Tags Posts tagged with "Internet"

Internet

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Have you moved to a new place recently and are now looking for a new broadband connection? Or perhaps you are unhappy with your ISP and are now looking to switch to a new one. There are many, many kinds of broadband service providers out there offering a vast array of broadband plans. Chances are, the perfect broadband plan for you is out there just waiting to be found. Finding it will, of course, take some work and research, but we think it will be worth your while in the end.

Your location will play a major role in the kind of broadband plans you have access to. In Australia, for example, the major types of broadband you have access to Naked Broadband, ADSL2+ and Mobile broadband – and each type has a distinct set of advantages. If you live in an urban area, you will have access to a greater variety of broadband plans than if you live in a remote area. But at the stage internet technology is at currently, you can probably expect a fast and reliable broadband connection no matter where you are.

If you’re looking for a new broadband plan, here’s a short guide to help you choose the right one:

Get the Right Type of Broadband

Your broadband plan should cater to your needs. ADSl2+ plans, for example, require you to have a phone line to work. This means that you will have to sign up for a phone line as well as the broadband plan at the same time. If you use your phone a lot, this might work out for you. However, if you need are on a budget and want broadband without the phone line, consider mobile broadband or Naked DSL.

Mobile (wireless) broadband is a good choice if you want mobility and want access to internet on the go. Mobile broadband may be slower and have higher latency than a wired connection, however. Mobile broadband, for example, isn’t good for playing online games because of high pings.

Naked DSL may be right for you if you don’t want to pay for a phone and want fast, stable internet. But what if you want to make phone calls? Some Naked DSL providers will let you make phone calls through VOIP. This means you get to make calls, but don’t have to pay a monthly rent for the phone line.

In Australia, iinet provides this kind of Naked DSL service.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider while deciding to opt for a new broadband connection.

Speed

how-to-choose-brodband-plan

How fast do you want your broadband to be? Fixed broadband is almost always faster than mobile broadband. ISPs often have faster plans for business owners because of their greater (more speed) needs. This makes business broadband plans more expensive than home broadband plans.

You can find out how fast your current broadband is by taking a speed test.

Data Usage

Your next consideration should be the amount of data you are going to consume per month. If you are a heavy user (you download lots of movies) or you have a big family, you will need a high volume data plan. The only way to find out how much data you need is by tracking your data usage over a period of months.

Contract Length

Are you going to stay where you are for a long time or will you move a lot? Some ISPs require you to sign a contract for a period of time, while some don’t. Signing up for a contract is usually much cheaper in the long run. Usually, the longer the contract the cheaper it is. If you’re commitment phobic, you may want to stay away from contracts.

Budget

How much are you willing to pay per month? Do you have to pay for the modem or will your ISP provide it? Read the fine print carefully and keep an eye out for additional costs, like installation fees.

Contract based plans will help you save money in the long run – you will be surprised at how much you end up saving. Some broadband providers will let you download more at night than during the day, so be on the lookout for that.

Finally…

The right broadband plan for you may, in fact, even be a combination of fixed broadband and mobile broadband. You can sign up for a high data fixed broadband plan and a low data mobile broadband plan. This will give you the benefits of both types of broadband and you will have a backup connection as well. Of course, only you can decide what the right broadband plan for you is!

 

 

Featured image: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Below we have included a list of applications that we have tested extensively and found to be of the highest quality. This collection is certainly not meant to serve as a comprehensive listing of the best software, but it focuses on a few of the applications we believe to be very high quality in their corresponding categories. Much like the list of recommended Firefox extensions, this collection is a live list, that will be adjusted over time.
 

Graphics

IrfanView

IrfanViewIrfanView is a free, small, and fast image viewer that can handle virtually any image file format (some require additional plugins). It offers an arsenal of image manipulation features (crop, resize, color adjustment, etc.), as well as a multitude of special features usually found only in expensive packages. There are too many to list here, but some of the best features include complete effects (sharpen, blur, etc.), paint capabilities (draw on images), desktop/window capturing, thumbnail viewer/creator, multimedia player, batch conversion (optional image processing), support for Adobe Photoshop filters, and many plugins available to add even more features.

 

Internet

AI RoboForm Pro

RoboFormAI RoboForm is a powerful, yet easy to use password manager and web form filler that automates password management and form filling. It can save passwords, log in to sites automatically, fill long registration and purchase forms with a single click, encrypt passwords for security, generate random passwords, and much more.

  • Website: Visit Official Site
  • Price: USD $29.95 (Free Version Also Available)
  • Developer: Siber Systems, Inc.

 

CuteFTP

CuteFTPCuteFTP is an intuitive application for transferring files between a PC and remote server via the FTP protocol. Features include an easy-to-use interface, connection wizard, automatic-transfer-resume functionality, Turbo Transfer, transfer queue, built-in HTML editor, advanced search capabilities, backup for a local machine to a remote server, directory comparison, custom commands, firewall and proxy support, path bookmarks, and filtered listings.

 

FeedDemon

FeedDemonFeedDemon is a free, easy-to-use RSS feed reader that makes it quick and convenient to stay up-to-date with the latest news and information. The software is highly customizable, including the way feeds are organized and displayed. Custom news watches based on keywords can be setup, and podcasts can be easily transferred to portable audio devices.

 

Group Mail Business Edition

Group Mail Business EditionGroup Mail Business Edition is a feature-rich, powerful, and flexible email marketing application that allows users to send bulk email with ease. Options are provided to ensure rapid mailing as well as address validation, group merging and purging, backup, Habeas support, and more.

 

Mozilla Firefox

FireFoxFirefox has now become established as an exceptional web browser. Due primarily to its extension capabilities, we highly recommend use of Firefox. In addition to the comprehensive extension support, Firefox also offers fast browsing, browser tabs, pop-up blocking, advanced privacy and security, smart searching, and more.

 

Mozilla Thunderbird

ThunderBirdMozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail, newsgroup, and RSS feed client that offers a simple solution for online communication and information retrieval. The software is also highly customizable and expandable via a massive collection of available extensions.

 

MozyPro

MozyProMozyPro is a software/service combination that provides secure, enterprise-level online backup via a highly customizable, powerful, yet easy to use software application.

 

NewsBin Pro

NewsBin ProNewsBin is a multi-threaded news robot that automatically downloads and decodes binary posts from Usenet newsgroups. The software takes full advantage of high-bandwidth Internet connections with multiple, simultaneous connections to news server(s). NewsBin offers resume functionality to recover from lost connections. It can also reassemble multi-part posts across multiple servers and provides a thumbnail display when downloading images. Additional features available include Internet and local search, built-in RAR file handling, SSL support, NZB message ID file support, and advanced connection management. The settings are a bit daunting, but once configured, it provides the very best solution for binary newsgroup access.

 

PocoMail

PocoMailPocoMail is a powerful email client that offers many useful features, such as strong spam filtering, flexible message editing, and ultra-fast search capabilities. PocoMail’s greatest strengths are PocoScript, the advanced filtering capabilities, events, and Message Templates. PocoScript allows for pre- and post-processing incoming and outgoing mail in virtually any way imaginable. It also store a message in a temporary file for processing by an external application, and notify upon completion. Filtering allows messages to be processing in many different ways based on any defined criteria, such as directed into different folders based on the recipient email address. Message Templates are pre-defined blocks of text that can be quickly and easily inserted into messages via a context menu or hotkey, which is very useful when you have to reply to the same questions a lot of send repetitive bits of information. The text inserted can be customized before sending, of course, to more closely fit any particular case.

 

Trillian Pro

TrillianTrillian is a full-featured, skinnable IM client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, IRC, and Jabber/GTalk (via a plugin). It offers features that are not possible with original network clients, while supporting standard capabilities, such as file transfers, audio chat, group chat, chat rooms, buddy icons, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connection (AIM), proxy support, encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ), SMS support, tabbed chatting, system-tray notifications and alerts, and privacy settings.

  • Website: Visit Official Site
  • Price: USD $25.00 (Free Version Also Available)
  • Developer: Cerulean Studios

 

Multimedia

AnyDVD

AnyDVDAnyDVD is a Microsoft Windows driver that provides decryption of DVDs on-the-fly, as well as targeted removal of copy prevention and UOP. AnyDVD runs in the background, making discs unrestricted and region-free. In addition to removing digital restrictions, AnyDVD also handles Macrovision analog copy prevention.

 

Blaze Media Pro

Blaze Media ProBlaze Media Pro is a powerful all-in-one audio and video converter for CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, MOV, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, etc.; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio, video, data CD/DVD burner for DVD, VCD, and SVCD; and more.

 

ChrisTV PVR Professional

ChrisTV PVR ProfessionalChrisTV PVR Professional is a highly configurable TV/video capture and PVR application that provides high quality image and sound output. The software supports all TV cards based on the BT8x8, Philips SAA713x, and Conexant CX2388x chipsets as well as TV cards with MPEG hardware encoder functionality. A few of the supported devices include the Hauppauge PVR series, Leadtek PVR2000, and ATI TV Wonder cards, and it also works with Web cams and graphic cards. Features include multi-tuner support, time-shifting, advanced recording settings, advanced scheduler, recording profiles, FM radio support, channel autoscan and fine tuning, support for the DScaler deinterlace DirectShow filter, and zoom functionality. ChrisTV can also broadcast your favorite TV shows, movies, and radio stations to friends through local networks and the Internet. ChrisTV supports MPEG-1/2 and AVI recording (using any audio/video codecs).

 

Replay Media Catcher

Replay Media CatcherReplay Media Catcher is a streaming video and audio/music downloader that allows users to easily download virtually any type of online video, including YouTube video. It can also capture streaming MP3 files, automatically name and tag songs and video files, edit and change MP3 tags, extract MP3 tracks from FLV video files, and more. Recording can be performed with a single click.

 

Replay Video Capture

Replay Video CaptureReplay Video Capture is an easy-to-use screen capture application that creates high-quality videos from anything you can see on your PC screen, including website content, any streaming video protocol, DVDs, Webcam sites, PowerPoint presentations, Skype video conversations, video chat sessions, and more.

 

TMPGEnc Xpress

TMPGEnc XpressTMPGEnc XPress offers video conversion for many formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX, AVI, QuickTime, MPEG 4-ISO, H.264, DVD-Video, DVD-VR, HDV camcorder, and Blu-ray discs. The powerful software provides features for cutting and extracting video selections as well as video filtering and effects. TMPGEnc XPress will also be among the first video encoders to utilize GPU acceleration.

 

Productivity

OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.orgOpenOffice.org is an open source productivity suite that serves as a replacement for Microsoft Office. It contains the same basic feature-set, but saves you hundreds of dollars since it is free. With that being said, OpenOffice.org does not include the grammar checking, macros, and a replacement for Microsoft Outlook. However, it does offer PDF output, Writer macros (Writer’s own macro and scripting feature), smaller file size documents than Microsoft Office, and simplicity. The suite includes Writer (replacement for Word), Calc (replacement for Excel), Impress (replacement for PowerPoint), Base (replacement for Access), Draw (replacement for Visio), and Math (replacement for Equation Editor).

 

Utilities

Autoruns

AutorunsAutoRuns displays the programs that are configured to run during system bootup or login. These programs include those in the startup folder, Services, Run, RunOnce, and other registry keys. Users can highlight a startup item and click the "jump to" button to launch Regedit at the location the selected entry is specified. In addition to startup programs, Autoruns also displays a list of Services, scheduled tasks, Winsock providers, Internet Explorer BHOs, and more that can all be enabled/disabled with ease. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are both available.

 

CCleaner

CCleanerCCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool that removes unused files from your system, which allowing Windows to run faster and frees up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities, such as Internet history. Additionally, it contains a full-featured registry cleaner. The tool is fast and easy to use.

 

CPU-Z

CPU-ZCPU-Z is a handy tool that provides quick, convenient access to a load of information about your system. Information available includes CPU details (name and model, core stepping and process, package, core voltage, internal and external clocks and clock multiplier, supported instruction sets, cache information), motherboard details (vendor, model, and revision, BIOS model and date, northbridge and southbridge chipset and sensor, graphic interface), memory (frequency and timings, module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect): vendor, serial number, timings table), system (Windows and DirectX versions), and more.

 

Dependency Walker

Dependency WalkerDependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, scr, sys, etc.) and displays all of its dependent modules. For each dependency located, the application lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more. Dependency Walker is very useful for troubleshooting applications that will not start or system errors related to loading and executing modules. Dependency Walker detects many common application problems such as missing DLLs, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, etc.

 

Directory Opus

Directory OpusDirectory Opus (DOpus) is an extremely powerful and highly customizable file manager application that features single or dual-panel display, folder tree (either shared or two separate for dual-display), tabbed explorer panels, built-in ZIP and RAR processing (browse files as if they were folders), built-in FTP support (can be browsed in the same fashion as local folders), built-in image viewer, comprehensive file selection and renaming tools (with advanced regex support), configurable toolbars, menus, file types, and file type groups, preview panel and thumbnail previews (including video), and file collections (virtual folders that contain links to the original files, but allow direct access to the source files. Directory Opus can replace Windows Explorer, including Windows shell connections.

 

EVEREST Ultimate Edition

EVEREST Ultimate EditionEVEREST Ultimate Edition is an advanced benchmarking and diagnostics tool that helps users maximize security, performance, and trouble-shooting capabilities for home and home office PC environments, PC Professionals, and consulting firms. It offers comprehensive system information as well as system stability testing and more.

 

Foxit Reader

Foxit ReaderFoxit Reader is a free, light-weight PDF reader that is quick to load and easy to use, without sacrificing features. Foxit Reader offers annotations, text conversion, privacy and security options, bookmarking, multi-tab support, callouts and text boxes, commenting, rulers and guides, magnifier, automatic scrolling, and more.

 

HWMonitor

CPUID Hardware Monitor HWMonitor is a handy tool that provides comprehensive information and monitoring for the CPU, motherboard, video card, memory modules, hard drives, and more. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are both available.

 

Process Explorer

Microsoft Process ExplorerProcess Explorer is a free Windows Task Manager replacement that offers features above and beyond the standard Windows utility. It can be set to show much more information about running processes, such as start time, file version, window title, the .dll’s they have loaded, highlighting (such as for distinguishing services), and much more.

 

Remind-Me

Remind-MeRemind-Me is a simple, easy-to-use tool that is designed to store and present reminders of important events before they pass. Remind-Me handles holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and any custom event (one-time or reoccurring). The software’s interface is shown in the form of a list or traditional calendar. Reminders can be shown when the computer starts or any pre-defined time. Remind-Me can play a custom sound or send email when a scheduled time is reached. The program is customizable to function the way the user wants. The program minimizes to the system tray so that it functions constantly, out of the way.

 

TweakUI

TweakUITweak UI is a free user interface customization application released by Microsoft to help with customizing the Windows operating system. Although it is not supported by Microsoft, Tweak UI offers a more convenient way to adjust settings that would otherwise require manual registry editing. Most significantly, the software enables users with older, slower systems to turn off components of the operating system, such as menu fading, drop shadows, and cursor shadows to improve performance. Tweak UI also includes many features for customizing the way various aspects of the Windows interface function, such as the taskbar, desktop, and start menu. The program also allows users to move the location of special folders in Windows, such as My Documents, Music, and Pictures, as well as other system folders. It also offers tools that help users repair components of the Windows operating system, such as icons, hotkeys, the font folder, and file extension associations. Tweak UI can be used to disable AutoPlay on one or more drives as well. Tweak UI provides the capability to set up Xmouse for those familiar with the X Window System.  Note:  This tool is for use with Windows XP.  It is not designed for Windows Vista.

 

Type Pilot

Type PilotType Pilot is a simple tool that helps users input frequently used text quickly and easily via a pre-defined trigger word. Once the trigger word is typed, Type Pilot automatically replaces it with the corresponding phrase or paragraph. Type Pilot is useful for writing standard phrases, such as signatures, email addresses, URLs, phone numbers, addresses, frequently used sentences, letter templates, etc. The program will work with any text editor. The software’s tree-like interface structure makes it easy to keep information organized.

 

VMWare Workstation

VMWare WorkstationVMware Workstation is a virtual machine software suite for x86 and x86-64 based computers that allows users to setup multiple x86 and x86-64 virtual computers for application usage, software testing, or any other operation where it is practical to have a fresh system to use or a system at a certain state. Each virtual machine can be configured with its own guest operating system, hardware components, disk space, RAM capacity, etc. In short, VMware Workstation allows one physical machine to run multiple operating systems simultaneously with any desired hardware configurations and software installed. It is also easy to revert a virtual machine back to a previously saved state.

 

Web Development

Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe DreamweaverAdobe Dreamweaver is an industry-leading web development tool that provides users with an intuitive interface for web page design and maintenance, but also allows access to advanced features and the latest technologies for those that want to utilize them.

 

HTML Search and Replace

HTML Search and ReplaceHTML Search and Replace is a handy, powerful tool for webmasters (or anyone that needs search and replace functionality within text files of any format) that offers advanced search capabilities and the option to replace any amount of text in multiple documents with ease. Folders can be processed, with or without subfolders included. The software includes a built-in offline browser for previewing files before and after adjustments and an internal editor with HTML syntax highlighting.

 

Web Site Promotion

Advanced Web Ranking

Advanced Web RankingAdvanced Web Ranking is a search engine keyword ranking, analyzing, and research tool that helps web site owners determine current rankings for any number of web sites. The software also functions as a link popularity analyzer, assists with manual submission to over 400 search engines, and helps users find relevant link partners.

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Many of you here are either involved with the marketing of a web site for another company or operate a web site or blog of your own.  For either case, being able to immediately see if a page is cached by Google would be invaluable.  That’s exactly what the Google Cache Checker extension for Firefox offers.

Gadget Advisor is proud to offer the free Google Cache Checker extension for Firefox.  The extension is lightweight, and high performance, residing conveniently in the statusbar.  It displays a checkmark icon if the current page is Google cached. If it is not, the extension displays a red X.  This makes it very quick and convenient to see if a page is Google indexed. For example, if you’re visiting a directory to see about submitting, you can see if the page you’re going to be submitting into is indexed. Or, pages for advertising, etc. Firefox Extension to Check Page for Google Cache

If you would like to post about the Google Cache Checker extension, please do not host the extension file on another server.  Instead, link to this page for downloading.

Download the Extension Here (original version for best performance)
Download the Extension Here (version that features cache date on tooltip)

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Firefox Web Directory Form Filler ExtensionAs we have previously noted in the best Firefox extensions article, we are now providing free access to the powerful web directory form filler extension for Firefox.  It is being made available free here exclusively (the extension sells normally for $150).  If you would like to post about it, please do not host the extension file on another server.  Instead, link to this page for downloading.

Whether you’re a long-time web directory submitter, or just getting started, web directory submission can be a benefit for any business’ web site (or any web site, for that matter).

While we highly recommend AI RoboForm for any other task, it can be frustrating to setup and inadequate (especially for deep links) for web directory submission.  This extension is specifically designed for web directory submission.  It saves enormous amounts of time by quickly and easily completing web directory form submissions with a single click (no typing required).  The extension also features convenient submission management via a sidebar submitters can use to stay organized.  When you come to a new directory, add it to the sidebar, and mark your submissions as complete as you go.  The extension is proven to be a massive time-saver, and helps tremendously in staying organized. Main title rotation, category support, and category filtering are all supported. The extension fully supports deep links, with deep link title rotation as well as cycling of deep links to prevent the same ones being used on forms with less fields than the number of deep links entered.  If you come to a form that is not properly detected, simply right click in the text fields to assign the correct values.  Those definitions will be remembered for future submission to the directory.

Although this demonstration is not up-to-date with the very latest version of the form filler extension, it does provide an excellent guide for getting started and usage.  If you should have any questions/comments or need help, do not hesitate to let us know.
 

Download the Extension Here

Update: Please check out another cool list of Best Firefox Extensions

The smartest decision Mozilla made when building the Firefox browser was the robust extension support. The extensive collection of extensions now available are the key to its success and a prominent factor in what makes the browser great. As most of you know, extensions are browser addons that build on the functionality of the Firefox browser. It can be as simple as adding toolbar buttons, or as complex as a complete application, such as a RSS feed reader. Extensions enable Firefox to be customized to meet individual needs and preferences.

We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the best extensions for Firefox. When evaluating extensions for recommendation, not only do we consder the functionality and features of the extension, but we also test to ensure it works well with all the other extensions we recommend. This has been a lengthy evaluation in which we have taken great care to recommend high quality extensions that serve a useful purpose. The recommended extensions will also be updated on an ongoing basis. Therefore, be sure to check back for updates periodically.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus does an exceptional job of blocking ads and annoying content in pages. It is very customizable and can also easily eliminate any desired elements of a page on command. A complete subscription-based, automatic update solution is available for the block list, free of charge, as well as the ability to setup custom block lists. The only downside about Adblock Plus is that on occassion, it can also result in a page not displaying as designed, often ommitting necessary content. However, it is easy to either disable Adblock Plus temporarily or set it to always be disabled on certain sites only.

 

Adsense Notifier

Adsense Notifier

If you operate one or more web sites, chances are that you are currently or have in the past used AdSense for web site revenue. If you're currently using AdSense, the Adsense Notifier extension is very handy. It provides quick, convenient access to the revenue for the date range of interest. It can be set to show the revenue for the follow ranges: Today, Past 7 Days, This Month, All Time, Yesterday, Two Days Ago, Last Month, This week, Last Week, Last Business Week, and Since Last Payment.

 

AI RoboForm

AI RoboForm

As we have mentioned before, we're big fans of AI RoboForm. If you use RoboForm for web form filling, site logins, and/or password management, be sure to use the extension for Firefox.

 

Always Remember Password

By default, when a web site instructs the browser to never allow a password manager to retain the login information, Firefox will honor this. However, if your PC is not accessible to others, it can be very handy to have these passwords saved. This extension will enable passwords to be saved on any site, including Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and banking sites. Note: This extension was not updated for later versions of Firefox by the author. We have modified the extension so that it will work flawlessly with the current version of Firefox.

 

AutoAuth

AutoAuth

When your password has been saved for a HTTP authentication dialog, using this extension will cause the login to occur automatically, without you have to click the OK button on the dialog.

 

Converter

Converter

The Converter Firefox extension offers unit conversion from any page. For example, if a page contains the text "15 m", you can select it, and right click. It will show the length in yards and feet. The extension supports a wide range of unit conversions.

 

Copy Link Text

Copy Link Text

When you right click a link in Firefox, it shows an option called "Copy Link Location", which is very handy for copying the URL of a link. Likewise, the Copy Link Text extension adds an option called Copy Link Text. When you right click a link, and select the option, the anchor text of that link is copied to the clipboard. This is a quicker method than selecting the text and then copying, plus it works on sites that block copying normally.

 

Download Statusbar

Download Statusbar

Instead of showing a dialog for your downloads, this extension includes downloads conveniently in the Firefox statusbar. Downloads can be easily paused/resumed; double click a download to run it; right click for an option to open the containing folder; download speed display; and much more. The extension's options also provide the ability to automatically clear files of certain extensions from the bar to keep it tidy, such as files that open automatically.

 

ErrorZilla Mod

ErrorZilla Mod

We have not been using this extension for very long, and do not have a lot of experience with it yet, but what we have seen of it seems quite handy. When a page fails to load in Firefox, ErrorZilla Mod will show options for "Try Again," "Google Cache," "Coralize," "Wayback," "Ping," "Trace," and "Whois", which can be used to gain access to the page, even with the site down or access information about the site.

 

Fireshot

Fireshot

The Fireshot extension makes taking a screen shot of a web page a snap. Even if entire page is not visible, Fireshot can still capture the entire page. If you prefer, it can also capture just the visible area of a page. With a single click, Fireshot can capture the page and upload, copy, mail, print, or open the file for editing (in the internal editor or an external editor of choice). The internal editor provides the ability to add shapes, pointers, text, another image, or draw on the image.

 

Flagfox

Flagfox

The Flagfox extension shows a flag icon for the country in which the current web site is hosted in the statusbar or address bar. A tooltip is provided that also offers the name of the country, in case the flag is not familiar. The extension uses an IP address database rather than relying on the top-level domain. When the flag icon is clicked, GeoTool will be loaded, which provides a location map, as well as information on the ISP, city, IP address, local time, country code, region, postal code, and more.

 

Google Cache Checker

Google Cache Checker

The Google Cache Checker Firefox extension automatically checks visited pages to determine if the current page is Google cached. The result is immediately shown conveniently in the browser statusbar. This extension is available exclusively from Gadget Advisor.

 

Highlander

When you click a link to a URL that’s already open in another Firefox tab, the Highlander extension will cause the already opened tab to be focused, rather than duplicating the URL in a new tab.

 

IE View Lite

IE View Lite

The IE View Lite extension provides a context menu item for opening the current page in IE. The extension also has the ability to enter sites that will always open in IE. It can close the tabs for pages being opened in IE automatically, and send any additional parameters to the of the page to the Internet Explorer EXE. As much as we like Firefox, every once in a while, we run into a page that will not work properly in Firefox, which makes this extension handy.

 

Navigational Sounds

Navigational Sounds

When this extension is enabled, Firefox will play the Windows OS start and end navigation sounds when pages start and finish loading (the "click" from IE when a page navigation begins).

 

Nightly Tester Tools

Nightly Tester Tools

We recommend this extension only for those who are experienced or desperate. If you've been using Firefox for a while and use a number of extensions, you have no doubt experienced the anguish of an extension no longer working after a Firefox update. Even worse is when the extension's developer decides not to update it anymore. This extension can be used to force extensions to work with the new Firefox version. Most extensions will work normally with minor Firefox updates (some even work properly after major version upgrades), and you can always disable an extension again if needed. However, we do recommend being careful when using this extension, nonetheless.

 

Oldbar

Oldbar

For those who dislike the new "AwesomeBar" introduced with Firefox 3, the oldbar extension will cause Firefox to maintain the familiar address bar from earlier versions of Firefox. The browser will still benefit from the enhanced autocomplete algorithm of Firefox 3, but with the appearance of Firefox 2.

 

OpenBook

OpenBook

The OpenBook Firefox extension provides customization for the Add Bookmark dialog, including the ability to automatically open the bookmarks tree and resize the Add Bookmark dialog.

 

SearchStatus

SearchStatus

The SearchStatus extension provides extensive search-related information about visited web sites, including Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, Compete.com ranking, Alexa incoming links, Alexa related links, and backward links from Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The key information is all presented conveniently in one discreet and compact area, with the remaining data available via a right-click. The information displayed is also customizable. For example, if the Compete.com ranking is not inportant to you, it can be easily disabled, thus making more room available.

 

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus is a very robust extension that enhances Firefox's tab browsing functionality. It provides options for controlling tab focus, link opening, many new tab display capabilities, tab clicking behavior, undo closed tabs and windows (as well as a list of previously closed tabs), advanced session management, and much more.

 

Text Link

Text Link

The Text Link extension enables URLs that are not linked on web pages to be easily launched via a double click. Settings are also provided that enable URLs to be executed with different key and/or mouse combinations.

 

WeatherBug

WeatherBug

The WeatherBug extension provides quick access to local weather conditions and forecasts. Icons representing forecast are shown in the statusbar, and more information is available via tooltips for the icons. The current temperature (or other information) can also be shown directly on the statusbar. The data presented as well as its placement is highly configurable.

 

Web Directory Form Filler

Web Directory Form Filler

The Web Directory Form Filler is a web form filling extension that is similar in functionality to AI RoboForm, except that it is designed specifically for use in submitting to web directories. It is feature-rich and easy to use. The extension features title rotation, deep link support, and even deep link title rotation. The sidebar also provides exceptional submission management.

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Opera has today released the 9.6 version of the desktop web browser software.  The web browser is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac based computers, with 38 localized versions.

The new version offers numerous new features, including the Opera Link tool, which synchronizes browser bookmarks and options among different computers and/or operating systems, as well as visual previews for RSS feeds.  The email client boasts a new highly optimized "low bandwidth mode" and message prioritizing.

Opera’s speed has also been increased from the previous version, offering an experience similar to that of Firefox 3, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer 8 beta.  Opera 9.6 can be downloaded here.

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After an extensive review of online backup services, we have concluded that Mozy Pro is the all-around winner for those serious about online backup protection.  Criteria for this evaluation included data transfer speed, software features, service capabilities, etc.

While Mozy also offers an unlimited home service plan, we do not suggest it for most due to the capped transfer speed and one problem that was experienced with the home-level service.

Intronis eSureIT is the runner-up in our testing.  While their software is capable, and the service offers some very interesting features, such as Intelliblox and multiple PC backup support, higher pricing, slower transfer speeds, and the fact that revisions count against the disk space quota cause Mozy Pro to come out on top.  We have also reported a few suggestions to Intronis regarding usability enhancements that should be made to the software.

IDrive deserves mention.  The IDrive software is excellent, and the service works flawlessly for small backups.  However, we encountered serious problems when backing up a large collection of files, such as icons or fonts.  IDrive provides very attractive pricing.  If the issue mentioned above were resolved, we could easily see IDrive moving into the top position.

The only downside we have noticed with Mozy Pro is a delay which often occurs when transitioning between files for upload and download operations.  The delay can sometimes be frustrating, but in tests, the overall speed of Mozy Pro still beats the competition.

Update:  Please see the comments for an evaluation of the ElephantDrive backup service.

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