Firefox isn’t a slow web browser by any means, but with a little bit of tweaking and fiddling around, you can make it even faster. This is exactly what Fasterfox aims to do. It’s a small extension for Firefox that adds several ways to speed up the browser. It’s designed to boast upload and download speeds, reduce page load times, and can even make video streaming from sites like YouTube faster. The add-on comes packaged with a few presets that let you swiftly switch between different levels of performance. More details after the jump.
Fasterfox gives you control over various options, but when you open its Options window for the first time, the only tabs available to you are ‘Presets’ and ‘Fasterfox’.
Presets carry a bunch of different profiles that allow you to quickly switch between different levels of performance improvement, namely ‘Default/Normal’, ‘Courteous/Light’, ‘Optimized/Medium’, and ‘Turbo/Strong’. In case you’re wondering what each level entails, refer to the one-line description under each.
Normal, for instance, keeps Firefox settings at their default, while Turbo Charged raises performance to maximum. If you’re a casual user, using these presets should suffice. Advanced users, on the other hand, might want to tweak performance settings on their own via the ‘Custom’ option at the bottom of the presets tab, which also unlocks the remaining tabs (‘Cache’, ‘Connection’, ‘Pipelining’, ‘Rendering’, and ‘Popups’) in the Options window, each carrying its own set of tweaks.
Under the Fasterfox tab, you can toggle ‘Enhance Prefetching’ and specify certain keywords for links you don’t want to prefetch when loading pages. Another option within the same tab lets you enable or disable a page load timer.
The Cache tab allows you to specify your desired browser and DNS cache values. Likewise, number of connections made to the server for, lets say, downloading a file, can also be tweaked under its pertaining tab.
During testing of the add-on, I gave the Turbo Charged profile a shot and the difference it made to the overall page loading speed and video streaming was fairly significant. Most pages seemed to load slightly faster while YouTube videos started to stream without hiccups.
You can download Fasterfox from Mozilla’s add-on repository via the link provided below.