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Is Firefox 2.0 Faster Than Internet Explorer?
Technology

blogmeme
Feb 25, 2007
17 votes
4 debaters
2


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16
Firefox is faster than internet explorer


blogmeme
Feb 25, 2007
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Here's something for people with broadband that will really speed the Firefox web-browser up (you can't do this with Internet Explorer!). I use a 2MB broadband connection and it has cut my page download time in half.

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 really speeds up page loading.

HTTP Pipelining is easily configured in the browser by adjusting "network.http.pipelining..." settings. Pipelining works by sending requests simultaneously over a single connection - this avoids the delay incurred by the latency between you and the server.

A full set of instructions for configuring the Firefox Browser for HTTP pipelining

(see: http://firefoxpluginreviews.blogspot.com )

, it takes 3 minutes to do and will save you hours of time and frustration waiting for a webpage to download.

 
blogmeme
Feb 25, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Fasterfox a version of Firefox which also uses pipelining and a number of other optimisations is also available for download.

 
wigg1es
Feb 25, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
i'm not calling myself a computer expert or anything, but i managed to use about:config to speed up firefox without doing anything terrible. pipelining makes pages load blazingly fast, and it took about 3 clicks and one value change. i think the elderly could manage the mod.

 
blogmeme
Feb 26, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Yes I used the pipelining instructions detailed in the first post and noticed really significant improvements in the download speeds compared to Internet Explorer.

I also looked at Fasterfox but I heard it does some wierd stuff like cache all the data from links off the current page.. Couldn't this be a problem say if you visit a site like Amazon.com with one-click-buy turned on?

I personally prefer to know which links I'm downloading off a page so I think I'll stick with the manual configuration for HTTP pipelining.

 
blogmeme
Feb 27, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
HTTP pipelining doesn't involve any prefetching but makes parallel rather than serial requests to the server, this reduces the latency and speeds up the page download time.

There is a slight burdern with older servers but it does significantly improve client-side performance.

SEE:

http://firefoxpluginreviews.blogspot.com/



(Gray theory - I believe you are thinking about how "Fasterfox" works not this HTTP pipelining customisation of firefox)

 
blogmeme
Mar 09, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: graytheory Show

HTTP 1.1 servers shouldn't have any problem with pipelined requests (even if they can't service them with pipelined responses). But, of course, in the real world, your mileage may vary.

I don't know what proportion of servers IIS 4&5 represent but I believe them to be a minority.

 
+ Add Argument

1
No It is not Internet Explorer, is at least as fast


lifeisapickle
Feb 25, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: blogmeme Show

its not a version, its a add-on. and you can change the options manually, but if your not an expert, don't try it, since you could mess things up. u could change the options typing in the URL: about:config

 
graytheory
Feb 26, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
While I like Firefox much more than any version of IE, I have to be fair here and say that when actually tested, IE6 is faster in several areas than Firefox 2.0. IE7 beta 3 was the latest version tested as well and even in beta it managed to best FF 2.0 in several categories too, so while Firefox is a great browser, the fact is that IE is a bit quicker in several areas.

Take a look at this for details: http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/browserSpeed.html

 
graytheory
Feb 26, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: blogmeme Show

This doesn't make the browser faster, it prefetches data from possible site paths and puts them into cache before you navigate to them. Several servers ban this behavior and it's a huge drain on server resources when a lot of people hit a site with an extension like this enabled. There are also ways to disable Fasterfox from working at all via server-side commands, which I for one have implemented on my sites.

 
graytheory
Mar 08, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: blogmeme Show

Yes, I am referring to Fasterfox, which is why I mention it specifically and posted my argument as a rebuttal to someone who brought it up. I didn't say anything about HTTP pipelining.

Regardless, pipelining has its downsides as well. Pipelining many requests can be costly if the connection closes prematurely because we would have wasted time writing requests to the network, only to have to repeat them on a new connection. Moreover, a longer pipeline can actually cause user-perceived delays if earlier requests take a long time to complete.

Yes, it does offer some speed improvements, but it's not as significant as you make it sound. And it's not to be used in all types of requests. POST for example. Also IIS 4 & 5 don't support it at all, which makes up a large number of servers in use today, so again benefits aren't as linear as they may seem at first. Pipelining is good, but there's more to it.

 


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