth limit. [A real good Rapidshare alternative!]
  • ShareLoad.nl – 100Mb maximum file size. No waiting time. All file types (except scripts) allowed. *Dutch Language [Thanks to Keuzeserver]
  • MediaFire.com – 100Mb maximum file size. All file types allowed. Download Accelerators allowed. Files will not be deleted; if necessary, you will be notified before deletion. [A real good Rapidshare alternative!]
  • ADrive50GB upload space. 2GB File size limit. All types of files allowed. Download accelerators NOT allowed. [The BEST right now!] [Thanks to Rich for suggesting.]

I’ll add more such file hosts, as I get to review them.