Google Chrome is the most-used Web browser worldwide, according to Stat Counter. That's thanks to its swift performance, a clean interface and easy syncing with mobile devices. But this browser also benefits from plenty of useful extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. Here are the best extensions. Note: Extensions can slow down your browser, so make sure you stick to what you think will be most useful.
Data compression for more efficient browsing isn't exactly something new, as it's being built in to some browsers like Opera. Now Chrome users can also enjoy bandwidth savings with Google's Data Saver extension, a free Chrome add-on that uses Google's servers to compress website data before sending it's displayed, which can lead to large data savings. Users can look up further details as to how much data they're saving and consuming over time. As a security measure, pages accessed through HTTPS or Chrome's incognito mode are left uncompressed.
Google's cloud storage platform, Google Drive, offers reasonably good online storage and great integration with the rest of Google's other products and services such as the Chrome browser. Save to Google Drive is a simple extension that allows users to save images, webpages and HTML 5 audio and video straight to their Google Drive online storage through the right-click contextual menu or browser action. Users can configure the format and location that data is saved to and can open saved files afterward.
Link shorteners are an online convenience, making it simpler to deal with clunky URLs. They're also a bit of a security risk, as a shortened link can take you who knows where. Unshorten.link is a Chrome extension that takes you to an in-between page when you click on a shortened link, displaying the URL where the link shortener is redirecting you to, as well as warning you of any known associated malware and tracking cookies.
Turn Chrome's New Tab Page into a productivity center with Taco, a Chrome extension that pulls your incoming tasks and notifications from more than 40 Web tools and services. Taco works with a variety of services, such as Trello, Asana, Todoist, webmail, Google Tasks and iCloud. Users can then drag and drop to organize the tasks list, mark tasks as done and hide notifications. It's a great way to see everything you need to do in one convenient page.
Where Taco pulls in resources from dozens of web services and tools, Ultidash instead focuses on adding its own suite of productivity tools to Chrome. Ultidash is a New Tab page replacement that adds a to-do list in basic and Eisenhower box forms, as well as a website blocker (for, say, restricting your access to social media or entertainment sites) that's tied to a Pomodoro-style timer. A site tracker shows you how much time you've spent on particular websites over time, while a chart shows your use of the "concentration timer." The package is rounded out with some neat photos and greeting quotes that cycle every hour, as well as a four-day weather forecast.
Any.do is one of our favorite cross-platform to-do list apps, and the Chrome add-on lets you seamlessly sync your tasks and checklists to and from your mobile devices and your desktop. Users can create new lists and reminders, easily organize with a drag-and-drop interface, add notes, share tasks and more, all from your browser and synced across all your devices.
Viral media sites, social networks and other online pastimes can quickly eat through time that you could be spending on something productive. Strict Workflow is a productivity app that takes inspiration from the popular Pomodoro method by setting up a 25-minute countdown during which the extension automatically blocks known time sinks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Once the timer is done, you get a 5-minute break with unlimited access, after which the cycle repeats again. Once you start the countdown, there's no way to shut it off. You can tweak the blacklist or whitelist, as well as configure the duration and other settings.