Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Where did the options go?

    In Fasterfox 1.0.0, the options were moved to the extension manager.  They may be accessed in one of two ways:

    1.  Select the menu item "Tools > Extensions" to display the Extensions Manager.  Highlight Fasterfox and click "Options".

    2.  If the Fasterfox Page Load Timer is visible in the lower right corner of the status bar, right click it and select "Options".

  • Is this really free?

    Fasterfox is totally free and open source (view source), licensed under the MPL 1.1.  It contains no spyware or adware (view independent audit). 
    The only manner in which this project is supported is by donations and visitors who click the sponsored links found on this site.
  • What is prefetching?

    "Prefetching" is the silent loading of links in the background before you click them.  This speeds up browsing because in many cases, by the time you click a link it is already cached on your machine and there is zero load time needed.

    By default, Firefox prefetches links which are explicitly marked by the web page designer to be prefetched.  This is seldom done in practice, so you rarely benefit from it.

    Fasterfox's "Enhanced Prefetching" causes all of the links on the page to be eligible for prefetching, which leads to a very noticeable difference in snappiness while surfing the web.
  • Can prefetching "mess" things up?

    Since prefetching is basically the same as clicking on a link, and clicking on a dynamic link can perform some action such as "logging you out" or "emptying your cart", only static content is prefetched by Fasterfox. 

    On top of the Mozilla prefetching limitations which are outlined here:  Mozilla Link Prefetching FAQ

    Fasterfox further limits prefetching such that only files with the extension .gif, .htm, .html, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .text, .txt, and .xml are prefetched.  This should eliminate all possibility of Enhanced Prefetching messing things up, however, if you should notice undesirable behavior, please file a bug or email me.

    Users who are behind a firewall which monitors web surfing habits (such as users at work) should note that all links which are prefetched will appear to the firewall as though they were visited by you (even though they will not appear in your history file).  These users may wish to disable prefetching by disabling prefetching in the "Fasterfox" tab.
  • Is prefetching the same as preloading?

    Prefetching should not be confused with "Preloading" which is a technique to store part of the Firefox executable in memory all the time so that it starts faster when you click the icon in Windows.  Unlike prefetching, preloading does not affect the speed of web surfing.

  • I'm a webmaster, how can I prevent prefetching?

    Because some websites may not have the resources available to support the enhanced prefetching feature, it may be easily blocked by webmasters. 

    Prior to generating any prefetching requests, Fasterfox checks for a file named "robots.txt" in your site's root directory (subdirectories are not checked).  If this file contains the following 2 lines, no prefetching requests will be made to your domain:

    User-agent: Fasterfox
    Disallow: /

  • How do I use the Fasterfox Page Load Timer?

    The Page Load Timer is enabled by default. If you do not wish to see the timer, right click it and select "Hide Timer".

    Remember to clear your cache between each test of the timer and each time you change settings. Failure to clear the cache will skew results.

  • What settings are configured by the presets?

    Special thanks to P. Jansen for preparing this PDF which shows the settings that are configured by each preset: Fasterfox Presets PDF.
  • How do I uninstall Fasterfox?

    To uninstall Fasterfox, select the menu item "Tools > Extensions" to display the Extensions Manager.  Highlight Fasterfox and click "Uninstall".

  • How do I translate Fasterfox?

    If you are interested in translating Fasterfox, you can create a locale that I will include in the package.  This is done by translating the phrases found in the four files that make up the English locale.  For most translators, the most convenient way to do this is by using Babelzilla's Web Translation System.
  • User submitted questions:

    September Mailing List Archive
    October Mailing List Archive
    November Mailing List Archive
    December Mailing List Archive


Performance and network tweaks for Firefox.