Firefox Hack – How to Run Faster Firefox!

Most people who have used Firefox for the last couple years probably know this hack but let me do a step-by-step instructions on this for the simplest and best way to make your Firefox browser run faster.

Faster Firefox!

First, go to your Firefox URL address bar and type, “about:config”.

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You will see a warning sign but just click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!”.

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Next, enter “network” in the Filter input like this:
(Then you should be able to scroll down to network.http.pipelining.

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By default http pipelining is turned off on your Firefox browser.  This is basically allowing “parallel” http processes when you load a site.  So instead of sending one HTTP request to the web server, by using HTTP Pipelining, your browser will be able to request multiple HTTP requests simultaneously.  (If you took a college class in computer architecture like I did 10 years ago, you will get what “pipelining” is.)

By the way, pipelining is a commonly used method in computer processors too.  Most likely the Intel or AMD CPU you currently have on your computer or laptop does “pipelining”.  Just wanted to explain how this feature actually improves performance.

Also, if you are on a slow connection such as broadband connection, enabling pipelining might not actually speed up your Firefox browser.

This is a good way to improve download speeds so long as you don’t have bottlenecks on your internet connection, DSL and Cable modems will probably work the best. (or anything faster like T1)

To enable HTTP pipelining, simply enable network.http.pipelining to true, set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to 30 (or you can play around with this number as the best performance achieved may depend on your computer and internet connection), and also set network.http.proxy.pipelining to true.

Next, we will set a new value on the Firefox browser called “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” to zero so there’s absolutely no delay and Firefox starts loading graphics as it loads the website simultaneously. (instead of default setting where there’s a delay, WHY?)

First, right click on any of the values and you can select New->Integer like this:

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Then, set the name to nglayout.initialpaint.delay.

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Finally, enter “0” (zero) and press enter.

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Try loading some heavy websites like my Zedomax.com, your Firefox should now run a bit faster.  YEY!

Of course, there’s other ways to make your Firefox faster such as messing with cache values and whatnot but in my testings, their performance is negligible.  If you want to still do that, try this guide over here.

More Tips on making Your Firefox Run Faster!

For one, try using Firefox 3.5 instead of any of the older versions, the latest version runs much faster.

Second, don’t have more than 5 tabs open at any given moment.  In my 3-month study, having more than 5 tabs on Firefox, greatly reduced its performance.  As soon as you close those extra tabs, my Firefox started running much faster.

Third, if you are running a Windows machine, you can try setting the highest priority to real-time in your Task Manager.

You can also try this tab extension but I don’t use it much as having more extensions in the first place means slower overall Firefox.

P.S. You can also want to try Fasterfox extension which does DNS pre-fetching (like Google Chrome browser).

Also, I’ve noticed that Google Chrome is about 20% faster on average.  I use both Firefox and Google Chrome on a regular basis.  You should try Google Chrome if you haven’t yet.  I also hear that the new Opera browser is pretty fast too as it loads graphics in low-res first.

Of course, just don’t use Internet Explorer, too many security exploits and SLOW!

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