The best Firefox add-ons reviewed

With so many add-ons available for Firefox what are the best ones for you to download? Well thankfully now we know as Mozilla, the people behind the Firefox browser have teamed up with the Firefox Add-ons Community and the editors of AMO (addons.mozilla.org) to come up with the best add-ons around.

Here you'll find the best firefox add-ons as rated by Mozilla, reviewed and detailed so you can see whether you need to bother downloading them.

Additional reporting by Ben Crompton.

Destroy the Web

The pitch Turn any webpage into a shoot-em up video game. With a pulse pounding soundtrack and high scores for every web page, Destroy the Web is a fun way to take a little break during the day.  


Who's it for? Gamers  

Downloads so far 56,087

Price Optional $1.99 donation

What's it really like? A lot of fun. Once you press go you get 30 seconds to blast the hell out of any website leaving it in tatters afterwards. Unfortunately there isn't much to this add-on apart from making you laugh for 5 minutes. One word of warning, if you are testing this out in the office, make sure you turn your sound down. The accompanying soundtrack is loud.  

Our rating 8/10  

Link Get Destroy the Web


AmazonAssist

The pitch Official Amazon.com add-on. AmazonAssist helps you search Amazon.com as you search the web and delivers product information to your browser when you need it. Access product details, ratings and latest prices from anywhere on the web.

 

Who's it for? Shoppers

Downloads so far 308,124  

Price Free  

What's it really like? If you are regular Amazon shopper, this is a great simple app for accessing the store. The add-on comes in two guises - a shortcut button at the top of the browser that gives you quick access to your account, the deals of the day and key areas of the site, and a second search bar at the bottom of the page that lets you instantly search the site. Results can even be tailored to only show Amazon Prime results only.  

Our rating 8/10

Link Get AmazonAssist


Stylish

The pitch Restyle the web with Stylish, a user styles manager. Stylish lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and many, many other sites. You can even customize Firefox and other programs themselves.

Who's it for? Tinkerers  

Downloads so far 10,781,701

Price Optional $5 donation  

What's it really like? This is one for coders and unless you are one this isn't really going to be one you can even tinker with. That said if you deal with CSS scripts all day you might find it handy if you are curious about how another site does it.  

Our rating 7/10

Link Get Stylish


AniWeather

The pitch AniWeather = Animated Weather + Any Weather. When it rains, it really does!

Who's it for? Weather fans  

Downloads so far 2,989,037  

Price Free  

What's it really like? This weather add-on displays itself in the bottom right hand corner of your browser giving you a quick glance of your favourite city without having to check anywhere else. Temperatures can be set to Celsius or Fahrenheit, while you can set the city of your choice of course as well. In the US you'll even get added bonus features like a pop up satellite map and UV index. Simple and to the point. This will have you armed and ready for when it comes to that great British pastime; talking about the weather.

Our rating 8/10  

Link Get AniWeather


Invisible Hand

The pitch Automatically shows a discreet notification when a better price is available on a product you're browsing. Covers over 100 retailers in the US, UK and Germany.

Who's it for? Shoppers

Downloads so far 385,691  

Price Free  

What's it really like? This is a great little add on if you like to shop online as the add-on only springs into action when relevant rather than being there all the time. Hit Amazon to buy a new DVD for example and Invisible hand will alert you to the fact that it might be cheaper elsewhere. It won't take into account postage and packaging, but it will ensure you the best deal. Nifty.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get Invisible Hand


CLIP: CraigsList Image Prefetcher

The pitch Preview images and links for Craigslist search page.

Who's it for?

Downloads so far 46,601

Price Optional 99 cent donation

What's it really like? Craigslist is just that a boring list of text that you have to click on to see what's what. The idea of this add-on is that it automatically pulls the images out of the post and displays them on the list page so you can see them before having to waste valueable time clicking on each and every one. It's simple, can be disabled, and if you're always on craigslist then definitely one to have. The size of the image, the preview pane they sit in and other such elements can all be edited to suit your viewing style. The only question is why don't craiglist just give you thumbnails to start with.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


ImTranslator

The pitch ImTranslator includes Online Translator in 1640 language combinations for Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simp.), Chinese (trad.), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese; Spell Checker for English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian; TTS (Text to Speech) for English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Spanish; Multilingual Dictionary for English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish; Virtual Keyboard for more than 40 languages; Russian Decoder; Interface localization in 11 languages; other multilingual tools.

Who's it for? Referencers

Downloads so far 6,077,342

Price Optional 99 cent donation

What's it really like? Really handy. While it doesn't just translate the page you are surfing like Google translate does, it does let you punch in paragraphs of copy and have them translated for you on the fly while you wait. As you can see from the pitch (see above) there are plenty of languages supported, and what's even more helpful is once it's got the translation you can have it actually read out to you as well. It might not look that pretty, but if you work with plenty of languages this should come in handy.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Image Zoom

The pitch Adds zoom and rotation functionality for images...

Who's it for? People who can't see so good

Downloads so far 5,006,890

Price Optional $2 donation

What's it really like? If you find yourself zoom into images all day to see something that perhaps you wouldn't at first glance then this might help you out. It's a tool that lets you zoom into just the image to see what's what. To get the most out of it you have to disable mouse scrolling (something we doubt you are prepared to do), or you can just right click on the image and opt for the zooming options from there. Those zooming options are basic, but still it does what it says on the tin. You could of course just magnify the whole page.

Our rating 7/10

Link Get


No Script

The pitch The best security you can get in a web browser! Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.

Who's it for? People who worry a lot

Downloads so far 69,288,700

Price Optional $2 donation

What's it really like? Scripts are something that chances are, you don't really know about, and to be honest that's good. But if you do, and we know that there are some of you who do, then you'll want to make sure that your web surfing is protected by this add-on. It basically makes sure that the javascript you need to run and that you haven't visited a website that is about to do something naughty. Unfortunately that might mean that some sites, like YouTube don't work at first, but that's security for you. Luckily there is an easy panel with plenty of options that allow you to give access to certain sites and the like. Good if you are worried about the potential threats the web presents.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Adblock Plus

The pitch Annoyed by adverts? Troubled by tracking? Bothered by banners? Install Adblock Plus now to regain control of the internet and change the way that you view the web. A short video overview is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNvb2SjVjjI

Who's it for? People who don't like ads

Downloads so far 85,218,004

Price Free

What's it really like? I know what you are saying, the Internet without ads would be a far better place, but while Adblock Plus works, it can also break pages so you don't get all the content either (see screenshot of Pocket-lint above). Look we'll be honest with you for 2 minutes; if we can't show you ads we don't get paid and if we don't get paid, we would either have to charge you to access the site or we would have to shut down, and that means no great features like this one to read. Ads, if they are well managed and clever can be a good thing. This is for those of you that don't care about us or that issue.

Our rating 5/10

Link Get


WeatherBug

The pitch Get live, local weather conditions in Firefox with the WeatherBug extension. Featuring forecasts, radar, and severe weather alerts from WeatherBug's community of neighbourhood weather...

Who's it for? Weather fans

Downloads so far 1,355,279

Price Free

What's it really like? It gives you the weather in the corner of your browser in the same way as AniWeather allowing you to see at a glance the next three days in your area. Towns can be selected on setup, however it doesn't have all towns so expect to have to pick somewhere nearby if you live in the country. You can click on the little weather symbols to open a pop up window with greater detail like wind chill humidity and even dew point.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Greasemonkey

The pitch Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript. ...

Who's it for? Programmers

Downloads so far 33,043,418

Price Free

What's it really like? The best way to describe Greasemonkey is a that it is an add-on that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to HTML web page content on the DOMContentLoaded event, which happens immediately after it is loaded in the browser (also known as augmented browsing). If that's you're think, it's a must.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


Firebug

The pitch Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page... Firebug 1.5 requires Firefox 3.5 or higher.

Who's it for? Programmers

Downloads so far 26,087,857

Price Free

What's it really like? If you are a web developer or even just want to tinker with how your site looks, this is a must. Basically it lets you manipulate any webpage, but changing the code live to see if something will work before you go about the boring way of uploading those changes only to have to refresh the page again. It's also really handy for finding out how other websites have coded the CSS on their site giving you an inside look as to how that magical feature you like is done. If you're not a coder however, this isn't going to be for you.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


Personas Plus

The pitch Free, easy-to-install "skins" for Firefox. Choose from over 60,000 cool designs, including art from Harry Potter and Bob Marley. Join over 8 million people from around the world who are asking themselves: "What Will My Browser Wear Today?"

Who's it for? Tinkerers

Downloads so far 22,840,802

Price Free

What's it really like? A browser can be a boring thing. Not what you look at or what it does, but what it actually looks like. Trying to solve that mass of grey is Personas, an add-on that lets you customise your browser to look pretty, be it Avatar skins or something you've designed yourself. Simple to use, easy to manage, if you want something pretty, this is your add-on.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


KidZui

The pitch KidZui turns Firefox into fun, kid-safe browser and online playground for kids 3-12 with over a million kids games, YouTube videos, and websites.

Who's it for? Kids

Downloads so far 399,370

Price Free

What's it really like? While you might enjoy the internet and all that it has to offer, it's not always suitable for kids. KidZui aims to change that by launching a kid friendly browser within Firefox that gives them a safe browsing experience, games, chat and the usual stuff. We especially like the fact that even though your kid has his/her own password, you can have access too. Big Brother eat your heart out.

Our rating

Link Get


YSlow

The pitch YSlow analyzes web pages and why they're slow based on Yahoo!'s rules for high performance web sites. YSlow uses Yahoo!'s Smush.it service, which is subject to Smush.it 

Who's it for? Programmers

Downloads so far 1,929,360

Price Free

What's it really like? YSlow looks to be all about improving the performance of web pages and works alongside the Firebug web development tool. Admittedly this one probably isn't for the average Firefox user, but if you're webmaster or into your programming then this could well be a handy little tool. Layout of all the info, such as page components and statistics, is nice with a simple drag interface placed at the bottom of the screen.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Xmarks Bookmark and Password Sync

The pitch Xmarks is the #1 bookmarking add-on. Keep your bookmarks, passwords and open tabs backed up and synchronized across computers and browsers. Search smarter with website ratings and reviews displayed with your search results.

Who's it for? Lazy people

Downloads so far 20,960,520

Price Free

What's it really like? If you're one of those people who struggles to keep track of all the sights, sounds and sites across the web then Xmarks could be a handy addition to your browser arsenal. You can back up, synchronise your data by setting up an Xmarks account and even access it through your mobile. Scoring different sites also seemed easy enough, with the option of sharing to giving you a star rating which appears at the bottom of the screen for the bookmarked site you're looking at.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Glue - Recommendations for Books/Movies/Music

The pitch Glue helps you find your next favourite movie, book, or music album. As you visit sites like Amazon, IMDB, and Wikipedia, Glue suggest things you'll like.

Who's it for? Shoppers

Downloads so far 2,727,783

Price Free

What's it really like? Glue actually works very well and will be just the thing (or perhaps not) if you're always looking for new stuff to buy or keep you from getting bored when surfing the web. By using your "likes" the add-on will make suggestions of other things you might be interested in, whether that be music, books or movies. It runs nicely within your browser and the Glue screen isn't too intrusive when it shows its face. As with most add-ons of this ilk sharing to Facebook and Twitter is very straightforward. As an example we told it that we liked Million Dollar Baby; and low and behold suggestions included Gran Torrino, for the Clint fan; and Raging Bull, for Boxing nuts.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


Delicious Bookmarks

The pitch Delicious Bookmarks is the official Firefox add-on for Delicious, the world's leading social bookmarking service (formerly del.icio.us). It integrates your bookmarks and tags with Firefox and keeps them in sync for easy, convenient access.

Who's it for? Explorers

Downloads so far 5,630,233

Price Free

What's it really like? To download this Delicious add-on you're really going to have to love the social bookmarking service as it takes up a good drop of you browser space. You can keep your bookmarks organised using tags and also access them from any computer, for an easy syncing experience. Although customisable, there's a little bit too much going on for our taste.

Our rating 7/10

Link Get


Shareaholic - For Google, Facebook, Twitter and more!

The pitch Shareaholic is the easiest way to share interesting webpages using Facebook, Twitter, Email, Gmail, Reader, Bookmarks, Buzz, Evernote, Bit.ly, and more... Works with 100+ services. This is the ultimate tool for the link sharing addict.

Who's it for? Social butterflies

Downloads so far 1,447,548

Price Free

What's it really like? This award winning app allows you to share websites that you like with people on your social networking sites. This looks like one of the better options for those into imposing their tastes on others, as it's got a pretty low browser-clutter factor and is a breeze to use.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


StumbleUpon

The pitch StumbleUpon helps you discover great websites that match your interests. Simply click the Stumble button and see the best websites. There are over 500 topics to choose from, and, the more you use it, the better your recommendations become!

Who's it for? Bored surfers

Downloads so far 14,937,578

Price Free

What's it really like? If you're a fan of a Kinder Egg then this might be for you as it's kind of like the web equivalent of a surprise every time. We quite liked this as it's less obtrusive than other similar add-ons, with a simple bar running across the top of the Firefox browser. Sharing is easy and it might add a little bit of zing to you internet experience.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


Cooliris

The pitch The Cooliris 3D Wall - The fastest and most stunning way to browse photos and videos from the Web or your desktop. Effortlessly scroll an infinite "3D Wall" of content from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Flickr, and more. Even watch TV shows & movies.

Who's it for? Photographers/anyone

Downloads so far 19,982,298

Price Free

What's it really like? Coolaris appears to be a fun way of watching vids from the Internet, as it creates a rather wacky "infinite 3D wall" for viewing them on. Content can be taken from all manner of different sources, but for our quick play we chose YouTube and watched a couple of Pocket-lint videos. The main advantage from this seems to be that, when you've found a topic you like, you don't have to keep navigating away and re-clicking on different posts. There's an air of the gimmick about it, but it's still quite a lot of fun and given time it could prove quite an appealing option. A word of warning however: go easy on that blue scroll bar at the bottom, as it's pretty sensitive and can make you feel queasy as the images scroll past.

Our rating 7/10

Link Get


Read It Later

The pitch Save pages to read later with just one click. When you have time, access your reading list from any computer or phone, even without an internet connection!

Who's it for? Busy people

Downloads so far 2,875,417

Price Free

What's it really like? Read it later, is for those of you who often come across content on the web (possibly during your working day) but don't have time to read it there and then. This add-on will allow you to save pages and catch up later. In our experience the app was decent and we especially liked the off-line mode as when on a train, for example, there's often no internet connection as well as time to kill. There's also a nice feature which allows you to strip the text away leaving the ads and website layout, giving a clear easy to read article.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


Reminder Fox

The pitch ReminderFox displays and manages lists of reminders and ToDo's. ReminderFox makes sure you remember all of your important dates via easy-to-use lists, alerts, and alarms, right in your browser without the need for a separate calendar program.

Who's it for? Busy people

Downloads so far 3,135,646

Price Free

What's it really like? To use ReminderFox just click on the icon in the bottom right corner and enter any important dates into the calendar, thereby avoiding any "in deep s**t" moments when you realise you've forgotten your anniversary or similar easy-to-forget event. Both simple and easy to use reminders will pop up in your browser, and features include handy repeat and follow-up functions.

Our rating 9/10

Link Get


Yoono - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Flickr, AIM, MSN, GTalk...

The pitch All your social networks and instant messaging in one easy to use app - it's the #1 downloaded social networking add-on for Firefox. Get all your updates, update your status and share across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube & more - all at once!

Who's it for? Social butterflies

Downloads so far 4,752,565

Price Free

What's it really like? Yoono aims to simplify all that social networking stuff we all love soooo much, by connecting your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Friendfeed, AIM, Yahoo IM - ad nauseum - in one sharing, caring place. It should mean that you never miss a status update, and also allow you to easily share photos and vids to all your online buddies. With a customisable UI and choice of skins the add-on works pretty well, although like Delicious it does take up a lot of browser real estate.

Our rating 8/10

Link Get


You

What are your favourite add-ons for Firefox? Let us know in the comments below.



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