We like building our own PCs because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from hand-picking the right combination of parts, putting them together, and then fine tuning their collective performance both on a hardware and software level. A home brewed PC is never finished -- we can always add, subtract, or upgrade components, and over time, our machines become a living entity that grows alongside us. What started off as a lean, mean, pixel pushing machine may eventually end up as a whisper quiet home theater PC (HTPC).
For many of the same reasons, we're big fans of Google's Chrome browser. The comparison between building a PC and configuring a web browser isn't exactly apples to apples, but the underlying concept is essentially the same. Chrome, with its minimalistic nature, affords us a clean slate to work with, one that we can customize to our own specifications. Instead of picking out physical components, with Chrome, we have thousands of themes and extensions to sift through. This allows us to build a customized browser, both in appearance and function, and like our PCs, Chrome can grow and adapt to our changing needs.
If you haven't given Chrome a test drive yet, we highly encourage doing so. To help get you started, we've put together a list of 21 awesome extensions. You can choose to install just one, all 21, or none at all. That's the beauty of Chrome -- the end result is what you, the user, makes of it! If you have a favorite extension that isn't on the list -- highly likely, since there are so many -- share it with us and other readers in the comments section below.
One final word: You'll notice we don't include AdBlock Plus. That's not because we're haters, though bear in mind that many sites rely on advertising to stay afloat, so if you want to support them, you should disable AdBlock Plus on said site. The real reason why it's not included is because we feel most people already know about it (plus it's getting a shout-out here), so why waste one of our 21 entries highlighting it?
Check out our top picks below and let us know what your favorite Chrome extension is in the comments!