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Enhanced Web Browsing With Toolbars
By: Developer Shed
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    Enhanced Web Browsing With Toolbars
    by Jim Edwards

    As the Web grows more crowded and just plain "noisy" with
    information bombarding us from every angle, most people
    welcome any tool, trick or shortcut to help them wade
    through the mountains of data to find what they want.

    Since your web browser represents your main window to the
    Internet, it makes sense for any tool which enables you to
    find what you need and get around faster online should sit
    right where you need it most.

    Introducing Web browser "toolbars," free little programs
    that work with Internet Explorer and Netscape to put you
    several steps closer to the information you need right now.

    ~ Google Toolbar ~
    The free toolbar from search giant Google offers the best
    search features of any toolbar we evaluated.

    Not only does it allow you to search the web, but also
    enables you to search within a website to find specific

    The Google toolbar's main features include "Page Rank,"
    which gives an indication of a website's overall value based
    on your search criteria and other factors, along with a
    "backwards links" function which allows you to see which
    sites link to the website currently loaded in your browser.

    You can download the Google toolbar on your web browser by
    visiting and following the simple
    installation instruction.

    ~ Alexa Toolbar ~
    Alexa's main claim to fame revolves around its traffic
    ranking report on virtually any site on the Internet.

    The lower the Traffic Ranking number, the more popular a
    site rates in Alexa's eyes. Currently Yahoo, MSN and Google
    occupy the top 3 spots on Alexa's charts.

    With so many websites on the Internet, an Alexa ranking of
    less than 100,000 is considered good, and a ranking of less
    than 10,000 is considered outstanding as far as a site's
    relative popularity on the Web.

    Alexa also offers a related links feature right on the
    toolbar so you can quickly find links to sites that other
    people also visit when surfing the site you currently have
    loaded in your browser.

    Alexa also offers a pop-up blocker to help cut down on the
    pop-up windows that seem to invade your desktop the minute
    you venture online. You can download the Alexa Toolbar free

    ~ AltaVista Toolbar ~
    Former search giant AltaVista recently jumped on the toolbar
    bandwagon with their offering from

    Install the AltaVista toolbar and access a couple of
    interesting features, including a language translation
    button and an MP3 search.

    Click the "Translate" button and instantly translate entire
    web pages from one language to another.

    The MP3 search will help you find the tune you want from
    AltaVista's audio index.

    Most of the toolbars offer additional gadgets to help you
    with everything from weather forecasts to currency

    Because they offer many of the same features and they take
    up valuable screen space, using more than one toolbar at a
    time often proves impractical.

    Since most toolbars come free of charge, evaluate them all
    for their main features and overall usability for your
    particular needs and then stick with the best one.
    Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist
    ( and is the author of
    numerous best-selling ebooks, information products and
    software programs.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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