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Speeding up dialup via browser tweaks?


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#1 blub

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:36 AM

I am unfortunately stuck on dialup internet for awhile. I'm trying to tweak things a bit to speed up web browsing because it does help somewhat. Here's my question and problem: I've changed my browser cache from 50 MB to 400 MB (and am considering changing it to 800 MB), will this slow down my computer and make the computer and browser slower? I keep hearing people talk about how emptying the browser cache helps speed up their computer, but I've never believed that. I'm wondering if it's true or if people are just too uptight about keeping their computers "clean."

For those who may be interested, I've basically just installed some browser add-ons that block flash content and other unnecessary crap from loading. It doesn't help a lot, but it does help.

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:11 PM

The cache is just a temporary location for web content the browser has loaded. The larger the cache, the more web content that doesn't have to re-download every time you repeatedly visit web sites. This can help with slow dial-up (I speak from personal experience).

On "fast" internet, the cache is not as important, and can actually slow down browsing (or cause page loading problems), hence why people clear it often.

You might also consider turning off images, which can significantly increase page load times on dial-up.
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#3 blub

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:11 AM

On "fast" internet, the cache is not as important, and can actually slow down browsing (or cause page loading problems), hence why people clear it often.


That's interesting. Why can the cache slow down browsing? Does it have something to do with the speed of the internet connection vs. speed of the computer?

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:35 AM

That's actually why the cache is used in the first place, not why it's cleared. It's hard to explain, so I'll let you read this article that explains it better than I ever could:

What's a browser cache, how do I "clear" it, and why would I want to?

Think of clearing the cache like a forced refresh (Ctrl + F5, or Ctrl + Shift + R) for every page you visit. Every now and then, certain pages or page elements just won't load, and a forced refresh (which tells your browser to not use the cache) fixes the issue.

And if that doesn't fix it, I reset my router and reboot my computer. lol.
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