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Best Toolbars for Internet Explorer

written by: KateG•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/25/2008

If you want to jazz up your web browsing, but you do not want to switch over to Firefox, you could just add to the web browser by adding on a toolbar. Toolbars can give you new features that will make your browsing better.

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    We all love our comfortable and familiar web browser, the one where we know how to work everything and where all of our bookmarks live. That does not necessarily mean that we do not want to expand on our web browser. After all there are lots of times in this world where an item or service could be doing more for us, and we should, as thinking beings, take each and every shot for a free upgrade that we can. One of the easiest ways to enhance your browsing experience is to add a toolbar to your web browser.

    So, how do you find out about these toolbars that will make your browsing life easier? Well, you could just Google for it, but that would result in a long list of results that you will have to sort through manually, and that would be no fun, and quite frankly waste your time. You could check around your favorite sites and see if they have toolbars you can enjoy, but once again this can take some serious time out of your day. The final option, and the one I recommend, is to find a trustworthy list (for example, this one) and see if any of those toolbars will do it for you. So without any further ado, let us look at some of the best of the toolbars that are out there.

    The Stumble Toolbar

    The Stumble toolbar will help you to find yourself random sites on the web, as well as rating the sites to help the other users decide if they will enjoy the site. All in all, if you enjoy erratic breaks for Internet randomness, then this is the toolbar for you.

    The Care2 Toolbar

    This toolbar, for those of you that are not members of Care2 (a socially and ecologically responsible online community), will have 2 primary functions. Firstly it will add a search engine, and secondly, with each toolbar search you will get a good feeling knowing you are helping to contribute to a green carbon offset program.

    The Google Toolbar

    Most of you will be familiar with the idea of the Google toolbar. It gives you build in Google search, access to your gmail and even allows you to get the Google rankings on the site. Overall, this is probably one of the most handy toolbars that you will ever install if you do a lot of searching or use the Google applications. It is also interesting to note that this toolbar gives you the ability to add on custom buttons that will allow you to customize your toolbar. For more information on the custom buttons you can visit the section below.

    Of course, never feel limited to this list of suggestions only. Who knows, there could be a toolbar out there designed to meet your specific wants or interests. So never stop looking just because you do not see what you want right away. One of the best things about the online world is how swiftly things can change. Only a few years ago no one would have believed in the wild fire popularity of social networking.

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    Google Toolbar Custom Button

    Here is a sampling of some of the custom buttons that you can add to your Google toolbar to enhance its usefulness.

    Gmail Button: access your Gmail account from your iGoogle page.

    Facebook: Keep up to date with your Facebook friends with posts with your inbox, feeds and photos.

    YouTube: Search for videos on YouTube from your toolbar.

    Yahoo! Mini: All of you normal Yahoo! content on your iGoogle page.

    Additional Google buttons can be found on this page:

    CNN: News from the CNN headlines.

    Weather Map: Get your local weather conditions in your toolbar.

    Google Calendar: Makes your calendar easily accessible.

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    Stumble Upon Plug In's

    You can add some plugins to your Stumble Upon toolbar that will enhance its functionality as well. Some of those plugins include:

    StumbleUpon Random Group

    This tool displays the information for one random Stumble Upon group. When you want a new group just refresh the page.

    StumbleUpon WordPress plugin

    This plugin displays review information from SU for the links on your WordPress blog, see how many times you have been stumbled, and your votes.

    SU Music Player

    This tool will create a custom music player for your StumbleUpon blog or site. You can customize your player and then embed it into your page. This plugin requires you to register first.