Monday, January 03, 2005

Tweak Firefox into Fire-FAST!

Looking to optimize your Firefox browser for speed? Consider the "Tweak Network Settings" extension.

This extension is a 10KB file that allows you to change from the default network settings profile to a "power" settings profile. You can tweak Firefox by typing "about:config" (without the quotes) in your address bar, but you need to know which settings you are looking for. This extension handles the manual configuration for you. Click "Read More" for additional information on how to speed up Firefox with this extension.

This Firefox tweak enables a few settings that increase the number of connections for your browser as well as enabling pipelining. According to Mozilla's site:

"Normally, HTTP requests are issued sequentially, with the next request being issued only after the response to the current request has been completely received. Depending on network latencies and bandwidth limitations, this can result in a significant delay before the next request is seen by the server."

This configuration tweak allows for multiple requests to be sent from a simultaneously, i.e.: pipelining. Instead of the server waiting and waiting for the next request in a non-pipeline, or serial, fashion, pipelining sends numerous requests from the client to the server. The requests are received by the server and assembled in order, after which time they are fulfilled.

An additional benefit to pipelining is to fit more requests into a network packet. Less packets transferred means less data traffic and potentially, a faster transfer of both client requests and server fulfillment. I've noticed a definite speed increase in my Firefox browsing after this tweak. For a 10Kb download and no cost, why not give it a try? Let me know if this tweak works for you.

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At 1/04/2005 9:48 PM, Blogger Vlad said...

Unless my quick scan of your article missed it, you can also get to these settings by typing the following into the address bar:


Of course, you have to search through to find the right settings, but... definitely cool! You can also tweak "all" of your extensions that way, too!

Thanks for the info on the extension!

At 1/05/2005 5:53 PM, Blogger Kevin C. Tofel said...


You're absolutely right. To view or edit the Firefox settings, you can type about:config in the address bar. There are roughly 150 settings in there, so rather than find the ones I need to speed up the browser, I went the "easy" route and installed the extension. Of course, now you've given me the bug to go into the settings and see what else I can play with!



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