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Browsers and Add-Ons


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#1 Castle Robin

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 06:07 PM

From your own experiences, which are the best/worst browsers and add-ons?

 

Which good and bad aspects do you find in them, eg level of or lack of safety, security, privacy, privacy policies, number and level of customising, etc?

 

Which browsers have (the most) add-ons?

 

At least Firefox, Lunascape, Opera, Chrome, Internet Explorer and third-party custom equivalents of them (especially relating to Firefox) have a variable number of add-ons, depending on the browsers in question.   

 

Are there any signs that give away or that we should look out for that determine which browsers and add-ons are dangerous?

 

I don’t yet know of any conclusively rogue browsers, but I sadly have no doubt that, like other types of software, there will be bad browsers and add-ons around that appear genuine on the surface but install hidden malware and/or spyware and other parasites.

 

As to add-ons, this is a very grey area.  Not all add-on developers have their own web sites, which may or may not amount to anything bad in their software, and only a selected number including Ghostery give users the opportunity to change options.  Although no guarantee of ensuring safety, a good number of positive reviews against negative can often help in determining which software is safe to use or best to avoid, and some add-ons are also downloadable directly from their own web sites.

 

I don’t know if add-ons that have say a "Coupons Helper" and “Play Strategy Games” in the menu (by right clicking on its icon), which must be pre-installed and which also exist as separate add-ons or equivalents, eg “Free Games”, are safe, as I've never literally sought any downloads with coupons and games (these also exist as separate add-ons), but these are some of the many aspects that relate to browsers and add-ons.



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#2 JayJax

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:42 PM

Internet Explorer is a pain, so much of a pain that I decided to remove it AGAIN - after enough time passed that I had forgotten why I removed it a year or two ago.   It quickly began giving me problems and their options menu is for the most part indecipherable.  Firefox is fairly straight forward though its not as good as it could be.    Safari has crummy preferences/tools as well and its hard to navigate and fix its appearance which the way it is makes it hard to figure out exactly where you are as to tabs and stuff.

 

There are some good add-ons and then there are some horrible ones.

 

One I recently got and regretted was Blue Something - it was to keep out unwanted ads and stuff but it came with lots of issues and interferences with my other stuff - I believe it was a Firefox add-on but not sure.    It came with "invisible" stuff add/ons to their add-ons which hijacked my browser, etc.

 

I downloaded Opera recently and I'm going to give t another try - maybe its better than the last time I used it.

 

I like Firefox best but there are some things I would change.   It isnt effectively blocking cookies of the sites I specify.

 

I could go on and on forever but so far Firefox is the most user friendly/functional in appearance and design.

 

I really wish they would get a good product and then leave it alone.   They are always "upgrading" and "improving" - often screwing up a good product at the same time.

 

I like Dropbox.

 

Ghostery is helpful somewhat but it blocks sites and its not as easy as you might think to get them functioning again.

 

Screenshotter is a good screen capture.   I've had problems in the past with being able to find out where the image is after I capture it but Screenshotter, after using it, gives you a link that takes you right to the image so no fumbling around searching.

 

I'm about to try Nitro PDF Plug-in on Firefox and Chrome and I'll let you know how it works.

 

Keyword Search on Firefox quickly became annoying and I disabled it.

 

If anybody knows of any PDF products that are no charge that will let you convert PDF's to text I'm interested.

 

 



#3 JayJax

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

Internet Explorer is a pain, so much of a pain that I decided to remove it AGAIN - after enough time passed that I had forgotten why I removed it a year or two ago.   It quickly began giving me problems and their options menu is for the most part indecipherable.  Firefox is fairly straight forward though its not as good as it could be.    Safari has crummy preferences/tools as well and its hard to navigate and fix its appearance which the way it is makes it hard to figure out exactly where you are as to tabs and stuff.

 

There are some good add-ons and then there are some horrible ones.

 

One I recently got and regretted was Blue Something - it was to keep out unwanted ads and stuff but it came with lots of issues and interferences with my other stuff - I believe it was a Firefox add-on but not sure.    It came with "invisible" stuff add/ons to their add-ons which hijacked my browser, etc.

 

I downloaded Opera recently and I'm going to give t another try - maybe its better than the last time I used it.

 

I like Firefox best but there are some things I would change.   It isnt effectively blocking cookies of the sites I specify.

 

I could go on and on forever but so far Firefox is the most user friendly/functional in appearance and design.

 

I really wish they would get a good product and then leave it alone.   They are always "upgrading" and "improving" - often screwing up a good product at the same time.

 

I like Dropbox.

 

Ghostery is helpful somewhat but it blocks sites and its not as easy as you might think to get them functioning again.

 

Screenshotter is a good screen capture.   I've had problems in the past with being able to find out where the image is after I capture it but Screenshotter, after using it, gives you a link that takes you right to the image so no fumbling around searching.

 

I'm about to try Nitro PDF Plug-in on Firefox and Chrome and I'll let you know how it works.

 

Keyword Search on Firefox quickly became annoying and I disabled it.

 

If anybody knows of any PDF products that are no charge that will let you convert PDF's to text I'm interested.

 

 



#4 Castle Robin

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 11:06 AM

I've also found this with Internet Explorer.  I've read at some point that this browser can leave computers wide open to attack, even if the browser isn't used.  I don't know how accurate or way off that information is, but most malware creators and hackers, etc target this browser, so I avoid it altogether except on the rare occasions I try to visit sites that only work in Explorer.

 

As far as I know, the Lunascape browser (which includes Internet Explorer as one of its three engines) incorporates the original, not custom built versions of Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.  I've not yet used it, but it's one of the most popular browsers around.

 

Since I started using Firefox and more recently deriratives of it, I've also found it to be the best browser. 

 

Another alternative browser is the up and coming Otter, which may also have add-ons available to install when it's fully developed.

 

http://otter-browser.org/

 

I tend to be cautious about add-ons, avoiding ones that have very negative reviews, but even then, how safe they all are is difficult to determine.  I removed one recently because it suddenly blocked my access to Bleepingcomputer, unless I used Internet Explorer.  The same add-on had been reported as affecting another user's settings.

 

You might be thinking of one of the "Blue" add-ons in this link:

 

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=blue+firefox+addon

I can't find the "Blue" add-on you're referring to, but if I do, I'll assume it's the one you had problems with and not install it.

 

Firefox will become Australis in April.  If you like it, it will look similar to Google Chrome.  If you don't, there will be Firefox add-ons to recover some of the removed features or custom built browsers.

 

I've found Ghostery fine, but I think I know what you mean - if you stumble across certain web sites or sections of sites that are blocked, you have to add them to a Whitelist, which is fine if in small scale, but not if many links or buttons get blocked.

 

I'd not heard of Screenshotter and Nitro PDF Plug-in but they both sound invaluable. Please do add further details when you've tested the latter.


Edited by Castle Robin, 08 March 2014 - 11:07 AM.





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