If you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser, then surely you have used some extensions. Sometimes, you may have even done so without knowing it. Tons of useful online tools, including Grammarly and AdBlocker, are extensions, and if you’re a digital marketer, you know that most SEO applications are also installable extensions that make life a lot easier.
With all that said, it’s likely that you’ve never considered exactly what the extension’s definition is. Is an extension an application or another type of software? In this article, we will be answering that question and others that you might have regarding Google Chrome’s extensions.
Let’s get started.
What is the Definition of a Google Chrome Extension?
Essentially, Google Chrome’s extensions are software that can be installed into your browser in order to enhance its functionality. This includes adding new features or modifying ones that already exist in order to make it more user-friendly. Some examples of functionality that can be added through a Google Chrome extension include
- Blocking ads from getting displayed.
- Optimizing memory usage so that the browser runs more efficiently.
- Managing passwords.
- Checking grammar on writing you do in Chrome.
- Writing notes or to-do lists on Chrome.
- Making the browser more secure and protecting your privacy.
As you’ve already noticed, extensions offer quite a lot of extra features to your browser, and so they make it easier for you to perform simple tasks while using it. With that said, some developers make Google Chrome extensions that negatively impact the browser’s behavior and make its performance worse. For example, some hacker attacks include the installation of Chrome extensions without your permission and thus inject false ads and other malware into your computer. That’s why it’s a good idea to proactively check the extensions that are installed on your Google Chrome.
How Do You Use a Google Chrome Extension?
The easiest way to answer this question is by stating that it depends. Some Chrome extensions work in the background and perform tasks on their own, so you are using them without noticing. On the other hand, there are some extensions that will add options to the menu you get when you right-click on a website.
In most cases, however, you will see extensions as small icons on the right side of your address bar. You can click on these icons to access their functionalities or right-click them in order to alter their settings.
Where Can I Find Google Chrome Extensions to Install?
Some software developers offer extensions directly on their websites so that you can download them from there; however, the best place to download and install extensions is Chrome’s Web Store. Here you can find a variety of extensions: most free and some that you need to pay for before using them. You can find the extensions you need by simply searching for them using keywords, or alternatively, you can browse the categories on the site. With that said, it’s a good idea to be careful when installing extensions because the more extensions you have, the more strain you put on the browser. Therefore, only install the extensions you use and if you stop using some of them, make sure you uninstall them.
What Are Some of the Best Google Chrome Extensions?
Now that you know the Google Chrome extensions definition, it’s time to learn about some of the greatest ones you can add to your browser.
There are so many incredible Google Chrome extensions we will probably need at least five articles to list all of them. There are some that are so popular and so beneficial that you have to know all about them as they will enhance the functionality of your browser and make it more secure. Below you will find a shortlist of all our recommendations.
Last Pass: Password Manager
It’s a password manager extension that allows you to store your passwords for each of the sites you visit so that you don’t have to know them all. Thanks to it, you can think of the most complicated passwords and use them because you will avoid having to remember them by heart.
It’s an extension made by the Tor Project and EFF, and it automatically switches many sites from http to https, thus protecting you against all kinds of account hijacking and surveillance.
CryptUp: Encrypt Gmail with PGP
With this extension, you can easily send PGP encrypted emails through Gmail. It’s great software for anyone that is worried about people monitoring his or her communication.
It’s a widely used extension that blocks ads while supporting websites by not blocking unobtrusive ones by default.
It’s an extension manager that enables you to quickly disable or enable extensions depending on whether you use them or not. As already mentioned, you might not want to install too many extensions, and this app will make it easier for you to get rid of the ones you currently don’t use.
Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about Google Chrome’s extensions and gave you some ideas about useful ones you can install and use on your own computer.