Google Chrome certainly needs no introduction. Besides, we're looking at the world's most used browser, which in a relatively short time has managed to win the trust of millions of people out there. A success that is surely deserved, and that comes from multiple factors. First of all, it is a tool made by the Mountain View colossus, therefore highly publicized by what is one of the giants of the network. Moreover, it is particularly fast in loading pages and content, enjoys an attractive and intuitive user interface, and supports all the most advanced web standards.
Without considering that it is fully compatible with the main desktop and mobile platforms, for data and information always synchronized. Not only that, but we should not underestimate the high level of customization it offers, both in terms of aesthetics, through themes and icons, and functionality, thanks to the so-called extensions. It is precisely them that are the protagonists of this guide, in which we'll explore the best Chrome extensions to download to improve the user experience of the Google signature browser.
What are Google Chrome extensions
Before discovering together what are the best Chrome extensions to install, it is good to understand what are these valuable tools made available by Google itself and third-party manufacturers. To make it very simple, the extensions are small software programs that you install directly into the browser going to expand its functionality.
As preliminary information, it is important to realize that it is not necessary to install and use all the extensions available: indeed, the advice is to focus only on those really useful according to our needs, taking into account that each addon added to the browser involves an increase in system resources consumed in terms of RAM.
In addition, not all Chrome extensions are totally reliable, especially in terms of privacy. In fact, to work, they require specific permissions, which can be more or less advanced and have complete access to browsing data. It is therefore advisable to install components of this type only if we are 100% convinced of the goodness of their origin.
As you may have already figured out on your own, extensions produced directly by Google and other well-known companies are obviously to be considered reliable in most cases. The reliability of those made by independent developers should instead be verified based on the information available online. A possible way is to address ourselves to open source extensions, i.e. those whose source code is freely available to anyone who is capable of it.
Only in this way it is possible to analyze the functions and usefulness of individual tools, and together avert the presence of illegal purposes. To close, officially the extensions are only available for desktop versions of Google Chrome, therefore for Windows, macOS and Linux ones. Unfortunately, they cannot be used on the mobile incarnations of the Big G's browser.
The best extensions on Chrome
Having made the necessary premises, we can now dive into the universe of the best Chrome extensions. The ones that, in fact, are worth installing on your trusted web browser. As already mentioned, the recommendation is not to install them all, but to identify among those recommended the most suitable for our particular needs. The list below ranges from addons from different manufacturers and various features, which can make Google Chrome really more complete for each type of user.
Not only that, apart from the most popular ones, a space is dedicated to the less famous, but that can prove valuable allies during navigation. As a general rule, however, if we use an online service or application regularly, we can look for its name in the Chrome Web Store and download the official extension, if available.
LastPass - password manager
Of the best Chrome extensions, a password manager could not be missing. Among the many good services that offer similar functions, LastPass stands out in the masses, particularly effective for storing and hiding all our access data to the various sites we usually visit.
The objective of an addon of this type is to have available passwords for different accounts always different and difficult, which moreover will not have to be remembered by heart. In fact, LastPass itself will insert them for you, making your life easier and, above all, safer.
Everyone of us will have come across a site that is not safe to browse. To get around the problem, Google Chrome extensions include HTTPS Everywhere. The program allows you to force browsing on sites classified as unsafe, allowing the use of the safest version of the page of our interest, namely the one that uses the HTTPS protocol. The extension should always be left active in the background, and is very easy to download and install.
The Great Suspender
Among the various Chrome extensions, a very useful one is also The Great Suspender, designed for messy users. The addon, not surprisingly, turns out to be very valuable when we are used to browsing multiple tabs at once, thus using many resources of our device. The Great Suspender allows you to pause a tab and free up memory from loaded data. Of course, the extension lets us freely set its action time, while to resume normal browsing of the site you only need to reload the page or click directly on the pause icon.
Grammarly is not only a Chrome extension. In fact, the program is also available to everyone as a standalone application or as a direct service on the website. When used on Google Chrome, it goes and checks all the texts we write in English, correcting them for us. The most interesting aspect is that the correction is not only limited to the writing of a particular word, but on the entire text.
The addon will then propose to rephrase the sentence in a better way, giving it the correct sense and intonation. We can also choose the writing by changing the tone between formal, friendly or neutral, as well as selecting the writing with a classic British, American or Canadian English.
In the list of the best extensions for Chrome we must also mention Session Buddy, with which we can create a save of our web browsing session. This tool turns out to be very handy when all the tabs we have open on the browser are essential for our work. For example, we can save a browsing session while we do a particular search. Not only that, the addon has a system of synchronization and exporting a backup, so you can easily move these sessions to another computer.
Dark Reader is the right tool for those of us who appreciate the ability to browse in dark mode on any page you want. The extension is used to transform a web page and activate a manual dark mode. The operation is very simple and effective, with a very pleasant visual effect that does not interfere with those sites that already have a native dark mode, think of YouTube or the desktop version of Facebook. There is also room for customization by adjusting certain parameters such as contrast, brightness and grayscale.
Students, especially university students, will surely appreciate MyBib among the various extensions that can be downloaded from Google Chrome. Not surprisingly, the tool in question is indicated for those who need to carry out online research, quickly citing a site and adding it to the bibliography. Once the correct format has been selected, a formatted text will be created for you to copy and paste into your document.
Then let's move on to Hunter, dedicated to those who would like to contact the customer service of a site but can't find any references on the web. In the absence of contacts, the extension scans the web to identify all emails linked to that page. It doesn't work 100% on all sites, but it is effective in most situations, making our lives easier and avoiding a potentially fruitless search.
Among the best Chrome extensions created by Google is Picture-in-Picture Extension, which allows you to activate Picture-in-Picture, or PiP, mode for videos playing in the browser. This means that you can easily switch to other tabs or even other applications while continuing to see the video playing, in a smaller frame that you can conveniently move around on your screen.
User Agent Switcher
The Google Chrome extension called User Agent Switcher is useful when we want to make the site we're visiting believe that our browser is different from the one we're actually using. A very handy tool when there is a need to navigate in very old portals that allow perfect compatibility only with Internet Explorer, now shelved and replaced by the snappier Microsoft Edge.
Other Chrome extensions
To close the roundup of the best Chrome extensions, here are some other reliable and functional names. From OneTab, which allows you to group your open tabs into a single page to reopen them later, so as to limit the consumption of RAM by Google; passing by BlockSite, which allows you to block access to unwanted sites, and Video DownloadHelper, Chrome extension to download videos played on any web page; arriving then to Pushbullet, which allows you to exchange files with Android, receive notifications from your smartphone/tablet on your PC and respond to them directly from your computer.