Recently, a new EU directive has highlighted the importance of cookies, as these small text files sometimes store sensitive user data. But how do cookies actually work, and why do we need them? We will look at the small data packets that are exchanged and stored between web browsers and websites and how cookies affect every internet user today, whether for business or private purposes.
Every browser can have its features expanded with add-ons. This allows the browser to be tailored precisely to your own needs by retroactively adding in features that the browser doesn’t normally have.
What are add-ons used for?
The following types of add-ons are the most popular at the moment:
- Language support, such as Google Translate, Grammarly, etc.
- Ad blockers such as AdBlock Plus or uBlock origin
- Online conference features such as Cisco Webex, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.
- Social media tools, such as for Instagram, Pinterest, or others
- Video downloaders
- Website screenshot tools such as Fireshot, Evernote Web Clipper, etc.
- Password managers such as LastPass
Browser add-ons are usually called ‘extensions’, but this depends on the browser. They come from independent developers and are offered in browser-specific online shops.
Add-ons are small programs that expand or extend the features of a browser.
Where can you find browser add-ons?
In Chrome, add-ons are called ‘Extensions’. You can get Chrome to show you your installed extensions by typing the following in the address bar:
What’s the difference between an add-on and a plug-in?
Strictly speaking, add-ons are a subtype of plug-ins, which are small programs that give extra features to the main program.
For browsers, however, a key difference exists between add-ons and plug-ins: plug-ins are compiled programs (executables) that are linked to the browser using an interface. Well-known examples of this are Adobe Flash Player or the Java plug-in. Many browsers provide support for plug-ins and will only allow add-ons or extensions to run if they work with standardised interfaces (APIs) and were programmed using strict, pre-defined standards and safety rules.