Editors' Note: The Download Now link will prompt a local download of the Firefox extension. To install the extension directly, open the file using your Firefox browser.
FastestFox (formerly SmarterFox) is one of the more powerful add-ons to enhance Firefox browsing. It displays a clean-looking bubble filled with customizable search engine shortcuts when you highlight a word or phrase. Type a query into the Firefox address bar, and FastestFox will offer up suggestions as you type. It will also place alternative search engine icons on a results page (like Google, Yahoo, and Bing), and will repeat smaller version of those icons on Wikipedia pages, along with a list of related articles. To open a new Web page faster, there's the qLauncher. One hot-key combo brings it up; tapping a single keyboard key opens Facebook, the New York Times, and whatever else you program in.
FastestFox doesn't stop there. Right-click anywhere on the page to separately download all the links, images, and Flash video content on a page. The endlessly useful Endless Pages feature preloads subsequent pages of multipage sites, so that instead of clicking to advance through, you can just scroll down (and down and down.) Equally useful, but not always as consistent, are the copy/paste features (turned off by default) that copy the text you highlight, and will paste it elsewhere with a mouse click.
Not every feature behaves uniformly at all times. The page scroll has been known to be oversensitive or unresponsive at various times. The alternate search engines are limited in some features, and highlighting text hasn't always copied it to the clipboard. Yet the pros vastly outweigh the cons, making FastestFox a must-try add-on for anyone who spends significant time online.
FastestFox, formerly SmarterFox, is a popular productivity add-on. Save your time get faster, parallelized downloads auto-load the next page when you reach the end, search as you type from the URL bar, and search highlighted text with the pop-up bubble. FastestFox has some more options like Download all links, images, or media on a page in parallel, maximizing the use of your bandwidth, easily save page media such as Flash videos, flash games, and Shockwave movies on any YouTube-like site to your hard-drive, search by selecting or highlighting text and then clicking on the popup bubble, Visit bookmarks quickly with keyboard shortcuts using qLauncher.