11 Interesting Firefox Add-ons to Improve Your Browsing Experience

I think we can all agree that Firefox is one of the best browsers for Linux.

And, as a cherry on top, you can enhance your browsing experience with some extensions! Maybe even isolate Facebook? 😉

Before I suggest some awesome Firefox add-ons, let me give you some pointers.

Things to Know Before Installing a Firefox Add-on

One thing that we all know is that blindly installing browser extensions can be extremely harmful. So how do you determine if a browser extension is safe to use?

Since this article is about Firefox add-ons, we focus on Firefox’s marketplace (the official place to get the add-ons).

While nothing is 100% bug-free/secure, there are a few things one can check:

bitwarden firefox add on
An ideal Firefox add-on that is safe to use.
  • Add-on Badges: Look for ‘Recommended‘ or ‘By Firefox‘ badges; ignore add-ons with includes a caution badge/icon.
  • Starts, Reviews: While this alone doesn’t give much assurance, this is one thing that you can consider among other aspects. Also, focusing on the number of reviews can help you know if it’s popular enough among users.
  • Add-on Permissions: Some add-ons will require permissions like ‘Access browser tabs‘, ‘Access browser activity during navigation‘, etc. Make note of this and decide your level of comfort for which permission is being used.
  • Last updated date: Sometimes, even good, well-known extensions are not updated. This is okay, but for stuff like Password Managers, Ad blockers, this is a big deal. An add-on that’s over 2 months old should always be used with caution.
  • Add-on Publisher: Always make sure that the publisher of the add-on is someone you trust, or has published an add-on that you already trust.

With that said, let us take a look at a few of the extensions that improves your web browsing experience.

Also Read: 9 Open Source Add-Ons to Improve Your Mozilla Firefox Experience

1. Facebook Container

facebook container

Key Highlights:

  • Made by the Mozilla Firefox team
  • Has an average 4.5-star rating (with 3,500+ reviews)
  • Regularly updated

Everyone hates Facebook, but rarely anyone is willing to remove Facebook’s tracking elements from their own website. So Mozilla pulled a Thanos moment – “Fine. I’ll do it myself” and created this add-on for Firefox users.

As the name suggests, an isolated container (not related to Docker) is created for Facebook. All the Facebook-related stuff happens inside this isolated container. This ends up making it harder for the social media giant to track you.

2. uBlock Origin

ublockorigin firefox 1

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Average rating of 4.8 stars (14,000+ reviews).
  • Regularly updated.

uBlock Origin is one of the most well-known and trusted “ad blocking” add-ons for Firefox. Yes, it is primarily used for blocking ads, but because its basic task is to block elements in your web browser, it can block a lot of items. Advertisements, yes, but also web trackers, cryptocurrency miners, pop-ups, etc.

Though its permissions may seem a bit excessive, there is a reason behind it. The add-on needs permissions like ‘Access browser activity during navigation‘ and ‘Access your data for all websites‘ so that it can assess every query and block ones that seem harmful or useless.

3. Bitwarden

Bitwarden's demonstration photo

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Average rating of 4.8 stars (with 6000+ reviews).

Bitwarden should be the go-to password manager for everyone. It has free sync support for mobile, web (browser), and desktop, can also store notes securely, helps generate usernames and passwords, auto-fills user info, and much more. On top of that, it is made available under the GPL-3.0 License. Who doesn’t love free and open source software?

Bitwarden has everything that I would look for in a password manager. It costs just $10, if you want to upgrade to its premium plan and not self-host it. I highly recommend its Firefox add-on!

4. LanguageTool

Demonstration of how the LanguageTool Add-on works

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • An average rating of 4.7 stars (2900+ reviews).
  • Regularly updated.

Are you someone who wants an open-source alternative to Grammarly? While I don’t have any issues using Grammarly, something that I really like and prefer is free and open-source software. LanguageTool is an excellent tool one can use for checking grammar inconsistencies like spelling errors, using a different spelling (color vs colour), commonly confused words (then vs than) and you also get a thesaurus with it.

In my experience of using this add-on, it has worked reliably on almost all text fields. No issues there. The two biggest features of this add-on are as follows:

  • More than 25 languages are supported. Supported languages are listed at the bottom of the ‘About this extension’ section.
  • No registration is necessary to use this add-on!

5. Tranquility Reader

firefox tanquility

Picture this, you are reading an article on the Internet. There are two banner ads on the top and bottom of the webpage. There are ads on the whole right side. On top of the bottom ad banner is a video playing automatically. You turn on the ad blocker. But the video continues to play. The banners don’t have ads in them, but they still use up valuable screen real estate. Bothered much?

Don’t be too bothered. Behold, the Tranquility Reader add-on for Firefox. This extension removes “extra” elements like photos, videos, ads, social media share buttons, etc. It gives you a clean UI with nothing but text, so you can focus on reading.

The Tranquility Reader add-on has the following stats:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Has an average rating of 4.6 stars (with 200 reviews).
  • Not frequently updated but actively maintained.

6. Enhancer for YouTube

A feature of the Enhancer for YouTube Add-on being portrayed.

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Average 4.7-star rating (9,000+ reviews).

Enhancer for Youtube add-on for Firefox is one of its kind. It adds a few buttons to the YouTube player, allowing for greater customization. You get things like changing the resolution, controlling playback speed, controlling audio volume level with the mouse scroll wheel, and much, much more.

You can find more information about the extension on its official webpage.

7. Tomato Clock

tomato time management

Keeping a track of your time, productivity and sanity is crucial when you are browsing the internet. Especially when you are researching a topic and go down a rabbit hole. You deserve a break, but you will be so entrenched that you may lose track of time.

The Tomato Clock add-on is exactly what its name suggests. It is a clock timer. A “tomato” is 25 minutes long, which feels either long or short depending on your mental engagement with the content displayed on the screen. Upon completion of 25 minutes, you will get a browser notification, notifying you about the ever-passing of time.

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • It has an average rating of 4.5 stars (with 300+ reviews weighing in)
  • Source code released under the GPL v3.0 License

8. Search by Image

Demonstration of the 'Capture' feature of the Search by Image Add-on for Firefox.

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Average rating of 4.6 stars (1,100+ reviews)
  • Respectable privacy policy for the media you upload.

When you search for the term “Red Lamborghini”, you get images of a red-colored Lamborghini. But, what if you didn’t know what car it was? This add-on allows you to search for images, using the image–instead of textual terms–and shows similar results or the source of origin for that image.

You have the following ways of choosing an image for a search:

  • Select URL: This allows you to just click on an image that is displayed on the web page.
  • Capture: Clip a specific area of the web page for a reverse image search.
  • Browse: Upload an existing image from the computer’s local drive (instead of the web page).
  • URL: Paste in an image URL (from a different web page) for a reverse image search.

9. Dictionary Anywhere

The Dictionary Anywhere Add-on showing meaning for selected word.

Key Highlights:

  • Mozilla’s Recommended extension.
  • Average 4.3-star rating (with around 260 reviews).
  • Not regularly updated.

Having an accessible dictionary is never a bad thing! I’ve certainly been spoilt by the “force touch to look-up” feature of macOS. The Dictionary Anywhere add-on for Firefox really makes up for it when I am on my desktop, using Linux. All I need to do to get a word’s definition is to double-click on the word, and the definition pops up!

For the moment, the only supported languages are English, Spanish, German and French. Please note that this extension will NOT work with Firefox’s reader mode. That is because scripts are not allowed to be executed in this mode.

A slight downside is that this makes it slightly annoying to ‘double click and select a whole word’ in an editable text field. A small price to pay for salvation.

Also, if you want an actively maintained extension, this will disappoint you.

10. Vimium-FF

vimium firefox

Key Highlights:

  • Average rating of 4.8 stars (with 400+ reviews)
  • Experimental extension.

If you are a Vim user, do I really need to explain this to you? Go try it for yourself! You’ll thank me later.

For those who don’t know what this add-on does, it allows you to navigate around Firefox solely using the Vim-style keys. Pressing the J key scrolls down, pressing the K key scrolls up, pressing the X key closes the current tab, pressing the T key opens a new tab, and a variety of other keyboard shortcuts.

While this add-on has the ‘Experimental‘ badge, I have had no problems with it in my experience of using it over the last year or two.

11. FireShot

fireshot

FireShot is a very simple Firefox add-on. It allows you to capture the full web pages into a single, long image or as a PDF file. On top of that, you can annotate too (hahaha)! Although annotation only works on Windows, that’s a bummer!

It does not have a “Recommended” badge by Firefox. So, you can explore more about it on its add-on page before you decide to use it.

Wrapping Up

This article covers a wide range of add-ons for Firefox that I think should help improve your web browsing experience.

What is your favorite Firefox extension? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • The “Tranquility Reader” addon is not what Reader View (F9) is supposed to do in Firefox? About Fireshot addon, I rather use “Print Friendly & PDF” available in all known browsers, it works extremely well. Better not forget that every addon you install, it will use more ram memory of the computer, something that most browsers alone already do, so in the end your computer may turn quite slow.

  • I use Vivaldi browser for a couple of years, it has most of the tools and more, standard in his browser. Check it out.

  • Not a bad article. But honestly a lot of the ad problems that show up I’ve mostly covered with Adblock Plus, and Privacy Badger. Not to say there weren’t some nice ones in this. For example I’ve used Youtube Enhancer for I think over a year now and it’s been fantastic.