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Build the perfect browser

Here are 46 great (and free) browser add-ons

By Erik Larkin
January 31, 2007 12:00 PM ET

PC World - Today's browsers are sophisticated and highly functional programs -- but they can become so much more. Here are 46 great (and free) add-ons for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 that offer safer browsing, easier site-sharing, improved searching, faster news-gathering and more.

Plus, we offer tips to help you manage add-ons in both apps without bogging down your browser. To download any extension listed in this story, jump to "Add-Ons for Downloading." For many more add-ons, visit Add-Ons for Internet Explorer or FirefoxAdd-ons.

Bookmarks and searching: Instant information access

Many browser add-ons automatically save your bookmarks online and allow you to reach them from any PC, or they synchronize all of your regular bookmarks among multiple systems. Some of the add-ons in this category also introduce better searching or sync your log-on information in multiple browsers -- and one even checks for spyware.

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer. An extension that focuses on performing one function exceptionally well, Foxmarks synchronizes your regular Firefox bookmarks between multiple computers. It has excellent setup options, too.

Yahoo Toolbar. One of this application's many features is the ability to create Web-based bookmarks (separate from your system-based bookmarks) that are accessible from any of your other browsers that have the tool bar installed. The applet also provides quick access to Yahoo Mail and other Yahoo services, and it includes a free Norton spyware scanner.

Google Toolbar. This program supports Web-based bookmarking in much the same way that Yahoo Toolbar does. It throws in a spell checker and a form autofilling feature, but overall it doesn't tie in with the panoply of available Google services as well as Yahoo Toolbar ties into the corresponding Yahoo universe.

1-Click Answers. With this add-on in place, you can right-click any word or phrase on a page and get a small pop-up with a definition or explanation from Answers.com. To turn off the annoying news pop-ups, change the appropriate setting in Preferences, which you can access via a system tray icon.

Google Browser Sync. Using this handy application, you can synchronize your choice of bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history and cookies among multiple browsers. If you have trouble getting the tool to sync your bookmarks properly (I often did), your best bet is to use this add-on for passwords and cookies and to use Foxmarks for bookmarks.

Inline Search. Inline Search adds a useful Firefox-like page-search bar to the bottom of your browser window when you click the hotkey.

Kikoz Bookmarks Pro. Create a bookmarks sidebar that can import all of your bookmarks from IE, Firefox and Opera and make them accessible from any IE7 browser that has the extension installed. You can also share your Kikoz bookmarks with other Kikoz users.

Reprinted with permission from PCWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 PC World Communications. All rights reserved.
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