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The best Chrome extensions: Actually useful extensions

Supercharge your Google Chrome browser, boosting your productivity, efficiency, and security, with the best Chrome extensions.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Google Chrome is the world's most popular web browser, and for good reason. Despite the annoyances related to hogging system resources, it's a very capable platform. And one of its strong points is the abundant extensions ecosystem. There are thousands of Chrome extensions. If you can imagine it, there's an extension for it. (And if there isn't, get making one!)

There's another rub: You can install so many extensions that you can bring the browser to a creaking halt under the weight of the system resources that the extensions themselves consume. So, I set myself a challenge -- a shortlist of the seven best Chrome extensions. Here's the list I came up with. 

Got one you think I missed off the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Tab Wrangler

Tab Wrangler

Closes tabs that have been languishing open for too long, but keeps them close to hand for when you need them.

If you are a tab hog, this is a must-have, and it allows me to keep dozens of tabs open without the performance hit.

FoxClocks

FoxClocks

If you roll in different timezones, then having clocks in the browser's status bar will help keep you on track.

Alternatively, just click on the FoxClocks icon next to your address bar for quick access to your clocks, without leaving the current web page.

As an added bonus, FoxClocks deals with daylight saving time so you don't have to!

LastPass: Free Password Manager

LastPass: Free Password Manager

I don't know how I would manage without LastPass as my password manager. It's on every device I own, and thanks to extensions, built into the browsers I use. After years of flitting from one password manager to another, I finally found the one that worked for me.

The extension not only gives me access to my passwords, but also allows me to do things like create new strong passwords and manage my account.

If you're not using a password manager -- and you really should be! -- then I suggest you take LastPass for a spin. Highly recommended.

Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote Web Clipper

Most of the time I'm keeping tabs open because there's some snippet of information in them that I need. Evernote Web Clipper allows me to grab that information, save it somewhere far more sensible than an open tab, and allows me easy access to it when I need it.

Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker

Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker

What does Ghostery do? Put simply, it blocks ads, stop trackers, and speed up websites. The built-in Enhanced Anti Tracking also anonymizes your data to further protect your privacy.

Adblock Plus - free ad blocker

Adblock Plus - free ad blocker

The granddaddy of ad-blockers! Downloaded over 500 million times, it is without a doubt one of the most trusted extensions out there. And Adblock Plus is packed with features:

  • Block annoying video ads and banners
  • Block pop ups
  • Stop tracking and give yourself more privacy
  • Fight off destructive malvertising that can hide in ads
  • Give yourself faster browsing (as resources are blocked from loading)
  • Customize features, like whitelisting for favorite sites
  • Get free and constant support
  • Give yourself simply more control of the experience you want

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