Top 12 Best Firefox Add-ons of 2016 (Pick of the Month Recap)

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 06 Dec 2016

No browser can do it all, not even Mozilla’s Firefox. There are certain features and functions that aren’t part of the browser and that’s okay, because you can easily add missing or extra functionality with a Firefox add-on. That’s the great thing about add-ons. They introduce missing features as well as new functions, allowing you to change and enhance the way your browser works and looks.

Mozilla has a community board that analyzes the newest Firefox add-ons and uncovers the best and most useful ones. Each month, this board gives an outstanding add-on the title of "Pick of the Month". Here are the 12 add-ons that made this exclusive list in 2016.

January 2016 Pick of the Month – uMatrix

Meant for advanced users, uMatrix is a point-and-click matrix-based firewall that features a nice range of privacy-enhancing tools. Thanks to this add-on you can see all remote connections, block all 3rd party scripts, choose what type of data is allowed to download, and more.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in January 2016.

February 2016 Pick of the Month – Proxy Switcher

Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Connection -> Settings -> Configure Proxies. Do you really want to go through all these steps every time you want to access the proxy settings? If you said no, then you’ll be glad to know about Proxy Switcher, an add-on that makes it easy to access the proxy settings by placing them on Firefox’s toolbar.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in February 2016.

March 2016 Pick of the Month – Tab Memory Usage

Right now, Firefox is using 405MB of RAM. I know that because I opened the Task Manager and it clearly shows how much memory the browser is using. What I don’t know is how much memory each tab is using. But I can find out with Tab Memory Usage. This add-on displays the amount of memory used in each of your open tabs.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in March 2016.

April 2016 Pick of the Month – WhatsApp Desktop

Mozilla’s Pick of the Month for April 2016 was WhatsApp Desktop, a Firefox add-on that enables you to access your WhatsApp Web official website from the toolbar and displays badge notifications for all new messages.

Since we’re talking about WhatsApp, I have to remind you that in May 2016, the team behind WhatsApp released a desktop app for PC and Mac. Get the app and enjoy WhatsApp on your desktop, complete with native desktop notifications and better keyboard shortcuts.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in April 2016.

May 2016 Pick of the Month – uBlock Origin

Opera can natively block ads and so can Firefox – but only if you use Firefox Focus for iOS. Firefox for Windows cannot block ads right out of the box. To do so, you will need to use a specialized tool. Like uBlock Origin for example. It is an efficient blocker that doesn’t need a lot of memory and CPU to work.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in May 2016.

June 2016 Pick of the Month – Smart HTTPS (Encrypt Your Communications)

Remember HTTPS Everywhere, the add-on created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation? Even though it’s been around for a long time, you might not be familiar with it. So here’s the quick lowdown: it works by enabling HTTPS encryption automatically on sites that are known to support. It encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

Smart HTTPS works in a similar fashion. It automatically switches from HTTP to HTTPS, if the server supports the protocol. Should a loading error come up, Smart HTTPS will revert to the HTTP protocol.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in June 2016.

July 2016 Pick of the Month – Firebug

"Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page" says the add-ons description on AMO.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in July 2016.

August 2016 Pick of the Month – Better Privacy

This add-on’s purpose is to offer protection against Flash-cookies (Local Shared Objects, LSO). Better Privacy can list these types of cookies and it can automatically remove them – at browser startup, on exit, or based on a timer.

Mozilla did not feature any other add-ons in August 2016.

September 2016 Pick of the Month – Multi Links Plus

This add-on is great if you you’re the type of person who likes to get things done as fast as possible. By using Multi Links Plus you can open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same. So if you have multiple links that you want to bookmark, you don’t have to go through them one by one. You can get things done faster by using Multi Links Plus to bookmark them all at once.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in September 2016.

October 2016 Pick of the Month – MailtoWebmails

MailtoWebmails changes what happens when you click on a "mailto" link. Without MailtoWebmails, Firefox will open your default desktop email client. With MailtoWebmails, Firefox can open a webmail client, like Gmail for example.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in October 2016.

November 2016 Pick of the Month – Blur

Blur is a password manager. It can create strong passwords, it can save and organize all your passwords, it helps you easily log into your password-protected accounts. On top of that, Blur can block trackers and mask emails.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in November 2016.

December 2016 Pick of the Month – Enhancer for YouTube

The best thing about this add-on is that it can can remove ads from videos. But the thing is that it plenty other things, such as: control playback speed with the mouse wheel; control volume level with the mouse wheel; remove annotations; disable autoplay; disable preloading; loop videos; automatically enlarge the video player; and more.

See what other add-ons Mozilla featured in December 2016.

Mozilla will move to WebExtensions in 2017

What does the future have in store for Firefox add-ons? The quick answer is WebExtensions.

"WebExtensions are the future of add-ons for Firefox, and will continue to be where we concentrate efforts in 2017," said Kev Needham. "By the end of 2017, and with the release of Firefox 57, we’ll move to WebExtensions exclusively, and will stop loading any other extension types on desktop."

In related news…

Here’s last year’s list of 12 Pick of the Month add-ons.

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