When it comes to streaming, you still can't beat a browser. Dedicated apps are nice, but switching quickly between providers is easier when you can just click to open a tab.

But browsers aren't born perfect. They're made that way by users, like yourself, and a small army of developers that program extensions and native apps that make streaming from your browser that much easier.

With the extensions on this list, you can improve your streaming experience. Just think of it as one more thing that your cable box can't compete with.

AdBlock

AdBlock
Because ads are for cable subscribers.

You didn't cut the cord just to keep watching commercials, did you? Well, then download AdBlock and say goodbye to ads on YouTube and some other streaming services – not to mention all those ads on the sidebars of every website you visit. AdBlock isn't just a streamer's extension, it's an app that anyone surfing the web can benefit from. You can get AdBlock on Chrome, Firefox, and even Opera or Safari.

Google Cast

Google Cast
Your favorite button

You know this one, but we couldn't leave such a great app off of our list. With the Google Cast extension installed, you'll start seeing that little Chromecast symbol in the corner of all kinds of streaming videos. With just a click, you can toss that video over to your big screen (provided, of course, that you have your Chromecast device plugged in). Netflix, YouTube, and other major streaming sites get that functionality the moment you activate the Google Cast extension. And with Google rolling out support for competitor devices like Roku, it's hard to find a better casting app than this. Some of the Chromecast's competitors have their own extensions, but Google Cast remains the simplest and most elegant casting solution.

SmartVideo

SmartVideo
Want more settings for YouTube? How about dozens more?

If you watch a lot of YouTube, this one is a must-download. SmartVideo is an all-in-one app that lets you set a ton of preferences for YouTube videos that YouTube itself won't usually let you tinker with. SmartVideo lets you change things like buffering (with its “smart buffer,” you won't have to constantly wait for mid-video buffering anymore), default video quality, looping, and more.

Twitch Live

Twitch Live
Gaming fans, rejoice!

The best streaming video game network is Twitch, and the best extension for Twitch is Twitch Live. Available for both Firefox and Chrome, Twitch Live adds a little button to your toolbar that will generate a drop-down menu of live channels whenever you click it. You'll see which of your favorite channels is live right now and what they're playing. You can also browse by games, set notifications for your favorite channels, and more. It's an e-sports fan's dream.

TunnelBear

Tunnelbear
Bonus: TunnelBear's site is full of cute bear cartoons

Sometimes, the content you want to stream isn't available in your country. Now, we're not recommending you do anything illegal, but there are ways around this – and one of the best one out there is TunnelBear. TunnelBear's VPN service tricks streaming sites into thinking you're somewhere else, letting you access all of that great blocked content. TunnelBear will cost you a small fee, but as we learned from the Hola debacle, sometimes the best things in life aren't free.

Videostream

Videostream
See? Easy.

Chromecast users know that the device's biggest weakness is its inability to stream native content – that is, videos that are saved to your hard drive instead of streaming online. Videostream fixes that problem. Just download the app, open it up, select the file you want to play, and enjoy. Videostream convinces the Chromecast that the video is really streaming online, and hey – what Chromecast doesn't know won't hurt it.