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Speeding up Firefox browser

Question : I am using Mozilla Firefox 1.0. How do I change the settings of the browser so it sends several requests instead of the default one, to transmit responses faster? Are there other ways to increase the download speed of the browser? Please help.

Answer : There are several ways to speed up Mozilla's Firefox. But before that, let's look at Firefox's configuration screen. To do that, start Firefox, type "about:config" (without the quotes) into the address box, and press the Enter key. This will bring up a page with a list of settings that can be configured.

The feature you're probably referring to is called pipelining. Pipelining is a method of speeding up data transfer between a browser and a Web server. Basically, it entails sending several requests at once instead of one at a time as is usually done. This can save quite a bit of time if everything goes well. This can also result in a reduction in traffic because with pipelining you will be able to put in several requests into one packet (which is a little like putting several letters to the same person into one envelope).

The main disadvantage of pipelining is that the whole page may take longer to display if the connection is less than perfect. This is because if a packet goes missing, several requests will have to be resent instead of just one. Also, for best results, both the browser and the server should be capable of pipelining requests and replies.

To turn on pipelining, look in the configuration window for the setting "network.http.pipelining" and right-click on it.
When the pop-up menu appears, select Toggle. The word "False" under the Value column to the right of this setting should change to "True". This will enable pipelining for this browser.

Do the same for the setting "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to enable pipelining for proxies, and set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to "8" for better efficiency. To do this, right-click on the setting, select Modify, type "8" (without the quotes) into the text box, and press the Enter key. If this is done right, the Value column to the right of the setting "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" should display the number "8".

The values for "network.http.max-connections", "network-http.max-connections-per-server", "network-http.max-persistent-connections-per- proxy" and "network-http.max-persistent-connections-per-server" can also be increased in the same way.

The Web page www.bitstorm.org/extensions/tweak/ contains an extension that will automate the modification of these settings. To install it, enter the Web site name in the list of sites allowed to install extensions.

To do this, select Tools --> Options --> Web Features and click on the button to the right of "Allow Web sites to install software". When the window labelled "Allowed Sites" opens, type "www.bitstorm.org" (without the quotes) into the text box under Address of Web site. Check the spelling to see if it's accurate. After the spelling is verified, click on the Allow button to add the site to the list. Click on the OK button to close the window and then on the OK button to close the Options window.

After that's done, visit www.bitstorm.org/extensions/ tweak/ and click on Install Tweak Network Settings. After a while, a window will pop up with the title "Software Installation". Click on the Install Now button. A window will pop up with the title "Extensions". This window will show "This item will be installed after you restart Firefox" when the installation is complete. The next time Firefox is started, a new option called Tweak Network Settings will be visible under Tools.

Another way to make Firefox seem faster is to turn off the built-in rendering delay. Firefox waits a little before actually rendering a page. This prevents elements of the page from "jumping around" as it's being reconfigured by incoming data. Turning off the built-in rendering delay will stop this from happening. This will appear to increase response time because "something happens" almost immediately after the Enter key is pressed.

In reality, this doesn't necessarily make the page load faster. It just makes the browser display the elements as they arrive instead of waiting for everything to settle down before displaying the page. Some people regard this as "faster" because they spend less time staring at a blank screen.

To make this change, add the entry "nglayout.initial paint.delay" to the configuration list. To do this, right-click anywhere in the configuration window and select New --> Integer from the pop-up window. A new window with the title "New Integer Value" should pop up.

In the text box under New Preference Name, type "nglayout.initialpaint. delay" (without the quotes) and press the Enter key. A new box will display, this time with the title "Enter Integer Value". Type the number "0" into the box under "nglayout.initialpaint.delay", and press the Enter key. If this is done correctly, the new setting should be listed in the configuration window.

After this is done, close the browser (File --> Exit). The new setting should take effect the next time it's started.


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