Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Speedup Your Browser

Believe it or not, there are simply things you can do to speed up your browser. The default settigs on most browsers are not optimized for fast internet connections (e.g. dsl, cable or satellite). This article details how you can change those settings to speedup your browser. In this article, I will cover Internet Explorer 7.0, Mozilla Firefox and Opera 9.6. I can not empathize enough that you should create a restore point if something goes wrong you can undo any changes.

Internet Explorer 7.0

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7.0 is a vast improvement from version 6.0; however, they left the default maximum number of connections per server to a measly 2. Theoretically, the more connections a browser has with a server, the faster the rendering of the webpage. However, there are limits and too many connections can be counterproductive. If you have a fast internet connection (i.e. dsl, cable or satellite), you can increase the maximum number of connections to a more reasonable 8. If you have fast cable or satellite, you can even bump that up t o 10. In order to change the default setting, you will need a single free third party program called “IE7 Pro.” I love this little program. Its adds so many more features to IE 7, including: ad blocking, proxy settings, mouse gestures and many more fun things. For more info about the problem, read Lifehacker’s piece on the program.
  1. Download IE7 Pro and install it.
  2. Once installed, start Internet Explorer.
  3. On the menu bar, click on “Tools.”
  4. Scroll down and select “IE7Pro Preference.”
  5. On the left column, select “IE Settings.”
  6. Under “Max connections to server,” increase the number to 8 or 10.
  7. Click [OK] and you are finished. Enjoy faster browsing.

Firefox 3.0x

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 requires a little more work in order to speed it up but don’t be intimidated. There is no third party software or add-on you need in order to make the necessary changes.

  1. Start Firefox and, in the address bar, type “about:config” without the exclamation marks.
  2. Next, click [I’ll be careful, I promise!].
  3. In the “Filter box” enter “network.http.max-connections” without the exclamation marks.
  4. Right click the entry and select “Modify.”
  5. In the new dialog box enter “40” and click [OK].
  6. Next, right click “network.http.max-connections-per-server” and select “Modify.”
  7. In the new dialog box enter “32” and click [OK].
  8. Next, right click “network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-poxy” and select “Modify.”
  9. In the new dialog box enter “16” and click [OK].
  10. Right click “network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server” and select “Modify.”
  11. In the new dialog box enter “8” and click [OK].
  12. Right click “network.http.pipelining” and select “Toggle.” The entry should change from “false” to “true.” (see note at the end of this article)
  13. Restart Firefox.

Opera 9.6

Opera 9.6 is one of the best browser I have tested. It’s fast and feature rich. Many of the features found in Firefox and IE have long been available in Opera, such as: mouse gestures, tabs, integrated RSS reader, integrated e-mail and the list goes on. There are some minor tweaks you can make to speed up this already blazing fast browser.

  1. In the menu bar, click on “Tools” and scroll down to “Preferences….”
  2. Click on the “Advanced” tab.
  3. In the left column, select “Network.”
  4. In “Max connections to server,” select “16.”
  5. In “Max total connections,” select “32.”
  6. Next, in the left column, select “History.”
  7. In “Check documents,” change the default to “Every 10 minutes.”
  8. In “Check images,” change the default to “Every 5 hours.”
  9. Click [OK] and restart Opera.

Note: For those curious about pipelining and how it speeds up your browser, read this article written by Mozilla.