Is there anything more frustrating than getting slow access to the internet? That too when you know you are paying for fast internet connection and may be it is just your web browser which might be having a tough day. While we are at it, is there any way for people who have opted for slow internet plans to cut down on some resources and pace up their browsing speed?

Worry not, as it turns out fixing your web browser to reshape it to get the maximum out of it isn’t a tough nut to crack. Here are some add-ons and other tools that will help you fix your gateway to the internet.

Clear the cache

Before even getting into it, let’s clear your browser’s cache, shall we? Every browser that you use stores some files in your browser. Well, cache aren’t really a vestigial thing per se. It helps you save data by retrieving things off of your hard drive instead of downloading it every time you visit the same page. This way they also maintain a cordial relationship with web servers and kills the lagging time in the process.

The downside of this is, as you browse more and more web pages, the cache files just starts heaping up and starts taking too much undue memory on your hard drive. Also, at the same time, you don’t really want to keep cookies in your browser for a long period of time. Another sparkling reason of why you should make a habit of cleaning your browser’s cache is that sometimes your browser may end saving some vicious files in your hard drive, and keeping it long in your system is of course running a risk.

Cleaning things with CCleaner

To clear the cache, almost every browser facilitates that option in its settings. But if you are one of those people who don’t like getting into much details, you could use a freeware utility such as CCleaner, tick the Cache and hit Run Cleaner.

Kill idle tabs wasting memory

Busy browsing practice

While this sight leaves you with a good first impression, it doesn’t necessarily hold well on the memory. The more tabs you have opened in any active session, the more network as well as system resources it will share. To prevent such clumsy experience, there are many extensions that could bail you out of this. TooManyTabs for Chrome is one of the most functional ones around. It is available for Firefox users as well. It lets you stop, suspend, and freeze any page whenever you want. You can also save the page’s state and open it when you want to use it again.

TooManyTabs for Chrome_realtime action

Another free alternate extension for Chrome user is One-Tab. As we tested in our review, it not only lets you integrate all your tabs and manage it more efficiently, but also save upto 95% of bandwidth.

Speeding up network speed of Firefox

Tweak Network

Firefox users can also tweak their browser settings to avail some swift benefits. Plenty of forums suggest several tedious ways that includes anything from script hacking to deleting some .dll files to codifying about:config. Since all of that sounds dapple, there is one add-on that cuts down the clumsiness and reduces your work to entering few numbers only. The aforementioned add-on is Tweak Network, once installed, all you are required to do is change default values. Change the value of “Max persistent connections per server” from 6 to 16. And also, tick the “Pipelining” square button. What it does, is allow the browser to fetch content from the websites more quickly using more number of requests and connections. For Chrome users, things are little sad as there is no way to configure such things just yet.

Preview links without clicking on them

Thanks to URL shortening tools, now anyone can shrink their ladder long URLs to a few characters. The downside of this is when you see such links, until you click on them, you won’t be able to figure the actual parent link. Additionally, in this time where cyber-crimes especially phishing have mixed itself with social media so abruptly, it is not only time and bandwidth data we should be worried about, but your privacy and security are at stake as well.

To fix this broken model, Chrome users could use an extension named SwiftPreview. SwiftPreview pop-ups a window when you hover your mouse over any shrunk link and shows you a preview of it in that popped up window. This tool could really come handy for avid social networking users. Firefox users need not to be disheartened, as there is a cool alternative of SwiftPreview, called CoolPreview, that will let you do that job just well.


Alternatively, you can also use nifty extensions like Link Revealer and Untiny which essentially do the same task.

Block the trackers

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about how advertisers are tracking people, and why it is terribly bad for your privacy. The other drawback of it, is that it hogs your network as well, resulting in slow internet connectivity.

You could use a great utility called DisconnectMe which will keep all your trackers away.

Noteworthy mentions

Apart from using above mentioned tools, there are many other tools that can help you stay more productive.

  • Using Gmail with keyboard: CNET shows how you access your Gmail account and perform all the operations without having to use your mouse.

Lazarus saves everything you type

  • Lazarus will save everything you write: Lazarus is one of my favorite utilities that lets its users save whatever they were typing on any form, comment section or anywhere (except password fills, of course).
  • Disable Java and Flash: yes it is indeed one thing you can always look for while speeding up your browser’s speed.
  • Turn off images: If you are really running short on your data, or if the internet speed is really very slow, you could also from the settings disable images for some time.
  • Use mobile version of the webpage: Of course you could always opt for mobile version of any page – that will surely be render pages fast and consume less bandwidth.

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Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.