Chrome is known as the fastest browser, but for some people even fastest isn’t enough. Moreover, Chrome is also a huge memory hog and may lead to a slower browsing experience on low-end devices. Thankfully, there are many Chrome extensions available that will speed things up for you exponentially.
From loading pages faster to quick navigation, there is an extension for almost everything. Below we have compiled a list of the five best Chrome extensions to help you browse faster.
An oldie but still very much a goodie. NavigUp is a very simple extension that creates a new keyboard shortcut that lets you navigate to the parent address of a web page. So if you used Google to go to a specific web page, you can press Alt + 1 to “go up one level” to the URL above it.
Think about it as a “Back” button, but for navigation within a specific website. Where before you’d have to hover over the address bar and delete parts of the address to visit the higher domain on a site, here you can do it with a simple shortcut.
2. Speed-Up Browsing
This relatively unknown but very good extension speeds up your browsing by adding missing Cache-Control headers. Cache-Control headers are instructions in HTTP that essentially help in getting data sent and pulled to and from your Chrome cache quicker.
The idea is that once you’ve been to a site and the images from that site are cached on your PC, the site will load faster the next time you visit it. With Speed-Up Browsing, it essentially “fills in the gaps” in your cache, making sure that it loads even faster than by just using Chrome’s default caching.
Now this is an interesting concept. By default, Chrome runs various background services to preload website data and speed up your browsing – from cookies to cached images on previously visited websites.
But FasterChrome does something even smarter. It tracks your mouse movement, and if you hover over a hyperlink for a mere 65 milliseconds, it starts preloading the site that that hyperlink leads to (saving an estimated 300 milliseconds per clicked link).
Yes, this uses some more bandwidth than before, but not by much, and over prolonged use you’ll really feel the difference in your browsing speeds.
4. uBlock Origin
It’s steadily becoming common knowledge that uBlock Origin is the heir apparent to Adblock. It’s a far more recent app, is built on more modern technology, and therefore is much less of a drain on your system resources than rickety old Adblock. Crucially, it uses less RAM, which will particularly have an impact on those using older machines.
Feature-wise it’s excellent too. As well as being replete with adblocking functions, whitelists, and so on, it has extra built-in features, such as one that lets you suspend background tabs in Chrome while you browse your current one, again cutting down on memory usage.
You’ll need to give plenty of permissions for uBlock to run at full capacity, but when it does it’s arguably the most vital single extension in speeding up your browsing experience.
5. Web Boost
This extension does wonders when it comes to loading pages faster. Web Boost uses a simple algorithm for this purpose. It comes with special website building blocks that are stored on your PC. These blocks are used by most of the popular websites, and with this extension active there will be no need to download these blocks every time you load a web page.
The extension claims that this method may lead to loading pages three times faster. It took me 1.23 seconds to load the homepage of this site with this extension enabled where normally it took more than 2 seconds. Additionally, it also blocks ads and spying services which also helps in the faster loading of pages. Don’t worry about privacy; the extension is open-source.
I didn’t have any problem with this extension in my two weeks of use. However, if you find any web page not loading properly, try disabling the extension on that page and reload (click on the extension button to disable).
6. The Great Suspender
A slower PC leads to a slower browser, and if you are on Chrome and have loads of tabs opened, there is a good chance you are having a smooth experience. This is where The Great Suspender will help by suspending all tabs that are not used for a specific time. It is common to open multiple tabs and only use a few of them frequently.
This extension will suspend these tabs automatically and release all the memory they were taking. When you want to access that tab, just navigate to it or click in the middle (customizable) to reload it. You can also manually suspend a tab or multiple tabs with just two clicks. I have been using this for more than a month now, and it is doing wonders for me.
A very simple extension, but a really handy one, SearchPreview adds a preview thumbnail image of the web page in the search results. This can be useful in many situations such as you will already know what type of page you are about to visit, or maybe visual representation will be better for remembering a website than the name of the website. You can use such information to easily go through search results. The extension supports Google Search, DuckDuckGo, Bing and Yahoo.