We decided to download the The New Yahoo! Toolbar to see how good it is. No doubt, it’s main competitor is the Google Toolbar, which we have been using for quite some time now. How good is the Yahoo Tool Bar? And how does it compare to its biggest competitor?
The Yahoo Toolbar, of course, has a lot of features. Some of which you will probably expect by now. Bookmarks, Yahoo Mail, a quick Yahoo search bar, and quick links to a bunch of Yahoo websites (Games, Finance, Music, Sports, etc.) are all there right out of the gate. Another feature that is available immediately but isn’t enabled by default is the pop-up blocker, which is as effective as you would expect. It catches most, but not all, popups. Some features it provides are a little less expected, though.
The biggest new thing in Yahoo’s toolbar is the built in Anti-Spy tool. It’s not a full anti-virus program, so it’s not going to catch and delete a hardcore trojan virus sitting on your computer, but it will catch just about any spy-ware or ad-ware, which are generally used to spy on your behavior, sometimes to force specific ads on you and sometimes to attempt to steal private information from you (like credit card information). However, this anti-spy-ware program isn’t ready immediately after installing the toolbar. The first time you try to run Anti-Spy, you’ll be greeted with a pop-up that asks you to install the program. The installation is relatively painless, and once you install it, it’s good to go.
Installation is pretty straightforward. Just go to this address: http://toolbar.yahoo.com/ where you’ll find the Yahoo Toolbar download. Then, click the Download Now button to download Yahoo Toolbar. It will come up with a bunch of options that clearly states the changes it will make before you choose to install it. This is very important, because some toolbars won’t tell you that you are about to change your default search engine, and it’s not always easy to change it back.
Click the “I agree” button and it will install Yahoo Toolbar for you. Just follow the directions it gives you on-screen. There will most likely be a bunch of buttons to press if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, but you can just keep clicking on “allow”, “run”, or “ok” and it should go through correctly. Sometimes on installation, Windows will think that it didn’t install correctly and ask if you want to re-install it. Don’t re-install it this way, it probably just isn’t done installing. This mess of pop-ups is probably the worst part about the toolbar, but these pop-ups are due to Windows, not the toolbar, so it’s hard to blame the toolbar for it.
Once installed, it will display a bunch of convenient options that allow you to customize the toolbar as you want it:
If you don’t know what you want yet, there is a + sign next to the buttons that allows you to easily add more anytime you want.
Yahoo Toolbar holds up pretty well against Google Toolbar. At it’s default installation, and without changing anything, Yahoo Toolbar actually has quite a few more things you can do with it. Granted, it’s pretty easy to add extra buttons or apps to either toolbar, but for the beginning user, they might just stick with what’s there to begin with, and Yahoo has more of it.
If you’re a more advanced user, almost everything that can be done with one can be done with the other, so it might boil down to which search engine you prefer. They both have plenty to offer functionality-wise.
Pros: Lots of functionality, anti-spyware program built in, customizable without logging in to Yahoo
Cons: Forces you to be stuck with a Yahoo search bar whether you like it or not
Overall: An excellent toolbar. Even if you don’t like Yahoo’s search, it’s worth giving it a shot.
Steve’s Rating: 5/5 stars.