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
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-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.