I am a type-A, multi-tasking, organized-to-a-fault person. Being able to access information efficiently from one location appeals to me. That’s why I have been a fan of browser toolbars since they were first introduced. I installed the Google toolbar a year ago. It blocked annoying pop up ads and enabled me to link to web sites and to search the web. I was in heaven or so I thought. It didn’t have many features, but then, I did not know that a feature-rich toolbar was an option. Then quite by accident I stumbled across Advanced Searchbar. What a find! I have ditched my Google toolbar (no offense to the fine folks at Google) and am now using Advanced Searchbar exclusively.
The official description from the tools web site nicely sums up this superior toolbar. “The Advanced Searchbar is a FREE award winning toolbar that enables you to search over 100 search engines and is loaded with features that make searching and browsing the Internet easier than ever. The Advanced Searchbar has more features than the Google, Yahoo and MSN toolbars combined. No other toolbar has as many features. “
To me, switching to Advanced Searchbar was like going from broadcast TV to cable. I literally have hundreds of choices all just a mouse-click away. Here’s why I use this toolbar.
Not only can I search from the toolbar, I can customize the list of search engines I use by selecting my favorites from their list of more than 100.
I can click the calculator and quickly ensure my invoice is correct before I submit it for payment.
I can get driving directions so I know exactly how to get to an important client meeting.
If I need to know if it’s going to rain on me the day I have that important client meeting, I can get a weather forecast personalized for where I live.
When my father calls me to ask if I’ve heard about the latest current event, I can quickly check with the news button that lets me get my news from 88 news sites.
I can plan my vacation with the travel button, and check out what’s on TV tonight with the TV listings button.
I can even defrag my hard drive, download software, and hack into my computer’s registry – all from the computer tools button.
The e-mail button lets me check my messages, whether in Outlook or on Hotmail with a mouse click.
And this handy toolbar also blocks those annoying pop ups!
I can lookup phone numbers, send an e-card to a friend, and find out what time a movie is showing at the movie theater just down the road.
If my daughter has a question about her science project, the education links provide answers. If I need to translate a web site into English, I can do that too.
Perhaps the best part is the fun I have had. Yes, fun. The games button offers more than 70 free games. I had an ’80’s flashback as I tried to top my high scores in Donkey Kong, PacMan, Centipede, and Space Invaders. The downside to this button is obvious – two hours later I remembered I had to finish my work as I had a deadline looming. After I met my deadline I rewarded myself with another round of Centipede.
Advanced Searchbar is quite flexible. I can add and delete content buttons and each button on the toolbar includes an “Edit this menu” option where I can add to or delete from the list that displays any time I want to. So, if I decide I no longer want to look at any news, I can delete that button from the toolbar. If I decide I’ve overreacted and do want to read some news, but don’t really care about sports news, I can add the news button back to my toolbar and edit it to display just the news sites in which I have a real interest. In short, I can quickly access information I am interested it, and only that information.
If you are worried about adware, malware, getting on some e-mail spamming list or other risks of downloading freeware, fear not. The site promises none of that will happen and it has not happened to me. I scanned my computer after I installed the toolbar – all clear, and I’ve not had one spam e-mail – at least not related to the download anyway. The Search bar was a snap to install. The setup program looked for programs on my hard drive and then generated a huge list of options and links to programs that I could check off to appear on the tool bar.
Why am I so excited? Because the Advanced Toolbar lets me research, fine tune my computer, play, and any number of other tasks from one location. No more overly crowded MSN homepage, no more searching through my long (but meticulously organized) list of favorites. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that’s easy to use and saves lots of time.