TechSpot

very slow browsing with Firefox

By CirTap
Apr 24, 2005
  1. Hi y'all,

    since the advent of FF and TB 1.0 I made several friends of mine to successfully switch from their MS counterparts. However, one of them has complained about FF beeing extremely slow when browsing the web.
    TB works like a charme and MSIE is "lightning fast" compared to what FF has to offer.
    For that reason I don't think that the TCP/IP settings are messed up in general, but the prob's purely related to FF.
    Because I'm the "PC guy" around, she asked (well, actually insisted <g>) for help, since it was my glory idea to make her use FF for "safety, useability and speed reasons" ... :blush: She saw the useability and safety benefits, but no speed. And I must agree: FF is painfully slow on this machine.
    This has been true with both XP Home SP1 and also after updating to SP2 just recently.

    Especially eBay and Amazon are a no-go, as well as other sites using resources from several sub-domains (like images or scripts) are a real PITA to browse with FF.
    I checked all available IP and network settings, DNS cache and alike, and also "hacked" some settings via about:config in FF to make it use more connections and the "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" with no success (taken from some Mozdev-Forum IIRC).
    Well, to be honest: except for the nglayout delay set to zero, the proposed networking/http settings had no great impact on my machine either, but I thought to give 'em a try. From what I see in the rest of about:config / networking.*, all values are the defaults -- like on my machine which runs fine.
    There aren't any extensions installed either that could probably interfere with these settings.

    My friend's computer uses an ISDN dial-up connection which is quiet fine in "speed" for any other application using TCP/IP (MSIE, TB, BitDefender etc. pp)
    There's no difference if I disable BitDefender (incl. background services) so I don't think that its firewall or AV engine are causing this.
    I mean the pages show up, but it takes over a minute for them to complete, compared to several seconds only in MSIE.
    Also it doesn't matter if the dial-up is initiated by FF/MSIE or manually. In any situation MSIE beats FF in speed, which makes it hart for me to argue for FF.

    I did or course a clean install of FF (1.0.1 at that time) after dumping the profile/app folder - no success.

    Any ideas anyone?
    Thanx.

    Have fun,
    CirTap
     
  2. t bone

    t bone TS Rookie

    this has speeded up my firefox and other peoples too you my want to give it a try.

    1.Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:
    network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

    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.

    2. Alter the entries as follows:
    Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
    Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"
    Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30.
    This means it will make 30 requests at once.

    3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

    also firefox is now up to version 1.0.3

    there are some other tips for "speedup" i'll post later, after work.
    good luck
     
  3. CirTap

    CirTap TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    t_bone,

    thanks for the tips, however, that were exactly the settings I refered to in my post. I can't recall the maxrequests number, but I know I increased the value.

    > there are some other tips for "speedup" i'll post later
    thanks, that'd be nice!
    I currently have no access to this computer, so I can't try (as I said, mine runs perfect). As she's now browsing with IE anyway, theres no presure. I'll collect all the hints and tips, and then install the most recent version of FF anyway when I'm back home.

    Have fun,
    CirTap
     
  4. AMD2800+

    AMD2800+ TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Hope that helps, dude, unfortunately you can't get rid of IE full stop, infuriating when i do have to use it, Firefox is (without exception) at least 1/3 to 1/2 quicker to load any given page. Firefox is undoubtedly superior.
     
  5. AMD2800+

    AMD2800+ TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Oh yeah, and more of those little mods please, those 4 made it noticeably quicker again :D
     
  6. furnacemanjoe

    furnacemanjoe TS Rookie

  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,450   +324

    Firefox speed has always been fine for me

    strange! My Win/98se (733 mhz at that!) ran fine with FF 1.0 thru 1.0.3 and my new laptop (1.3ghz) running XP SP2 runs fine too.

    Both systems with full firewall, antispam, popup blockers et al. I've never needed to adjust the MRU size or any of the FF configuration.

    As you claim IE performance is fine and FF is slow, sadly I conclude there is a problem with the Install.

    One other issue that is easily overlooked; the IE UserAgent signature is frequently used to control the style of HTML retrieved. This is how we get sites that ONLY operate with IE; they discard all other browser access :mad:

    Sadly when the site favors one browser over all others, and yet tries to be compatible, much can (and ususally does) go wrong. It's hard to test these variations and frequently, there are functional errors, let alone performance issues.

    Sorry to hear of your plight, but understand that others are not having this problem to any degree you describe.
     
  9. t bone

    t bone TS Rookie

    that's what i've been thinking too, after the "about config" adjustment didn't work, somehow the install was corrupt.
    mabye it will straighten out after he installs v1.0.3


    anyway...here's firefox preloader to help with the startup time.
     
  10. CirTap

    CirTap TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hi,
    thanks to anyone for their replies.

    @AMD2800: I don't get your point, no need to "sell" me Firefox or praise its features to me <g> I *do* use it and it worx perfectly well on any of *my* machines, but not on my friend's.

    @furnacemanjoe & realblackstuff: I'll check this tool. Thanks for the tip.

    this is what's bugging me the most! I trashed the old install dir incl. any profiles and re-installed FF from scratch, incl. the registry keys, and it didn't help :( As I said before, I'll get back to her machine and retry with 1.0.3.
    I woudn't say eBay or Amazon fall into the category "works best with browser XY", as they're fine and fast here and anyplace else with Firefox.
    I just found that especially such "fat" sites, that load their images, banners or other resources from sub-domains appear very slow in FF only. That's why I tweaked the maxconnection settings in "about:config" t_bone mentioned as well in the first place: they sounded so related <g>
    it's really annoying, 'cos this is truly the very first machine I ran into, that had this trouble, and I installed FF on many PCs. What's more irritating is that Thunderbird, for instance, works very well, so I can't really blame their network engine ...

    Anyway, I'll try this "FireTune" tool (the screenshot looks promising <g>) and the "preloader" the next time I sit in front of her machine.

    Thanx a bunch to anyone sharing their ideas and sympathy <g>
     
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    I use Mozilla with no problems. I found FF to be just a tad underpowered.
     
     
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