8 Things to make your Internet better
The internet has revolutionised the way we do things in only a dozen years. Here are some little add-ons and tips to make your surfing experience faster and more fun.
- Adblock Plus- It’s hard to put into words how brilliant this add-on is. Available for Firefox and Google Chrome, this means an end to annoying ads slowing down your internet, stalling your Youtube videos and pop-ups obscuring your view at inopportune times. By blocking so many flash ads, your webpages will load faster and your browser will be able to work quicker overall.
- Stylish- This one isn’t essential but it does give you a bit more say in how you view frequently visited sites? Ever annoyed by the minimalist white background on Youtube? Why not install Stylish and make it black and pink instead? Or, maybe change your Facebook login to something more inspiring. This can be used for many sites, with a decent range of styles catered for on-site.
- Invisiblehand- Mentioned in my previous post on Online Shopping, Invisiblehand is an invaluable tool that automatically checks to see that the price you are about to pay for something online is the cheapest you could pay. Available for most browsers.
- Genieo- This is an intuitive homepage for your browser. Upon launching Firefox, Chrome or Explorer, Genieo will load and show you a selection of news stories it thinks will interest you based on your internet use. You can also link it to your facebook and Twitter feeds so it can scan the most interesting stories from there too. The best thing about this is that it stores cookies on your own computer so the programme creators or any third-parties will not have access to your browsing habits. The more you browse with genieo installed, the more accurate its guesses about what might interest you gets.
- Dropbox- Dropbox is like a safe for your files that’s kept online. Downloading Dropbox will make a folder appear on your computer into which you can store important files that you want to back-up or share with others. Emailing others a link will give them access to folders of your choosing, which comes in handy when working on group projects such as group essays or musical collaboration. The great thing about Dropbox is that you can sync it to all your devices.Laptop, desktop, etc. It means that even if all of your electronic equipment and hard-drives were destroyed, there would still be a copy of your Dropbox files existing online. The guys at Dropbox are of a start-up mind and regularly hold puzzles and tests in order to hire engineers for the site. They set out tasks for its day-to-day users that, if completed, will increase your storage capacity.
- StumbleUpon- It’s the rare person who hasn’t heard of StumbleUpon at this stage but it’s always good to be sure. When boredom strikes online, SU is your champion. Based on your stated interests and hobbies, you can browse websites at random until you come upon something you like.
- Webmail Notifier- Yet another firefox add-on, this will alert you when you receive an email to any of your email accounts. It’s convenient in that you’re notified of any new mail immediately.
- cCleaner- This is actually an offline programme, but one which could benefit your browsing speeds. It brings together your recycle bin, cookies, internet caches and dead space so that you can delete it all in one place. It’s good practise to wipe your browsing history every now and again as stored information about past activity can slow your browser down. One word of caution: cCleaner also gives you the option to effect change in the Registry. Novice computer users should leave this section alone to avoid deleting something important.
These few programmes and add-ons are the beginning of customising the internet to you. View it how you like, only see stories you are interested in. With a little effort, you can make the internet yours.