Or, to be specific, I hate pulling up PDFs in my browser. No matter the reader or the complexity of the file, something invariably goes wrong whenever a PDF file crosses over the barrier between Internet and desktop. Unless you have a sharp eye for what you're clicking on (or a helpful icon to guide your path), you always run the risk of accidentally slapping a PDF into a new tab whenever you're surfing around in the ol' Firefox browser.
PDFs by themselves aren't evil. And sometimes you'll want to actually open a PDF via Firefox instead of taking the extra time to download it to your desktop and open up a reader. What Firefox lacks, in this regard, is control--ways to separate a unique PDF download from the typical bevy of files you grab on a daily basis.
Thankfully, there's an add-on that fixes that right quick.
Anonymous BitTorrent? Sign me up! Literally--a new-to-the-popular-vernacular freeware application called BitBlinder is making waves for its ability to conceal your BitTorrent downloading behind a Tor-styled "onion proxy." What you sacrifice in download speeds, you make up for in raw anonymity. Simply put, you'll have a host of new protections in place that will bounce your location from system to system, creating a giant, untraceable mesh that routes your Linux downloads from an exit node all the way back to your lil' system at-home.
Seems like a flawless solution for limitless, untraceable downloads, eh?
It doesn't happen that often, but sometimes, you just need an FTP. Or, rather, the problem is more like this: You need to access an FTP and you don't have a suitable software client on-hand for whatever reason. Sure, you can usually access an FTP via your Web browser, but that just offers the most rudimentary form of functionality (read: downloads only) that you can get. And that's even assuming that you can get into the FTP site you're trying to access--I've tested good ol' Mozilla Firefox on a few FTP sites that definitely work in a software client, yet do absolutely nothing when the ftp.*.* address is typed into a browser.
What do you do? If you're a fan of Mozilla Firefox, all you need is but one simple extension to bridge both worlds together. That's right--an FTP browser inside your Internet browser, which you can pull up into its own separate tab as if it was a new Web page, even though it's not.
What wizardry is this? Click the jump to find out!
It's been a busy week for BitTorrents! I've showed you how to download them, how to tweak the heck out of a great program you can use to download them, and how to remotely access your BitTorrent downloads through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You, young padawan, are now fully grounded in the ways of the torrent. But you are no Jedi yet...
The final task that awaits you isn't so much related to the act of downloading information via BitTorrent as it is contributing to the cloud of data that you're usually pulling from. Yes, that's right. You're going to learn how to make your own .torrent file for distribution via your tracker of choice. While I realize there's a handy feature in uTorrent that allows you do this rather effortlessly, you're limited to working on one torrent at a time via this method. What if you want to make a whole bunch of .torrent files corresponding to a larger number of files you want to make available for download?
In that case, you're going to need the Download of the Week: MakeTorrent. Click the jump to see how it works!
Unlike its companion addon for Firefox, the Chrome Extension uTorrent for Google Chrome doesn't actually give you any way to remotely add a torrent to a uTorrent client that's running on a different, Web-connected system. That's kind of funny, considering that the uTorrent Firefox addon doesn't give you a way to control what's actually being downloaded by the remote system--Google Chrome's extension does.
It's a weird mish-mash of features, but it doesn't mean that uTorrent for Google Chrome is any less valuable of an addon for your daily browsing. If you're a BitTorrent junkie, you'll find this addon to be a considerable upgrade from the experience of having to load the default uTorrent Web UI every time you want to check on (or edit) your downloads.
Web UI... remote BitTorrent... this might be a bit over your head. Let's back out for a second and take a more general look at what this extension actually does after the jump!
Keeping with my uTorrent/BitTorrent theme this week, it only makes sense to show you how you can go about pulling .torrent files through the Firefox browser. But wait, you say! What am I talking about? Clicking on a .torrent link allows you to open it right up in your client of choice (I'll assume uTorrent for the sake of this post), and that, in turn, slots said file (or magnet link) into the application and begins the download.
Why would you need a fancy addon to do that?
Good point. In fact, you don't need an add-on in Firefox to load torrent files. Where an addon becomes handy is when you're using Firefox from a different computer and would like to somehow get a .torrent file you've found onto the download queue of a different machine. Think it's a strange setup? It's not that uncommon: perhaps you've left your PC on at home to make best use of its super-speedy landline connection, yet you're browsing around various BitTorrent sites at work, in a coffee shop, or in your car.
I guess you could email the .torrent file to yourself and queue it up later. That's lame, especially when a little addon called BitTorrent WebUI is ready to do all the work for you! Find out how after the jump.
I don't care what you use BitTorrent for. I don't even want to know. What you download is your own business. That said, don't even think about coming in the comments with a "omg check out this awesome freeware Pirate Bay scanning app it helped me download all the copies of My Little Pony in like no time whatsoever." Not cool.
Now that the semi-useful disclaimer is out of the way, let's get down to business. There's no denying that BitTorrent is a powerful tool for downloading (legal) files of all kinds. It can run faster than a straight one-to-one transfer from a Web site and, more importantly, it allows you to preserve files online when you would otherwise have no direct way to host them.
That sounds a little weird, so hear me out: Suppose you have an awesome recording of you playing piano in eight grade and you want everyone to hear it, only you don't really have access to a direct host for these files. Nor do you want your files to be dependent on a Web host that could theoretically go down at any time. No worries--just find a place to stash a .torrent link to your information and let everyone connect (and subsequently share) your information with the world. Your files will live in perpetuity provided others are as willing to share your data as you.
Got it? Good. Now click the jump and check out five different ways to take your downloading to the next level... with a particular emphasis on one of the best BitTorrent clients around, uTorrent!
Do you want space or do you want security? That's the fundamental question posed by this weeks' spotlight Firefox addon, Gspace. If you think about it for a moment, you can probably get a pretty good inkling of what this addon actually does. If not, here are a few clues. It's USB week here at Maximum PC. But not all of us have access to a USB stick (or a Dropbox account) at all times. And it's not like you can just hunker down and email yourself a 100MB file at once--even Gmail itself has a pesky 25MB attachment limit for anything you send.
The point I'm trying to get at is that sometimes you just need a little extra oomph in the online file storage department. And that's exactly where Gspace comes into play. This simple addon opens up a gateway to file storage via your Gmail account, all handled through an FTP-like display directly in your Firefox browser. No longer will you use your Gmail merely for sending and receiving emails. No, it's now its own file server--free for you to grab and take files anywhere you have access to Firefox and the Gspace addon. Of course, you can also access the gmail address you assign to Gspace through a standard Web client and download (as attachments) any files you've uploaded under 19MB in size--anything larger gets split into Gspace-only archives.
Neat, huh? As always, that description is but the tip of the Gspace iceberg. Click the jump to see what else this awesome addon can do!
It's important that everyone be made aware of an extremely useful Web site that delivers malware and antivirus scanning right to the door of your... er. Web browser. I not only use it at Maximum PC to check the freeware files and such that I link to on a weekly basis, but I also turn to it as the first resort whenever I'm on a system that, for whatever reason, lacks a comprehensive virus-scanning setup.
Simply put, it's hard to envision a world without Virustotal. Although there have been reports and/or instances of false positives arising from some of the lesser-known third-party antivirus tools that Virustotal uses, it's pretty safe to say that your file is safe should it come up with "0 issues found" when running the gauntlet of the site's 41 different antivirus and malware scanning applications.
With so much going on behind the hood, using Virustotal to check your downloads must be a real nightmare, eh? Spoiler alert: It's super-easy. Click the jump and see how!
Whenever you want to download a file in Firefox, you get a little gremlin tagging along for the ride. He's a helpful little monster, and his eerie resemblance to a common "download window" allows you to quickly see the status of, pause, and cancel your file transfers as you see fit. Easy as cake! Simple as can be! Insert more similes here! Seriously, how could one really improve a pop-up window whose sole purpose is to tell you how much time you have left on your download, only to scurry away into your browser's back pocket once the file is done?
I just gave you a clue. But this isn't a Sherlock Holmes mystery, so I'll jump straight to the big spoiler. Your download window in Firefox doesn't have to be a pop-up element that rests overtop your browser. In fact, this can be kind of annoying. Given that Firefox is all about the tabbed browsing, it makes much more sense to pull the download window out of the airspace and chain it to its own individual page amongst your plethora of open tabs. You can't do this via Firefox natively, and that's where this week's Firefox Addon of the Week comes into play.