Any list of top Google Chrome extensions will be a personal one, based upon the compiler’s usage of Chrome. Our top 5 Chrome extensions are based upon a combination of external reviews, our survey of those available and also those we use most. We therefore take an open view on Chrome add-dons and suggest the following as the five most popular and also likely the five most useful to you, starting with our #5:
Radioplayer is an excellent extension to Google Chrome, because a single click enables you to listen to your favourite radio station while you browse. Radioplayer enables you to access over 300 radio stations, and you can listen to football, music or discussions while you browse. You can use Radioplayer to get the latest news for your news blog, or to upload the latest sports results to you sports blog.
It is very easy to use and is inconspicuous on your computer. It pops up on a click in a new window and you are all set to select the station to listen to. Radioplayer is based on BBC radio broadcast including the World Service. You can also check out the additional information provided below the play bar, including further information on the topic available online.
Hola is included here because many people would love to be able to check their Facebook page at college or logon to Friendster or YouTube. Trouble is, these sites are blocked by most schools and colleges – and also by many government, local authority and private employers.
Sure, you should be doing your work or studying, but if you ever have a need to bypass a Firewall for legitimate reasons, then Hola allows you to do that! It does this by enabling you to click the Hola extension icon in your browser (or task bar in many cases) and select the country from which you want to view the blocked URL. You will then be able to virtually browse the website from that country and not from your college’s IP address – or so they believe!
3. Panic Extension
The Google Chrome Panic extension is useful if you are browsing though a few sites with several tabs open on sites you shouldn’t be viewing (such as those above using Hola). It may at work or at home, when you are looking at sites you don’t want your mom to know you are looking at – or maybe you are seeking an anniversary gift for your wife or husband.
In they walk, and rather being caught with no way to hide the tabs you are viewing, you simply click the Panic button and the tabs are all closed and are replaced by an innocuous page that you have defined to come up in such a situation.
This is a bit like a ‘Boss’ button that people use at work but it closes all tabs and not just the screen being viewed when you have been almost caught out! This can be your #1 Chrome extension or totally undesirable, depending on whether you are operating the computer or opening the door!
Adblock is at #2 because, quite simply, it blocks adverts. It removes all adverts on your page, including YouTube adverts, banner ads, pop-ups and any other stuff you would rather be without such as malware and social media buttons that seem to be proliferating on every web page these days.
Most people who have tried this give it 5 stars, because they, like most of us, are sick of being bombarded with adverts every time they visit a media site or try to play a YouTube video. Try out Adblock and you will likely never be without it!
WolframAlpha has many uses. It is fundamentally a computational/knowledge extension. You can use a mathematical expression in the window, and Wolfram Alpha will compute it. For example type in (10+5)3squared, it will provide the answer of 135 – (15×9). However, it also offers information, so if asked “what is the population of the USA” it would provide it.
WolframAlpha is also a dictionary: if you enter “define hypocrisy” it does so, ask “What is a mandrill” and it tells you, even down to its lifespan! Here is an example screenshot:
Check the answer yourself – it is correct. It uses standard PEMDAS order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction). It answers any fact-based question you ask, plus acts as a calculator. That is why this has been voted by us a #1 Chrome extension of 2013.
WolframAlpha has limitations – it will not tell you the winning lottery numbers, and cannot tell why your boyfriend doesn’t like you anymore. It will tell you the number of lottery permutations, but still can’t help you with boyfriend or girlfriend problems!
These are our top 5 – yours will be different. Google Chrome is a fairly colourless browser out of the box, without the panache of Firefox. However, add these extensions and your Chrome will knock all the competition completely out of the park!