Free - Download Google's Web Accelerator

That’s the offer at Google.

I have DSL and am relatively satisfied with its speed. Yet, I wonder if the accelerator will help speed things up even more.

But before I do anything, I’d like to know what you guys have to say.

I tried when it first came out, like a year or two ago, and it caused my system to crash every once in a while.

From their own FAQs (my numbers added):

"Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:

  1. Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
  2. Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
  3. Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
  4. Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
  5. Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
  6. Compressing data before sending it to your computer."

My comments:

  1. This slows things down. Extra routing and all.

  2. Almost all web content of interest is constantly updated or dynamically generated. E.g., there is no point in Google caching the page you are looking at now.

  3. This is handled by proper settings of your browser and OS.

  4. See point 2.

  5. See point 3.

  6. Any data of any reasonable size is in already compressed format. Text is the only exception and even then, most browsers and servers can handle “gzipped” web pages that compress even that. (Plus the text of web pages isn’t the bottle neck. Images are.) Trying to compress already compressed data almost always makes things worse.

Note that it is for people with fast connections and not dialup. This means point 4 is (supposedly) the key. While looking at a page, it is downloading pages it links to so when you click on a link, it might load faster. But the Real World is not so simple.

A far better solution for point 4 is to use a tabbed browser (I love Opera). You click on several links on a page that you are interested in (and only the ones you are interested in). While reading the first one, the others are loading. Extremely nifty. Especially for the SDMB.

It’s junk software forget it.

Oh, and they are also data mining your browser habits, and collecting such data is a huge business for Google. The info is not supposed to be personally identifying, but as the recent AOL search leak shows, it actually is.

Google has a pretty good reputation with the public, but I think if Microsoft were doing this exact same thing, people would go nuts.

ftg said ‘Any data of any reasonable size is in already compressed format. Text is the only exception and even then, most browsers and servers can handle “gzipped” web pages that compress even that.’
Is “gzipped” a new term or am I being wooshed? :slight_smile: Or was it a typo?

Anecdotally, I tried it for a couple of weeks just recently. According the statistics reported by Web Accelerator, it saved about 8 minutes of download time over a a couple hundred hours of surfing time. Just not worth running the extra software for me.

I will note the when I ran the beta version a little over a year ago, it was buggy and crashed a couple of times, but the current version worked transparently and apparently harmlessly in both IE and Firefox.

Firefox has the ability to pre-cache links on a page up to a certain, user-set amount. It can be changed through the about:config page though I don’t remember exactly where.

IIRC, setting it high enough to actually be effective causes it to be a pretty significant memory drain on your computer.

Thank you, one and all.

I guess I can get along without Google’s offer.