Friday, May 2, 2008

Valuable Tips for faster internet

Patience is probably your only pal if you are using the internet on the go. With data cards falling to speeds under 10 kbps, there may be times when it takes all your self control to stop from chucking that laptop out of the window. Here are some tips for those suffering form this bandwidth withdrawal syndrome on the go:

First, get a browser that will help you save bandwidth. Mozilla Firefox, for instance, is works on compression techniques that will load web pages much faster. Second, advertisements, especially Flash-based ones, are a major bandwidth hog. Kill these and you will end up saving a considerable amount of bandwidth.

For this, Firefox comes with a couple of good add-ons such as Adblocker and Flashblocker. Also tweak your Explorer’s setting to disable images when not required and you will see the pages loading much quicker. For this you could use another Firefox extension called Imglikeopera Extension.

This will load images from cachethis saves images on your PC, so they don’t require to be summoned from the respective websites—thus saving bandwidth.

While on the topic of images, while sending pictures, make sure you are not transferring high-resolution ones. Use a photo editor program like Microsoft Image Resizer to shrink pictures before you send them via email or upload them on a website.
Streaming sites such as YouTube or Metacafe are other bandwidth killers, so if you are on the go don’t touch these. Similarly , avoid streaming music sites that offer radio, since these add considerable strain to your browsing on the go.

Auto updates might be a good thing for those working on a healthy internet. But for those working on threadbare speeds, it’s a good idea to turn these off. Because these programs keep downloading latest updates from the internet as soon as they are available, they end up using precious bandwidth, eventually adding to your bill.

If your ISP calls for more dire measures, then you might want to shell out some extra money and get a permanent compressor program like On-Speed ( This works like a charm if you work with image-heavy sites, because it compresses every single image , making pages lighter.

However , bear in mind that since the system works by compressing the graphics, it also reduces their quality. This won’t matter with most sites where the graphics have no useful function. But you might want to read the fine print before you sign up for programs like this, mainly because if all your pages are going via OnSpeed then it knows what you are doing, and this information is valuable for serving ads. OnSpeed costs £24.99 a year, which might be another consideration .

Webaroo (www.webaroo. com) is another interesting application for the bandwidth starved. This is an offline browsing program that basically downloads pages from sites that you frequently visit on to your hard disk, thus making them locally available.

The latest version , Webaroo 2, also lets you download videos from YouTube, Metacafe, Google Videos and other sites as well as download Flickr Photos by user, group and photoset. It’s also a good idea to have this handy if you subscribe to tons of RSS feeds. The application also offers change alerts and download suggestions on interesting videos and photos if you like, but this feature can get slightly irritating if you are working on the go.
Monitor your bandwidth usage , especially if you use one of those restricted plans that put download limits on your usage. There are plenty of bandwidth meters available online. Try Bit-Meter II ( .net/controller ? page=bitmeter2 ) if you are looking for a free and easyto-install application.

Its winning feature is the ISP Restrictions screen, where you can specify your ISP’s monthly limit and request an alert when you hit a customizable percentage of it. BitMeter II tracks your PC’s current download and upload speeds and gives you constant updates.

Once you have used BitMeter for a while, you can appreciate the graphs and spreadsheets that the program uses to chart your data transfer patterns by hour, day, week and month. CodeBox Software, Bit-Meter’s creator, also includes a calculator to help you estimate how long a download will take. A great tool to have handy while on the go.

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