Google Chrome is lightning fast, integrates seamlessly with Google Apps, and offers plenty of enhancements via extensions. But with the mass of extensions available (just how many pointless games can you have?), determining which ones are actually useful for those who manage computers, networks, and users can quickly become the proverbial search for the needle.
Fear not. I have sifted through the haystack of Google extensions to find those I think best fit the needs of the IT pro. Check them out below.
1: Subnet Mask Calculator
Subnet Mask Calculator is a handy little extension that calculates subnet mask, wildcard mask, mask bits, number of hosts, network address, first usable address, last usable address, and broadcast address. Type in the IP address you want to test, select the subnet mask from the drop-down, and all other values will automatically fill in. It's a handy way to quickly get the networking information you need without having to rack your brain.
2: IP Address and Domain Information
IP Address and Domain Information will give you plenty of information on your current location: Geolocation, DNS, whois, routing, search results, hosting, and much more. After this extension is installed, a new button will appear on the toolbar. A single click of that button and your information will be collected. The good thing about this extension (versus others of its kind) is that it's not going to read your personal information and cookies.
3: General Audit Tool
General Audit Tool is must-have extension for anyone who manages Google Apps. It's a powerful audit tool that allows you to scan all sites, documents, email groups, and calendars in your domain. You will have, at your fingertips, a plethora of information about your Google Apps site (including who has access to what).
PPASearch provides an easy way for Ubuntu admins to quickly search for a PPA associated with a particular application. Install PPASearch, click on the Ubuntu logo icon, and enter your search term. Any related results will appear in your Web browser. Just find the PPA you want to add and install it from the command line. This could be made even better if the developer would keep it within an app window and add single-click buttons for the installation of the PPA.
5: Quick Markup
Quick Markup could be a Web site debugger's dream come true. With this app, you can quickly save a screenshot of a Web page and then overlay text, shapes, icons, and mind-mapping information. You can also highlight what's going wrong with your Web site, save the image, and send it to developers for their input.
6: MYQuery Builder
MyQuery Builder is a browser-based MySQL query builder that makes the creation of MySQL queries fast and easy. It actually provides access to myquerybuilder.com, so it's not a full-fledged app that resides within Chrome. And you do need to have a myquerybuilder.com account. MyQuery Builder offers two levesl: free and pro. Most developers will probably be able to get by with the free account.
7: Live CSS Editor
Live CSS Editor is a great little tool for anyone who has to write CSS. Open the tiny box, enter your CSS, and see what it looks like immediately in your browser. You can set a default key combination to open and close the Live CSS Editor window, and you can save the styles you create. This extension will be useful for anyone who wants to test different CSS styles on the fly.
8: Chrome to Phone
Chrome to Phone provides a great way to push links, maps, selected text, and phone numbers to your Android device. It works in conjunction with an Android app you install on your mobile device. This makes it easier to get things like long URLs and text onto your phone.
9: Quick Note
Quick Note allows you to quickly take notes within your browser. And we all know that a good note app is essential for keeping track of your off-the-cuff brilliance. With Quick Note, there's no need to open up a text editor or word processor. Just open up the extension, take your notes, and close the extension. You can also edit, search, and sync your notes (to a Diigo.com account, which you can access using your Google credentials). This app has a nice, user-friendly interface and makes keeping quick notes a snap.
MindMapr is one of the few mind-mapping extensions that isn't just a link to a Web server. This tool actually allows you to work offline and doesn't require you to sign up for a service. MindMapr uses HTML 5 offline functionality and employs local storage, so all mind maps are stored within the browser. As an added bonus, MindMapr's code is open source.
There are tons of extensions out there for Chrome. Have you come across any that are indispensable for your work as an IT pro? If so, share it with your fellow TechRepublic members.
More on Chrome extensions
- The 10 best Chrome apps and extensions for Google Apps users
- Five timesaving extensions for Google Chrome
- 10 Chrome extensions that enhance online security
- 10 Google Chrome extensions worth checking out
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.