I had my eyes on the FastestFox add-on for the Firefox browser for some time now. In the beginning, I thought it was just another add-on to speed up the browser like Fasterfox which tweaks the network performance of Firefox. Turned out that FastestFox, and its FastestChrome clone, offer a lot more than that.
The extension takes care not only of the network side of things but also of the browsing side. This means that you will get faster downloads plus a selection of productivity tweaks.
Downloads are accelerated thanks to several configuration tweaks that are applied automatically during installation.
The productivity and browsing enhancements require more explanation. On the productivity side, there are lots of smaller additions and tweaks that make life more comfortable. Most of the options are displayed under the General tab in the options.
Here is a list of features that can be enabled under General:
- Linkify text urls - This turns plain text urls into clickable links in the browser
- Add related articles to Wikipedia - Displays related articles on Wikipedia. I could not get this to work in Firefox.
- Enhance Awesomebar - No idea
- Show context menu additions - adds new options to the right-click context menu, for instance to download all images from a page.
- Enable Endless Page - Loads the next page and adds it at the end of the current one.
- Auto copy selected - Copies selected text automatically to the clipboard
- Paste on middle mouse click - Paste clipboard contents on middle mouse click
- Paste on right mouse click - Same as above, only on right-click.
The Search Results tab lists enhancement that can improve the way search results are displayed in the browser. This ranges from showing related search results, adding search refinements at the top to adding other search engine links in the results.
Qlauncher is an on-page search form that can be used to search popular search engines and other sites directly without leaving the current page. The search supports a variety of sites from Wikipedia and YouTube to Amazon, ReadWriteWeb and Lifehacker. Even the now defunct Download Squad is still in the add-ons listing. It is however possible to remove sites from the default listing and add new sites to the list. Just open the site that you want to add in the browser, press Ctrl-Space to open the Qlauncher interface and click the + icon next to the site to add it to the search.
The final option provided by FastestFox is a feature called Popup Bubble. The extension displays the popup whenever text is selected by the user. The popup may offer word definitions or display links to search for the term on Bing, Twitter, IMDB, YouTube and several other properties.
The Google Chrome pendant, FastestChrome is not offering all the options that the Firefox add-on offers. It supports the popup bubble, search results integration and a handful of the features of the add-ons General tab.
Firefox users can download and install FastestFox from the official Mozilla Firefox add-on repository. Chrome users the Chrome extension from the Chrome web store.