Best Free Firefox Add-ons

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Firefox Add-ons Index

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About This List

This list now includes 39 add-ons or extensions for Firefox and its derivative web browsers. The add-ons are reviewed and classified into several categories appearing in the Index above. It is a work in progress subject to further updates with more details and new add-ons.

To quickly find what you want, select an Add-ons Category on the top of this page or use the box below to view all add-ons in one huge list.

 

Add-ons For Firefox And Its Derivatives

FirefoxFirefox is one of the most popular browsers today, competing neck-and-neck with Chrome. Its main strong points are that it's

  1. always up-to-date with the latest web technologies and security details;
  2. cross-platform;
  3. customizable and extendable with the famous add-on system that can give you features you can only dream of if you're using a different browser;
  4. open-source, meaning anyone can see the code, contribute to it (with moderation) and make their own derivatives.

Good news is always accompanied by bad news though. Recently, Mozilla has been publishing certain long-term plans that could destroy Firefox's reputation as the ultimate browser. It seems they want to cater to nobody but the most inexperienced computer users and they couldn't care less about what advanced users think. I've personally been in discussions with them and - like many other people - am appalled by how they defy all logic and common sense in order to justify some of their very backwards decisions.

Pale MoonAs a result, I personally prefer using Pale Moon. It's a Windows-only fork or derivative browser with a lot of unnecessary features and changes left out. It resembles the previous generation of Firefox versions, but with the modern code under the hood. It's also specifically designed to cater more to power users than beginners, as you can tell from its almost exclusively tech-savvy user base. It has only one developer (Moonchild) at the moment, but that hasn't stopped it from staying up-to-date, being a perfect replacement for FF and steadily conquering a share of the browser market.

Throughout the rest of the article, I will only refer to Firefox for the sake of simplicity. However, it should be obvious that any add-on that works in Firefox will almost certainly work in any of its derivative browsers (Pale Moon, Waterfox, etc) as well, so don't worry if you're using one of those.

 

Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Glyn Burgess. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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 Best Free Security Add-ons for Firefox

 

NoScript is the ultimate bodyguard for your Firefox! It selectively blocks active content like JavaScript, Flash, Java, etc on webpages, based on each element's domain of origin. It's the most effective way of keeping yourself safe from attacks and making sure spying eyes of 3rd parties are blindfolded.

On the downside, because it blocks everything that isn't whitelisted, it will also disrupt legitimate website features. Getting NoScript to work optimally takes some tinkering and trying for each individual website. It has a few helpful settings for that though, and whitelisting safe/required content is done very quickly and easily.

Domains and subdomains can be permanently or temporarily whitelisted or blacklisted. Furthermore, it also blocks certain forms of attack such as Cross-Site Scripting and what it calls "Clickjacking" (mouse clicks being intercepted by an invisible page element).

I've written a detailed and easy how-to that explains everything you need to know to get the most out of NoScript. I strongly suggest reading it if you're not overly familiar with the technical details of webpages.

 

RequestPolicy blocks unwanted 3rd party content. It lets you set up whitelist/blacklist rules to prevent pages from loading 3rd party content, along with one or two "default policy" rules. Such content includes scripts, images, video/audio, Flash gadgets, etc. The 0.5 interface is very similar to NoScript's (a dropdown with sub-dropdowns for each domain), while 1.0 beta has a new interface more like Self-Destructing Cookies'. The latter is slightly less appealing, but more adapted to the modernization of Firefox.

Both RP and NoScript block content by domain name, but NoScript focuses on blocking only scripts and preventing a few particular kinds of scripting attacks. RP simply removes any non-whitelisted 3rd (and 3rd only!) party content. The unwanted effect on legitimate page content that happens to be external is far greater, but it also blocks a great deal of ads and generally slowing/obnoxious content and scripts.

 

Secure Login is an extension to FIrefox's own password manager for safer and easier logins. It prevents the regular auto-filling of login forms for security purposes, and can even protect the form from JavaScript snooping (which I have personally experienced). If you want to log in, you have to click the new toolbar icon. It will fill in the form and submit it right away, automating that part of the process. It seamlessly supports multiple accounts on the same website, can highlight detected forms and can play sounds upon detecting and submitting said forms.

 

HTTPS Everywhere automatically switches to HTTPS/SSL when available. It allows you to automatically redirect HTTP connections to an HTTPS connection if the requested website supports it. This much improves your browsing safety and privacy in return for a small impact on speed.

In order to perform this redirection, HTTPSE contains 2 sets of redirect rules: one maintained by the developer/community, and a personal one you can make yourself, given that you can write Regular Expressions. Rules in either list can be disabled when needed.

The add-on also cooperates with the SSL Observatory, an organization dedicated to overseeing SSL certificates and ensuring your browser doesn't get handed a fake one. You will see an infomercial image after the initial installation, but nothing else will ever pop up after that.

Note that this add-on is not hosted on the Mozilla Add-ons website, but on the developer's own site. This may affect automatic updating.

 

HTTP Nowhere disables non-HTTPS traffic. Like it says on the tin, this add-on blocks all non-HTTPS traffic. Only secure HTTPS traffic is allowed to enter and leave Firefox, nearly waterproofing your security. Unfortunately, many websites simply do not support HTTPS, so be prepared to lose a lot of your daily browsing habits if you are intent on using this!

 

BetterPrivacy controls Flash's cookies or LSOs. Most Flash objects on webpages store data in a folder on your computer, not unlike how cookies are used. This data can be anything from benevolent configuration settings and game saves to malicious things such as tracking details.

The BP interface will show you a list of all stored LSOs and the domain they're associated with. For each one, you can choose if it should be protected from deletion within Firefox, deleted on the spot or simply ignored/handled as default. You'll also want to take a look at the settings on the 2nd tab, as they allow you to do things like deleting non-protected LSOs on exit/start.

While BP certainly achieves its practical goal of protecting and deleting Flash cookies, its clunky interface leaves much to be desired and development seems to have ceased.

 

Beef TACO blocks tracking cookies by overriding them. It's popular but not recommended.

Beef TACO sets read-only cookies on various malicious domains. This prevents those websites from storing their own data in your browser and achieving their sinister/annoying goals, such as tracking you across the web. Target websites include trackers and social networks such as Facebook.

The problem with this approach is that TACO creates hundreds of cookies for malicious domains in advance. These cookies clutter up your cookie management interfaces and cannot be deleted in any way. In addition, because it uses a blacklist, it only works on domains the developer includes in the list.

Beef TACO is a fork of the original TACO by Abine, but the original is so bad that I will not even link to it here. It's 1.5MB in size (Beef TACO is only 17KB and achieves the exact same thing) and is bloated with unnecessary graphics, almost as if wanting to give you trophies for ticking options.

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Safety Add-ons for Firefox

 

Web of Trust allows its user community to rate websites in terms of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety. Its toolbar icon displays the average rating of the page you're currently viewing. Clicking the icon displays the 4 individual ratings and lets you submit your own with a simple mouseclick. Ratings are weighted according to user reliability as well, so it's unlikely that people can forge false ratings for websites. In other words, if WOT tells you a site is unsafe, there is a fair reason for concern.

Links on pages are also rated: their average rating is displayed next to them with an icon.

All in all, WOT is one of the finer website raters. It's been around a long time, has a fairly large community, is developed well and most ratings do appear correct.

 

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read gives you a quick overview of popular websites' privacy policies and other legal terms. When visiting a supported site, click the new icon in the URL bar to get an overview of the main pros and cons. The developers mainly look at things such as

  • the actual privacy of your private data;
  • account deletion thoroughness;
  • how copyright and ownership is applied to files you upload or create, etc.

You can find the full list of the ratings they've gathered on their homepage.

ToS:DR works very well and displays fairly useful information on sites it supports. The problem is that only major, well-known websites get rated. It has no use at all on less-known websites. ToS:DR is still a young add-on of course, so expect their database to grow. I certainly recommend this add-on if you wish to be wary of legal issues.

 

LinkExtend is the powerhouse of website raters. It gathers statistics from an impressive number of online rating services, such as WOT, Google Safe Browsing, Scryve, PageRank, SiteTraffic, Alexa, ICRA, McAfee, Norton, SiteAdvisor, Quantcast (which is a web tracker for this exact purpose), etc. It also has a few extra features, such as a filetree-like menu that lists all links, embedded files, scripts, videos, images and frames, a massive collection of search engines and a quick history of previous visits. All of this is visible in a toolbar.

Surprisingly, being the powertool it is and despite the obvious need to constantly poll dozens of online services for ratings, LinkExtend does not have a noticeable performance impact.

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Privacy Add-ons for Firefox

 

Self-Destructing Cookies accepts cookies now, auto-delete them later.

SDC allows you to set cookie preferences on a per-domain basis. The difference with other cookie managers lies in how it handles blocked cookies: it actually allows them, but auto-deletes them after you've closed the last tab in which the blocked website was open. Doing so prevents websites from nagging about their cookies being blocked. It also means that cookie-based features (such as logins) will simply keep working during your visit, unlike what happens with regular cookie blockers.

Cookies can be set to be deleted when

  1. you close the last tab of the website;
  2. or when you close the browser;
  3. or never/only when they expire.

Configuring each domain's policy is simple. SDC puts an icon into the toolbars that reflects the current setting for the domain you're on. Simply click it to bring up the 3 options, then click the one you want to apply. There are more advanced options in the Add-ons Manager too, so you should check those out.

Cookies are little pieces of text that websites can store in your browser. They're a vital component for things such as login sessions, website preferences that aren't stored server-side, etc. Unfortunately, they can also be used to track you around the web and do other shady things since they can be uniquely identified and can store any kind of information.

Whether or not cookies are a good thing depends on their origin. On websites that are part of your routines, they're a necessity. On websites you distrust or never plan to visit again, they're an annoyance and possibly a privacy concern.

 

Ghostery blocks known malicious scripts and web trackers according to a blacklist and lets you select/deselect specific trackers or entire categories. It's regularly updated and seems to do its job very well. You can choose to have a blocking report displayed somewhere on the screen each time a page is loaded.

While it does its job well, it has a flaw common to all tools of this type: it operates based on only a blacklist. Therefore, it only blocks trackers the developers know about and want to block.

Be advised, I personally experienced a fairly noticeable performance penalty when running Ghostery.

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Adblocking Add-ons for Firefox

 

Adblock Plus is a very well-known and popular adblocker, possibly even the most popular add-on there is. The default setup can block an impressive number of ads on an equally impressive number of websites.

Its functionality is based on plugin-like blacklists for ads, called filter lists. Subscribing to a list adds it to your setup, after which the filters will start working and blocking ads. EasyList is installed by default, but there are alternatives for everyone's tastes all over the web.

ABP comes with its fair share of performance problems though. Popular filter lists like EasyList are mindbogglingly huge and require a lot of RAM and CPU power to process. Page loading becomes noticeably slower due to all the processing of the page's content and Firefox becomes very slow after only a few minutes of browsing. To add insult to injury, most of this is completely and utterly in vain: less than 1% of the filter lists' content is actually of use to you because the other 99% only works on websites you never even visit.

However, that does not mean ABP is unusable. When used right, it can easily block all ads on every website you go to without any excess work and with almost no performance impact. Read my extensive article to learn how to get the most out of ABP!

 

Element Hiding Helper is a plugin for ABP. It allows you to create and use custom filters for specific page content that you don't like. Simply click "Select an element to hide", hover over the content you want to remove, adjust the target selection and click. Gone!

In order to use EHH, you'll need some basic understanding of webpage technicalities. You'll need to be able to specify filtering criteria that match only the things you want to remove and not the content you want to keep. I recommend reading my article from the previous paragraph, as it also goes into details about using EHH.

 

Bluhell Firewall is a small, lightweight and surprisingly effective adblocker. It has absolutely no configuration or other settings. Its filtering is based on a contraction of the popular EasyList (default list in ABP). It has almost no performance impact, but as you can guess, it also does not perfectly block everything. It's a trade-off between performance and efficiency. However, BF is part 3 of the adblocking setup I personally use, which combines the best performance with the best adblocking efficiency. Read my article in the ABP paragraph to find out more!

 

FlashBlock, Flash is a necessary evil on today's internet. Many websites use it, but almost always for entirely wrong purposes. Being an Adobe product, its performance, programming ethics, system integration and security leave much to be desired. It often causes freezes and other performance hiccups when it's used on webpages. For that reason, FlashBlock was created.

If a page has some embedded Flash content, FB replaces it with a placeholder or button, thus preventing Flash from starting and improving overall browsing performance. If you decide you need blocked content, simply click the placeholder and the Flash element will be restored as if nothing happened. Sites like YouTube (which still mainly uses a Flash player) can be whitelisted.

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Downloading Add-ons for Firefox

 

Flash Video Downloader downloads any currently playing video. It is an excellent tool to download streaming videos from any website. After months of using it, I still haven't found even one video it couldn't detect and download.

When a video is playing (Flash or not Flash), simply click the toolbar icon to get a list of all detected video files. The entries usually show extra details such as resolution, container format, quality level, etc. Click the one you want to download, sit back and enjoy!

 

Download Panel Tweaker improves the Downloads list display. It gives you a few simple options to change the size, coloration and detail display of the Downloads panel. By default, you can only see 3 entries and a less-than-satisfying amount of detail in relation to how much space each entry takes. DPT puts a stop to that by making items more compact and more informative at the same time.

 

DownThemAll, a download manager and accelerator addon for Firefox. [more details to be added]

 

Video DownloadHelper provides an easy way to download and convert Web videos from YouTube and other similar sites. It is extremely easy to use and configure, and it works on most websites. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Forms Add-ons for Firefox

 

Lazarus: Form Recovery securely auto-saves all forms as you type, and it case of a crash, you can go back to the form and recover it with a right-click. [more details to be added]

 

Textarea Cache saves automatically the content in the text area. [more details to be added]

 

Autofill Forms enables you to fill out web forms with one click. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Content Enhancement Add-ons for Firefox

 

Clean Links converts obfuscated or nested links to genuine clean links. [more details to be added]

 

Text Link allows URI texts written in webpages to be loaded by double clicks. [more details to be added]

 

SearchPreview enhances your search results pages by inserting site preview images, popularity ranks and sponsored links into Google, DuckDuckGo Yahoo and Bingsearches. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Customization Add-ons for Firefox

 

Greasemonkey customizes the way a web page displays or behaves by using small bits of JavaScript. Anyone can make their own scripts and it is incredibly useful, easy to use. It is reliable to me and it takes up very little room. Some people have reported bugs and there're possible security risks from the scripts on sites you don't trust.

 

Stylish is a a great idea. It lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and many other sites. A must for anybody who likes customization and it's easy to use. You need a little knowledge to get it to work but it's pretty darned easy. Some people have reported bugs but I have not encountered any hiccups.

 

Turn Off the Lights lets the entire page fade to dark so that you can watch video as if you were in the cinema. [more details to be added]

 

Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities such as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, etc. [more details to be added]

 

Location Bar Enhancer changes the Location Bar of Firefox into a Breadcrumb display with rich and interactive features. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Site Identification Add-ons for Firefox

 

ShowIP shows the IP address of the current page in the status bar. It gives you information about a site's owner and therefore its trustworthiness. You can easily copy the IP to the clipboard and query custom information services by IP with a right click.

 

Flagfox displays a country flag depicting the location of the current website's server and provides a multitude of tools such as site safety checks, whois, translation, similar sites, validation, URL shortening and more. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Performance Add-ons for Firefox

 

Tweak Network speeds up the loading of webpages and increases the maximum number of simultaneous downloads from a site. [more details to be added]

 

Local Load loads common JavaScript libraries from local resources. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Tools Add-ons for Firefox

 

FireFTP is a free, secure and cross-platform FTP/SFTP client that provides easy and intuitive access to FTP/SFTP servers. [more details to be added]

 

 
 
 

 Best Free Configuration Add-ons for Firefox

 

Pale Moon Commander is an extension designed for the Pale Moon web browser and works as a configurator giving you an easy way to set advanced preferences without the need to manually edit parameters.

 

Configuration Mania provides more advanced and hidden configurations. [more details to be added]

 

Config Descriptions shows source comments for advanced application preferences in about:config. [more details to be added]

 

 

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Comments

I know nothing of SecureLogin, i've been using LastPass for years.

Have you tested Cookie Controller?
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-controller/

I think it's the same in firefox, but in palemoon flashblock is pretty much useless as the flash plugin itself can be set to Ask to activate.

This one Download Flash and Video pretty much always works.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/download-flash-and-video/...
For Youtube i use the feature of SmartVideo for Youtube and there's also SaveFrom.net when i'm not using my own Palemoon browser. I used to use DownThemall and DownloadHelper, but they aren't necessary anymore.

I like Stylish, it's just a bit hard to find styles that do what i want.

Palemoon commander, yes!

I also always have Mozilla Archive Format and FEBE.

Ghostery, AdBlockEdge & AdBlockPlus (with proper config) are all roughly equal in ability to protect privacy. Disconnect comes in at a distant 4th.

[There is an obvious opt-out choice for anonymous reporting to Ghostery - I don't see any issue unless you don't pay attention and you SHOULD pay attention when installing software.] You need to do your homework when you configure AND UPDATE these add-ons; the default settings are NOT usually the best.

All according to this useful continuous testing site:

http://www.areweprivateyet.com/

which also helps you to configure the add-ons properly.

If you browse widely to 'new' urls on a continuous basis, NoScript is a royal pain in the butt.

1/ Adblock has some deal with advertising company, I recommand the fork Adblock Edge
2/ Some website are blocking you if Adblock is enabled.
A Greasemonkey script removes many protections used on some website that force the user to disable the AdBlocker
Anti-AdBlock Killer : http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/155840

Do you have anything to back up your claim in #1? I've compared ABP to ABE and don't notice any improvement or other advantage. I can hardly imagine there being any bias in ABP if you use custom filters either, what's a deal with an ad company supposed to impact? It's also a fork of the original, which to me is a caution bell signaling reduced app quality. I'm a bit reluctant to post that script from #2 because it's not an add-on and it's only site-specific... It'll never be a comprehensive solution. Thanks for the reply though.

For #1 you'll find information for example here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5995140

For #2 It's not site specific. It's specific to all website tracking adblock users

#2 actually, it is. :) "However, this script is not a universal remedy for all anti-adblock protection. this is why I am counting on all user for my report." There's also the "Supported Sites" section. Yes, it does target 4 particular, popular anti-AB scripts websites use. But that does not make it specific to all websites blocking adblock, only to the specific sites that have been reported so far + the sites that use those 4 particular scripts. It's kind of the same problem as with ABP's EasyList: 9 bazillion filters of which you'll only use 5, and those 5 will only be 1% of your browsing habits. Either way, this article really isn't for GM scripts. Supporting a section for those would make this article far too large to maintain.

Some add-on suggestions for the editor

Page 1: Security
Secure Login

Page 3: Privacy
Disconnect
No Cookie for Google search

Page 4. Adblocking
SimpleBlock
Silent Block

Page 5: Downloading
Download Panel Tweaker
OpenDownload2

Maybe more categories, e.g.
-utilities/tools like FireFTP
-Photos, Music & Videos like ImageTweak, YouTube Grid View
-firefox customization like Tab Mix Plus, Location Bar Enhancer etc.
-performance like Local Load, Tweak Network
-advanced config like Pale Moon Commander, Configuration Mania, Config Descriptions

Very nice suggestions! :) I love how I already use half of those add-ons, I hadn't even thought of them yet xD

Flagfox.

It could either go in section 9 or section 2.

It displays a small country flag at the right hand side of your address bar, showing the country that the web server is located in. When you hover your mouse pointer over the flag it displays the server's name, IP address and name of the country of origin.

BTW, you should warn users of Ghostery not to agree to the information collection part of Ghostery. You're just replacing one set of spies with another, the Ghostery company itself.

Flagfox is already in there, waiting for a details paragraph. I'll add that, thanks.

"Anyone can make there own, incredibly useful, easy to use, takes up very little room, for me reliable."

There? How about their?

That's from the previous editor :) I'm only at page 5 at the moment, page 5 and every page after it still needs to be cleaned up and revised.
Not much listed under download managers: my favourite of the genre is DownThemAll (http://www.downthemall.net/) There's also a tiny extension called OpenDownload which simply adds the option to open a download from the usual "save" dialogue. Obviously, the rationale for NOT having the "run" option in that dialogue in Firefox is security, so the use of this extension has its risks. http://home.arcor.de/der_tuxman/ext/OpenDownload/index.htm There's a heading for it on the Forms page but no detail yet: Lazarus, to be found at http://getlazarus.com/ Lazarus is a safety net. It remembers what you've typed into a webform so, if something goes wrong or you lose what you've typed, it'll have quietly remembered what you did and offer to put it back for you. I commend it to your attention :)
DTA was already in there. The section as a whole is quite empty because the article is a WIP and because download manager add-ons are not something I've used often yet. I also avoid add-ons I believe to be too dumbed-down or case-specific, such as Youtube MP3 converters and such. OpenDownload is a nice suggestion, thanks. I'm an opponent of boxing users into cages under the false motto of protection and security, like Mozilla is trying to do. Installed already and loving it. And yes, I'm familiar with Lazarus, that's why I put it there: so I can work on it when I get to that section. Textarea Cache does something similar, but of course only on textareas. Handy to rescue WIP forum posts without revealing possibly sensitive form info. :)