I just bookmarked a link to Firefox on Steroids, which offers a few settings you can tweak to speed up your Web browsing. After making the changes, I had to post a link here because the performance improvements the changes yielded blew me away. If you use Firefox, go forth and make these changes right now.

Update: the link above no longer works for some reason. Here’s what it said, more or less.

  1. Enter about:config in the Firefox address bar to edit your browser configuration.
  2. Set network.http.pipelining to true. (You can toggle it by double clicking on it.)
  3. Set network.http.proxy.pipelining to true.
  4. Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to something bigger than 4. I set it to 10.
  5. Create a new setting called nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set it to 0. To create a new setting, right click on the page, select New and then select Integer (since this setting is a number).

That’s all there is to it.

Another update: Mozilla team member Asa Dotzler points out why Firefox isn’t set up to work this way by default. For some Web sites, these changes can make things worse rather than better. It seems to me that the most risky change is tweaking the initial paint delay, which basically tells Firefox to start displaying the page as soon as it gets data rather than waiting until it gets enough HTML to make smart rendering decisions.