Top 6 Must Have Safari Extensions

With Safari 5, Apple has finally implemented a feature that users of other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome have enjoyed for years: extensions. These seemingly innocuous little add-ons can vastly improve your web browsing experience, whether you’re simply a casual surfer or a power-user, and once you’ve installed certain extensions, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Apple’s Safari Extensions Gallery isn’t bursting at the seams just yet, but it does already feature a selection of extensions that we couldn’t surf without, and we’ve highlighted six of our top picks below.

1. AdBlock

Finally bringing the ability to block those annoying and invasive banner ads that are apparently designed to disrupt your browsing enjoyment, AdBlock should be the first Safari extension on everyones list. Firefox and Chrome users have enjoyed this functionality for what seems like aeons, and now thankfully Safari surfers can join the ad-free party as well.

2. GMail Counter

This particular extension is a great way to keep on top of your GMail Inbox without either having a separate tab open or Mail idling on your desktop while you browse. Not only does GMail Counter feature a numbered notation of unread emails directly in your Safari browser bar, it also provides one-click access to your Inbox and new mail composition.

3. Ostrich

There are several Twitter-themed Safari extensions available already, but our favorite is undoubtedly Ostrich. Integrating perfectly with your browser, Ostrich enables you to access Twitter functionality no matter what webpage you’re reading, allowing for rapid tweeting and easy sharing of any great links you come across when surfing.

Ostrich Safari Extension

4. KeySearch

KeySearch massively expands the search functionality of Safari, without having to faff around with drop-down menus and search settings. Simply bring up the KeySearch toolbar, and preface your search term with the name of the engine you want to use. The extension come pre-equipped with all the major search engines and online retailers, and you can add your own favorites as well.

KeySearch Safari Extension

5. Snapper

Invaluable when you’re after quick-fire screenshots, Snapper allows one-click images to be taken of whatever webpage you are currently viewing and then dragged to your desktop or image-editing application of choice. An unassuming but priceless little tool.

6. WOT

The Internet remains polluted by scam and phishing sites, out to attract and compromise the unwary or uninformed. Safari’s built-in security features do a pretty good job at protecting surfers against the worst offenders, but it never hurts to have more information at your fingertips. Web Of Trust (WOT) is a community-based rating system for websites, and its Safari extension uses a traffic light icon next to search results to let you know whether a site is viewed as trusted or not, helping you evade some of the Internet’s murkier locations.

WOT Safari Extension

If the experience of other browsers has taught us anything, we can expect the Safari Extension Gallery to soon be home to a multitude of weird and wonderful applications for enhancing your Internet enjoyment. We’ll continue to keep you informed of the best extensions that developers concoct over the coming months.