The browser wars have been in full swing for several years now with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox being the major contenders. Unfortunately, IE is still in the lead as far as popularity. Those of us in the Firefox corner know the real advantages Firefox holds over Internet Explorer no matter efforts from Microsoft. Firefox provides many more functions, a whole host of add-ons, tools, skins, you name it. It is also faster and more secure from the minute you install it. What’s even better is there are some simple tweaks that will make this browser run even faster than it does “out of the box”. You don’t have to be a computer geek to make these adjustments if you follow the instructions carefully.
The browser sends out TCIP packets whenever you request (visit) a web page. These packets are sent one at a time for all information including text, images, css (style sheets), and the HTML. The speed at which pages are displayed in your browser is limited by this and the fact that the packets are limited 1.5k of information at a time. A perfect solution for this is to simply have Firefox send multiple packets at the same time. This tweak is called “pipelining” and allows the Firefox browser to run much faster.
Note: These tweaks are great if you have a high-speed Internet connection, but will have little effect for dial-up users.
The first step is to start up Firefox and type in “about:config” (without the quotes) in the address bar and hit enter. This brings up to configuration page. Next type in “pipelining” (again without quotes) in the Filters bar. Now you are ready to start making the tweaks. Be careful but don’t worry if you make a mistake. You can always right click on the line you changed and select reset to change it back to the original setting.
Find “network.http.pipelining”, right click on that line and select “toggle” if it is not set to yes. If the value is set to yes, then leave as it is. Next find “network.http.proxy.pipelining” and make sure the value is set to true in the same manner.
Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0″, Type should be set to integer. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.
Setting “maxrequests”. Now scroll down until you see the line that says “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests”. Right click on that line and select “modify”. Here you simply enter the number 30 and click OK. Now Firefox will request up to 30 packets at a time. Keep in mind that setting this number higher than 30 will increase the speed. Web pages can only send so much information at a time.
And there you have it. You should be very pleasantly surprised at how much faster Firefox downloads web pages, even large heavy pages like those on Myspace.
I’ve included this video so you can see these tweaks at work, but it is not complete and I don’t think the last one is used. Just follow the directions above.