How To: Speed up Web Surfing

How To: Speed up Web Surfing

We would all like to surf the Internet a little faster. Unluckily Web Browsers, Network speed, and computer speed all conspire to make surfing the web as slow as possible.

Luckily each browser has a couple of tweaks that can be used to make things go faster.

Firefox actually has the most options to affect network speeds. So many in fact that not only does Mozilla have a page about it, there are several blogs about it. These are very easy to access, simply type: about:config in your address bar.

Change the following settings:

  • network.http.pipelining, change the value from 4 to 8.
  • network.dns.disableIPv6, change value to true
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining, change to true
  • If those feel like to much trouble, there is a Firefox plugin that helps: chromedit

    Internet Explorer

    This first tip is Vista specific and is untested by me. I’ve heard that it works extremely well though but just like all these other settings your mileage may vary.

    The second tip is a bit more general. Using regedit we change the default number of connections from two to a larger number. Keep in mind that this will not always be reliable as some larger sites will limit the number of connections on their side.

  • Go to Start -> Run
  • Type “regedit”
  • Go to the value: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings
  • On right side check for these two values: MaxConnectionsPerServer MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
  • If they’re not present: right-click on the white region of Regedit’s right-hand column, click New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type: MaxConnectionsPerServer and hit enter
  • Right Click again and add the value: MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
  • On each value, MaxConnectionsPerServer and MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server, click on decimal and change the number from 2 (or 0) to something like 6 or 8
  • Close Regedit, start Internet Explorer and enjoy
  • Safari
    Speeding up Safari is a bit different then the other browsers. You are actually SLOWING the browser down. Safari has a setting that changes the delay on the browser from one second to a slower integer. In Terminal (with Safari closed) type: defaults write WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 0.25

    The last number is time in seconds and can be anything between 0 and 1. So 0.34 or .81 are acceptable along with the more rounded 0.5 and 0.75.

    Another good hint is to clear the cache, favorites icons, addons, and removing the preference file. Macrumors put together a great page showing how to do that.

    Keep in mind that most of these will not drastically speed up your Internet, it’ll be a small but usually noticeable speed increase. Keeping your computer in top shape and virus free will also go a long ways towards helping speed up the your web surfing.

    Leave a Reply