Speed Up Your Browser in Seconds

Whether you use DSL, high-speed Cable, or dial-up connections to surf the Internet, your connection speed is only one of several factors that can affect how fast webpages load in your browser.  The size of your temporary Internet files (also called your “cache”), is also important.

A cache is the spot in your computer where your browser temporarily stores info from the web pages you visit (like images). The cache allows web pages you revisit to load faster (since your computer already has the images and doesn’t need to re-download them to show you the page).  Because of this, setting your browser store more temporary Internet files (giving it a bigger cache) can speed up how fast webpages appear when you revisit them. (This increased speed of loading revisited pages is especially noticeable for dial-up Internet users.)

Here is how to increase your cache in Internet Explorer:How to increase size of internet file cache in Internet Explorer

1. Click the Tools icon (gear icon in upper right on the latest version of IE) and select Internet Options.
2. From the Browsing history section (on the General tab), click the Settings button.
3. Click the radio button next to Automatically and increase the Disc space to use amount to at least 250 MB (more if your computer has lots of space).
4. Click the OK button to save your changes, then OK again to close Internet Options.

Here is how to increase your cache in Firefox:

  • PC Users: Click on the Firefox button > Options > Advanced
  • Mac Users: Click on Firefox Menu > Preferences > Advanced
  • In the center “Offline Storage” section, select “Override automatic cache management”
  • Then, alter the value for ” Limit cache to [ ] MB f space” as desired

Cookies – What They Are & How to Manage Them

It’s funny how the tech community (service providers, browser support associates, etc) started using the term “cookies” without bothering to explain it to anyone.

Because we’ve heard the term so much, it’s obvious that cookies are an important part of our online life…but what are they?

Simply put, “cookies” are small files that websites you visit place on your computer for you.  The information in the file tells your browser to give you a personalized experience.

A simple example is EarthLink.net.  When you visit, you are brought to a page where you can choose to view “residential” or “business” information (see graphic below).  Once you chose “residential” information, you are brought to a page showing only residential services.

When you make this selection, EarthLink gives your computer a “cookie” so it remembers that you’re interested in residential info.  Because of the cookie, the next time you visit EarthLink.net, you’ll be taken directly to this page instead of the one displaying choices (see second graphic, below).

You have control of these files (you can tell your browser to accept or deny them, and you can delete them…if you want to see EarthLink.net’s “Residential or Business info?” page again, for example…), but I recommend allowing them, since their purpose is to give you an easier online experience.

 

What is a Web Browser?

I found a nice article explaining web browsers.

We all know that there’s “the internet,” but often the difference between “the internet” and a “browser” is confusing.

A browser is the tool you use to access the internet.

For example, if I want to visit google.com, I can use any internet browser I want to get there, much like I can use any car I want to drive to a friend’s house; the destination is the same (a web page or my friend’s home), but the way I access it can be different (Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers, or a Honda or Toyota vehicle).

Click here for the article, which gives a neat breakdown of your browser’s parts.