Both Firefox and Internet Explorer put limitations on file downloads. These Internet standards only allow 2 downloads at the same time, but there is an easy way to modify the number of simultaneous downloads within Firefox. Additionally, you can do a few other tweaks to speed up Firefox, such as reducing delays and enabling parallel downloads (or pipelining as Mozilla calls it). You don’t even have to edit the registry to perform these tweaks: you can use a cool hidden feature in Firefox to hack the raw configuraiton settings right in the browser. Follow these steps to speed up browsing with Firefox:
Open a copy of Firefox if you do not already have it open.
Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
Scroll down the list and locate network.http.max-connections-per-server
Right-click this setting and select Modify. Enter a higher value, such as 15, and press OK.
Enable parallel downloads, which is known as pipelining in Firefox. Scroll further down the list and locate network.http.pipelining.
Right-click this setting and select Toggle. Scroll down and modify network.http.pipelining.maxrequests. Set this to a value of at least 15 and press OK.
Tip: If you use a proxy server to connect to the Internet, you will also want to toggle network .http.proxy.pipelining.
Let’s reduce the paint delays in Firefox. But be careful with this one; according to the Mozilla Foundation, if you have a slower machine, this tweak can actually slow down Firefox.
Right-click anywhere on the configuration screen and select New and then Integer.
Enter nglayout.initialpaint.delay in the name box and then 0 in the value boxes that pop up.
Close and restart Firefox to activate your new optimized settings.
Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via
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