How to make Firefox faster

Several options, several including not getting rid of Firefox

The speed of a Web browser is like your salary and your looks -- it can make you really unhappy if it's bad, but if it's good, it's never quite good enough.

If you use Firefox, ghacks.net has a good suggestion to help speed things up a bit.

Rather than letting Firefox use disk space as a cache for the various images, cookies, files and bits of digital dreck that make up pieces of your favorite Web pages, pour all that stuff into memory instead.

On one hand it's logical. Data written to and read from disk is a lot slower than the same data coming out of RAM. And, memory is relatively cheap.

On the other hand, doesn't Firefox eat up enough memory as it is? How much do you want to give it?

There are several ways to add RAMdisk space and make it work with Firefox, and several ways to explain how to do it. If you hack your own gear a lot to make it run faster, know how to overclock without melting anything and not only have a sniffer, but know what to do with it, read this one.

If you don't live in your mom's basement, try this alternative.

Of course, you could always switch to a faster browser, like Chrome, even though it doesn't support most of the Add-Ons you've come to rely on and would expand the amount you rely on Google even though it's already creepy how much they know about you and how much you use them even though you'd rather not.

Google is coming out with a version it promises will keep you from being so neurotic about its plans to control the world and lose weight in the process.

When you launch the browser it opens the Hypnotoad web site and then just leaves you there until you starve

Or you could download the latest beta (9) of Firefox 4, whose JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine, enhanced HTML5 support and the inclusion of WebGL hardware-supported graphics capabilities make it blazingly fast compared to earlier versions.

It also has a built-in sync feature that will replicate all your bookmark and profile data on your smartphone, laptop, desktop, USB PC-on-a-stick and kiosk-accessed virtual desktop so you can log in to TooManyComputersAnonymous.com from wherever you are.

There are already guides out on how to get Firefox 4 how to load faster, which rates it somewhere between a sigh and a facepalm on the "not as good as I'd hoped" ratings menu.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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