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25 Best Google Chrome Extensions to Change Your Internet Experience

25 Best Google Chrome Extensions to Change Your Internet Experience

I am, by no means, a Google fan boy–I have a Samsung laptop and an iPhone (that, for some odd reason, asks me if it should trust the laptop every time I plug it in). Although I’ll never be able to justify dropping anywhere near four digits on Glass, Chrome has been my browser of choice for years now. That’s because Firefox reminds me too much of Netscape Navigator, Safari sucks, Opera is sluggish, and WTF is Internet Explorer?!?

If you’ve never tried Chrome, it’s fast, sleek, and searching on the Omnibar is so easy that once you go Chrome, you’ll never go home (or roam). Here are the best Google Chrome extensions; the ones that will change the way you browse the internet.

1. Search by Image

With all the fancy gadgets and software, people forget that web search is what Google specializes in. This unique extension increases the effectiveness of your search bar by incorporating Google Goggles. No longer do you need to waste time typing–just drag a picture into the search bar and experience the future of the Internet.

 

search by image Chrome Lifehack Versability
    This extension adds this camera button to all Google search bars in Chrome

    2. Surf

    Torrents are necessary for security and research. Thanks to the NSA monitoring, its become one of the most secure digital file transfer methods. This BitTorrent extension allows you to search and download educational torrents from across the web all within your Chrome Browser. This means you don’t need a torrent program, although I always keep a couple handy, just in case, because you just never know who will try to impede on your educational tools.

    Just click the button, ignore the ads that always come with torrent browsers, and you’ll be well on your way to Tortuga. Be sure to pair this with PeerBlock and other encryption and anonymizing tools to protect your educational research from being leaked.

    Surf Chrome Extension Lifehack Versability
      Torrents are a great research tool…I hear they have videos and music and video games to enhance your presentations…

      3. Cloudy

      No matter what anyone tells you, it’s a good idea to get your head into the clouds. Cloudy is a great Chrome extension for Gmail users to add files via any cloud service (Dropbox, Evernote, Instagram, etc). Sending attachments just got a whole lot easier.

      Cloudy Chrome Lifehack Versability
        Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs

        4.  TooManyTabs

        Power-users are aware of the browser’s biggest drawback–tabbed browsing eats up your computer’s memory. You’ll notice it when you’re connecting to your preferred game server and the video you’re processing starts to stutter. Shutting down Chrome used to be the only way to resolve this. TooManyTabs gives you the power to tackles this issue by suspending unused tabs, or allowing you to organize, label, delete, and so much more.

        toomanytabs-chrome lifehack Versability
          Now’s a good time to concentrate on Auschwitz because Tab is too commercial…
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          5. Chrome Remote Desktop

          Windows has a few remote desktop sharing services available, but most of them have been integrated into other services or only work on other Windows machines. Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is a quick and easy way to access any device from your Chrome browser. It’s great for troubleshooting friends, colleagues, family members, or whoever else you know who still thinks Internet Explorer is a real browser.

          chrome-remote-desktop lifehack Versability
            Let me connect you to someone with a PhD in India making a fraction my salary so you can talk down to him instead…

            6. Text Mode

            Tired of flashy web pages burning your retinas with overly bright pictures, pre-loading videos, and all the other overlapping garbage? Use Text Mode to browse the worldwide web in text-only mode. It comes in extra handy if you crack, track, and warez.

            Text Mode Chrome Lifehack Versability
              Censor the Internet the way you see fit…

              7. Hover Zoom

              You can’t see enough detail in thumbnails, but some sites make enlarging them such a pain. This handy app shows the full size pics behind thumbnails on the most popular image sites (Facebook included) just by hovering your mouse over them. Now you can stop squinting to see whether or not that guy has his hand on your girlfriend.

               

              Hover Zoom Chrome Lifehack Versability
                Do you have this in a share size? Do I get a discount if I buy 2?

                8. Chime

                Get the features of your phone on your desktop, with desktop notifications for Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Foursquare, and more. Never be late to the party or miss a message again with Chime. It’s a great tool for those who love being in all the loops without having to get all loopy.

                Chime Chrome Lifehack Versability
                  The Internet Is People!!! It’s PEOPLE!!!

                  9. RSS Feed Reader

                  This is my RSS feed reader. It’s basic and to the point with no frills. As opposed to just having normal bookmarks (which you’ll also still have), this app is basically like bookmarking the site and being notified of any updates. It’s a great way for bloggers, news junkies, gossips, paparazzi, students, and business pros to surf efficiently through daily tasks.

                  RSS Feed Reader Chrome Lifehack Versability
                    This isn’t actually a screenshot of my real feed reader, because privacy…

                    10. ScribeFire

                    Serious bloggers know what a pain it can be to keep track of all the logins and formats for every blog you post on. ScribeFire allows you to manage everything from one spot.

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                    scribefire-chrome-lifehack-versability
                      It’s not a bad text editor…

                      11. AdBlock Plus

                      Keep your cookies safely tucked away (from everyone but Google and the government) in your cookie jar with AdBlock Plus. It doesn’t make you anonymous, but it stops those annoying banner ads (although nothing else). Think of this as your backup pistol in an first person shooter game; it’s basically just there for last-case scenarios in which you’re on the ground bleeding to death and fending off zombies while waiting for your partner to revive you. You’ll still want a ray gun or knife.

                       

                      Adblock Plus Chrome Lifehack
                        We interrupt this lifehack for an ad on blocking ads…

                        12. Evernote Web Clipper

                        Evernote is everything we wished Microsoft and IBM were making all this time with their productivity suites. Get the Evernote app to create notes (with time/date/gps stamps), Evernote Hello to import business cards into your contact list, and Web Clipper to save web research into your Evernote account with one-click.

                        Evernote Clipper Chrome Lifehack

                          13. StumbleUpon

                          After millennia of searching, mankind finally has an answer to a question that’s plagued us: what do you get someone who has everything? The answer is StumbleUpon–the Chrome extension gives you that thumbs down button you always wished Facebook has, but for the entirety of the Internet (there’s a thumbs up button too).

                          If you don’t know what StumbleUpon is, imagine the Internet as a radio station; just input your preferences, and discover why so many of us would rather stumble across the web than browse it. My name’s Versability, if you need a friend.

                          StumbleUpon Chrome Lifehack Versability
                            Just click stumble, thumbs a page up or down, and repeat…you’ve never had this much fun online…

                            14. Buffer

                            Social media mavens will love Buffer; it allows you to schedule posts to the Big Three of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) directly from your browser. Now you can time your thoughts with SEO trends, or to spread your thoughts out over a week and stop stressing. Either way, you’ll be socially interacting on auto-pilot online while actually getting work done IRL. Autobots, FTW!

                            Buffer Chrome Lifehack Versability
                              You wouldn’t believe how long I spent removing any trace of my tabs from this screenshot of my personal Facebook page to show you a button…

                              15. StayFocusd

                              Sometimes, all these shiny websites distracting you from your work is the last thing you need. StayFocusd allows you to temporarily block yourself from accessing certain websites to focus on working. Look at the screenshot–it’s a very simple concept. Get back to work and give us money.

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                              You know you wish you thought of this first. It’s great for those who resolved to stop incessantly checking Facebook, Twitter, play video games, watch movies, yada, yada, yada.

                              stayfocsd_lifehack-versability
                                Raise your hand if you wish your job was to tell people to get to work…

                                16. Lazarus: Form Recovery

                                This little extension autosaves everything you type, so that if your browser crashes after you submit a form, you can recover all of your data! No more panic if you see an error message after 30 minutes of carefully crafting a long form entry.

                                Lazarus chrome lifehack
                                  Hate filling out forms? Fill out this form to tell us why, and someone will get back to you at our earliest convenience…

                                  17. Honey

                                  Honey the movie is a horrible Glitter remake that replaces Mariah Carey’s singing with Jessica Alba’s dancing. Honey the app automatically inputs discount, savings, and coupon codes whenever you shop online (and they’re available). If you shop online, you’ll want Honey; it’s the easiest gold you’ll ever save. I keep singing the Archies in my head, “awww…honey, honey.”

                                  honey chrome lifehack versability
                                    “Not the bees! Not the bees! My eyes!” – Ah Muzan Cab

                                    18. Hola! Unblocker

                                    Love playing games, watching movies, socializing, and accessing other questionable material at work? They may not let you download iTunes, but this great productive Chrome Browser works so much better than Internet Explorer. Now you can add Hola! Unblocker and bypass those corporate firewalls.

                                    #Protip – if you have issues downloading at work, download it at home, and bring it to work on a disk, USB, or any other format you have available. You can also email it to yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll find a way to slip it on your computer.

                                    Hola! Unblocker integrates a VPN proxy directly into your Chrome browser. This unlocks a slew of possibilities, including, as stated on their site “bypassing censorship.” This is a helpful extension for accessing American sites from other countries as well; you don’t really think about how hard it is to access American internet from abroad until you have to do it. When it happens, you’ll be happy you understand VPNs and Proxies.

                                    As a bonus slacker tool, Excel is capable of running video games (Tetris, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc) within spreadsheets. That’s all I’ll say, for now.

                                    honey chrome lifehack versability

                                      19. BugMeNot

                                      Ever wondered how Anonymous stays anonymous online? One way is by creating shared public logins to social media accounts. The BugMeNot Chrome extension will create shared and anonymized logins to a variety of popular posting sites. You’ll never know who’s logging in and posting what, but you’ll still have ultimate control.

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                                      This concept is how YourAnonNews and all the other Anon accounts work (along with a variety of group/shared accounts on Twitter). It’s also a great way to bypass using your Facebook account to login to commenting sites (thus not giving them your personal info).

                                      BugMeNot Lifehack Versability
                                        Go away, son, you bug me…

                                        20. Shareaholic

                                        If you pride yourself on always knowing and sharing the latest memes and other assorted online happenings, Shareaholic is for you. It basically adds all those like buttons for all your favorite sites so you can share anything anywhere in the blink of an eye within your browser. Sharing isn’t a real addiction though; you’re just a gossip.

                                        Shareaholic-Chrome lifehack versability
                                          My name is (state your name), and I’m a sharaholic…

                                          21. HTTPS Everywhere

                                          The Electronic Frontier Foundation and TOR Project have come up with some great projects for the internet, and HTTPS Everywhere is one of those underrated strokes of genius that came from a collaboration of the two. When you connect to the web normally, you connect through HTTP, but this handy extension reroutes everything through the more secure HTTPS instead.

                                          https everywhere chrome lifehack Brian Penny
                                            Security is no joking matter…

                                            22. Translate

                                            Translate is another of Google’s innovative programs I recommend having on every device and browser you own. The ability to translate content comes in handy throughout regular conversation more often than you’d think. It’s also a fun to catch differences by translating phrases back and forth. Knowing other languages is never a bad thing, but skip the expensive Rosetta Stone, and learn with this freebie.

                                            google translate Chrome lifehack
                                              Ich bin ein Berliner…DAS BOOT!!!

                                              23. Bit.ly

                                              Shorter links are useless until they aren’t. Bit.ly makes that easy.

                                              bit.ly.versability.lifehack
                                                It’s not the size that counts; it’s how you use it…

                                                24. View Thru

                                                While Bit.ly shortens URLs, View Thru shows the full length link, so you can see where it leads before clicking it. #ProTip – Most trackers track you by tricking you into clicking a link. Just hover your mouse over a link and see where it really goes.

                                                View Thru Chrome Versability
                                                  #Protip – the easiest way to track someone is through an IP address, and link shorteners are great ways to hide trackers…

                                                  25. Awesome New Tab Page

                                                  Imagine you had your phone’s interface on your desktop. Now imagine yourself having Windows 8 within a browser. Last, imagine downloading an extension that’s all that and a bag of peanuts.

                                                  awesome-new-tab-lifehack versability
                                                    Undo all that privacy and security you just set up…for convenience…

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                                                    Published on November 19, 2020

                                                    15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                                                    15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                                                    When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

                                                    But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

                                                    While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

                                                    Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

                                                    What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

                                                    Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

                                                    • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
                                                    • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
                                                    • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

                                                    A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

                                                      While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

                                                      The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

                                                      Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

                                                      Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                                                        Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                                                        In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                                                        Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                                                        Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                                                          One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                                                          In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                                                          Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                                                          A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                                                          The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                                                          Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                                                          Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                                                          Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                                                          The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                                                          Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                                                          Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                                                            If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                                                            This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                                                            Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                                                            Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                                                            For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                                                            One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                                                            Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                                                            Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                                                              For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                                                              It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                                                              Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                                                              USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                                                              If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                                                              Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                                                              A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                                                              A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                                                              Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                                                              Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                                                                If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                                                                Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                                                                A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                                                                We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                                                                Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                                                                Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                                                                  Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                                                                  Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                                                                  Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                                                                  Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                                                                    Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                                                                    In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                                                                    Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                                                                    A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                                                                    The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                                                                    The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                                                                    Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                                                                    Bottom Line

                                                                    There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                                                                    Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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