It's really bad when a powerful company wants to put standards on everyone else. It usually has negative effects on everybody else, especially if those standards are worst that the standards that the others has agreed upon collectively. Why would someone then use Internet Explorer? A browser that while it doesn't follow standards, creates many security risks when used by an average user. Still not convinced? Try reading some of these pages.
On the other hand Firefox is faster, safer and extremely customizable.
Inside Firefox's Tools menu you can find the Add-Ons panel. Open it and the click where it says: "Get Extensions". It will send you to a webpage listing hundreds of Add-Ons. Try browsing the categories and I am sure that you will find many of them useful. Also, Opera users will find Add-Ons that add functions like Speed-Dial etc to Firefox.
Here is a list of the Add-Ons that I have installed. Don't forget that if you want to make full use of them you have to explore their preferences and customize them.
- Adblock Plus: A MUST-HAVE Add-On. Install it and after subscribing (completely free) to some lists and you can say goodbye to almost all advertisements! I have subscribed to:
- Cache View: Add some options to the right click menu that make easy viewing for cached version of any website by Google, Web Archive etc... This means that you can view older versions of a temporarily or permanently down website.
- CustomizeGoogle: Allows you to customize many aspects of Google and it's services. One feature I really liked is that it switches to a secure connection (https) when possible (https is supported by Gmail, Google Documents and other services too). Also view the introduction movie which is available at their website.
- del.icio.us Bookmarks: Makes bookmarking with del.icio.us very easy. I hope you know what delicious is... ;-)
- Download Statusbar: An extra statusbar that replaces the downloads window.
- external IP: Shows your current IP and alerts you when it changes.
- Fast Video Download: Allows you to easily download videos (in flv format) from Youtube and other sites.
- FasterFox: It's supposed to make firefox faster. I just use it because it adds a page load timer on the statusbar. Sometimes I like playing with its settings too. But I haven't noticed a change in Firefox's speed.
- Google ToolBar for Firefox: Search using Google easily. It also has many other functions as well.
- Greasemonkey: Add more functionality to some webpages by installing some user scripts.
- HackBar: "This toolbar will help you in testing SQL injections, XSS holes and site security."
- Informational Tab: Add a progressbar (which I'm still unable to see because of my dark theme) and a tiny preview to the tab buttons.
- ReloadEvery: Reloads webpages periodically. Very useful if you hate been logged out of forums after been inactive for some time.
- Snap Links: Allows you to multiple links at once by drawing a rectangle around them.
- Tab Scope: Allows you to preview open tabs in a mini window when by putting your mouse over the tab button.
- Table2Clipboard: Allows you to copy to the clipboard the selected columns/rows of a table.
- Tabs Open Relative: Very useful Add-On! It makes any new tab appear next to the current tab instead of the far right of the tab bar. It really helps if you usually work with many tabs of different sites at the same time (like me :-P).
- User Agent Switcher: Makes Firefox send fake User-Agent information in HTTP requests.
PS: If you know any other useful Add-On then you may leave a comment suggesting it!