Today I want to talk to you about Internet Browser Toolbars, and what place they have in your internet life experience!

Why do we need a Search toolbar from Google, Bing, Yahoo when I can type a search in the built-in search bar.  Do I need notified I have new email when I can simply open another tab and keep my webmail running in the background?  Spellchecker -- in my browser already; Bookmarking -- in my browser, thanks.... etc..

In all my years as an IT professional (20 years so I feel that title is justified) I have always shunned away from the plethora of toolbars.  I just do not see the point now, or in the past.

I loathe the way toolbars are often injected into a browser.   So many people these days think they are an IT whiz if they can use a keyboard, download illegal software and upgrade to the latest browser, but it amazes me how few people think about what they are installing -- and this is how most toolbars make it onto your system.

I will not name and shame here but often when you download a free piece of software (chat tool; word processing; game...) as part of the installation there will be a tiny little check box asking you if you want to also install a free toolbar; of course it is always ticked but zip past this option at your pearl.  Next thing you have a swanky new Yahoo toolbar clogging up your valuable screen space (or real estate as it was once described to me).

Here's a brilliant example of the worst I have seen -- look vaguely familiar?

So back to me!  I often feel sorry for Doctors/nurses/vets as I am sure everyone asks them about ailments continually. I do not flatter myself as being on the same level as these great people, but as an IT person the subject always comes up at every social gathering I attend...."oh, you are in IT....I have a computer problem...it runs really slowly".  I can guarantee that in almost all cases I look at (and belive me I do this a lot) there are so many add-ons installed on the PC that it is killing it.  Most of the add-ons are toolbars and free virus protection tools.  Removing all of these (apart from one good Virus protection system) makes a massive difference every time.  Remember, every toolbar on your browser if constantly watching what you are doing in the hope it can jump in and offer your some advice.  Too many cooks, and all that...

On a side note, you only need one virus scanning tool (and preferably a good one).  Having two cripples your PC!

If anyone has a great use for a toolbar please feel free to add a comment and share the love.

site by DAJ