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Staff Picks: Our Favorite Browsers & Add-Ons

Aug/Thu/2013 | Filed under: Press CoverageThoughts on IT | Permalink

With the many options for web browsers out there, it’s hard to really know which one best fits your needs. All browsers give you access to the internet, but each has its own set of features and add-ons to improve your web experience by providing new functionality and behaviors. Recently our top Techs offered some information about their personal favorite web browsers and add-ons.

James Buckley – Google Chrome & Chrome Sync
I’ve always liked Google Chrome for its speed, stability and silent update, but a lesser known feature I’ve become hooked on is “Tab Sync.” If you login to your Google account on your desktop PC, iPhone or iPad, the browser tabs on one device can be instantly called up on the other devices. This is great for googling up a recipe on your desktop, then pulling it up quickly on your phone while in the kitchen. No searching or bookmarking required! Google has a short instruction document and video here. If you are a multi-device user, this will become a must-have feature!

Dee Iglesias-Mozilla Firefox & Evernote
I currently utilize Mozilla Firefox the most for both Windows and Mac OS X, not only because it is officially recommended and used in-house by Nutmeg, but also because of its consistent updates and reliability. This non-profit organization has been around for a long time and is going to become even more prominent in the future with its OS (Operating System) release this year. I am not a huge patron of add-ons/extensions due to their vulnerabilities, but one that I do utilize is Evernote for its note-taking, task setting and web clipping capabilities. It has cross-platform functionality which means I can use it on Windows and Mac OS X.

Al Grimm – Mozilla Firefox & Wondershare
I prefer to work with Firefox for several reasons:
1) It is the official browser of Nutmeg Consulting LLC.
2) It is an open source product created by Mozilla – a company with high standards and a cultural conscience that I respect.
3) They have some great add-ons that can readily improve workflow to make users more efficient and effective. One of these is the PDF to Word add in from Wondershare. It does just what it says and is available here. When you find a PDF in your search results and right click it, the conversion screen opens and it looks like you have to browse to the file. However, the file you’ve selected is actually the default. Just click continue and the converted file will be available for download.

Chris Shipley- LastPass
Last Pass is a secure password manager that stores all your passwords in one location with a master password protecting them. It has been vetted by people I trust (namely Steve Gibson of grc.com and Leo Laporte, on the Security Now netcast. Last Pass is cross browser, meaning it works with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, and it’s cross platform – I’ve used it in Linux, Mac and Windows. There’s also an app for iPad/iPhone that is free. A professional account costs a mere $12 a year (which includes the Android mobile app) and will remember passwords for software that you access outside of a browser (such as Quickbooks). Last Pass has also teamed up with the Yubikey product- a cost-effective 2nd factor authentication. Stay secure on the web by getting better password management.

James Buckley – Google Chrome & StayFocusd
Let’s be honest, the lure of Facebook, Twitter and your favorite news site can be a tempting distraction when you’re trying to get things done on your computer. When I find myself hitting refresh a little too much on my favorite time-wasting websites I turn to StayFocusd. This Chrome browser extension lets you pick out blocks of time and days of the week to restrict access to the sites on its “blocked sites” list. To quickly add a new site to the list, click the StayFocusd icon. If you try to visit a blocked site, you’ll get a not so gentle reminder that you should be working! This add-on is free and one of my favorites. For those of you on Firefox, try LeechBlock for similar functionality.

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