Firefox at the speed of lightning

To increase the speed at which the Firefox web browser loads pages, here’s an advanced tweak that will supercharge your web surfing.

(If you don’t have a copy we highly recommend it: Download
for free.)

The procedure is called pipelining. It allows the web browser to open multiple connections to a destination web site and pull down content faster. It cuts into the page load time.

You can think of this technique like fetching food from a buffet. Usually, you go up with one plate, load it up, only to come back later to refill it. Pipelining lets you send up all your children with a plate each to fill it and bring it back to you.

Now a warning: Using pipelining is greedy. Imagine what would happen to the buffet if you sent up 30 kids (same goes for web servers). That said, here’s how to do it:

First, type “about:config” into the Firefox address bar and hit return. You’ll see a bunch of weird settings. Scroll down and look for the following entries:

  • network.http.pipelining
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

Normally, the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining, it will make several at once, which speeds up page loading.

Next, edit the entries as follows:

  • Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true” by right-clicking on it and choosing “Toggle“.
  • Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true
  • Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.
  • Then right-click anywhere and select New -> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0“. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

If you’re using a high-speed broadband connection, you’ll load pages much faster now when you browse the web with Firefox!