From: bobrankin@ULSTER.NET
Subject: TOURBUS - 29 Dec 1998 - Speed Up Your Surfing

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Speed Up Your Surfing

Sometimes "surfing the web" seems more like pushing a fully loaded
dogsled through the desert.  But there are some easy, low-cost steps you
can take to speed things up considerably.  Today's TOURBUS issue has six
ideas you can use to get your browser in the fast lane on the infobahn.

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NetSonic is a web accelerator that tries to speed up your surfing by
guessing where you'll go next.  When you visit a website, NetSonic takes
the liberty of pre-fetching the links on that page while you're reading
it.  If you do click on one of those links, the page is already in your
cache, and it comes up right away.  NetSonic also shines when you return
to pages you've already viewed, delivering them from the cache, and
letting you know if you need to reload the page to pick up recent

This works really well if you visit sites that don't change often, but
of course it can't help a lot when you're visiting a news or stock quote
page which is updated frequently.  NetSonic v1.02 is free and works with
Windows 95/98 and all major browsers.  A similar tool for Mac users is

  NetSonic - 

  SurfExpress - 


BoostWeb is another browser accelerator, and it claims to make your
surfing up to seven times faster without any changes to your hardware.
BoostWeb works by decreasing the amount of data your browser needs to
download.  A proxy (intermediate)  server fetches web pages on your
behalf, compresses the data, then delivers it to your PC, where the
BoostWeb client software decompresses the data and pumps it into your

Sounds geeky, but it does seem to speed things up.  It's a lot like
downloading a ZIP file.  BoostWeb runs on Windows 95/98/NT and you can
download an eval version that's free to use until January 4, 1999.  If
you want to keep using it after that, you'll have to fork over $30.  I
don't know of a similar product for the Mac.

   BoostWeb - 


This is a great little utility that helps you optimize your Win95
Internet connection.  Turns out the Microsoft Dialup Networking defaults
work well for LAN users, but are not so great for dialup users.  Let
MTUSPEED tweak your Windows registry and you'll probably get a boost of
30% or more.  Mac users don't need this program.



All of the speeder uppers mentioned so far are free or low-cost software
solutions, but if your hardware is old and slow to begin with, there's
only so much that can be done.  If you really want to go faster, often
the best solution is to spend a little money and upgrade your system.
Here are the steps I recommend taking, in priority order:

  - Upgrade to a 56K modem.  If your ISP supports them, and doesn't
    charge extra for  a 56K connection, this is the best step you can
    take to boost online performance.  I've seen them for under $30 so
    this is not going to break your budget, and swapping modems is not
    difficult, even for the computer novice.

    ISDN modems are twice as fast, but much more expensive.  And the
    ISP & telco charges are outrageous in most areas.  Cable hookups
    really fly, but are not available in many areas.  If you can get a
    cable connection to the Net for a reasonable price, grab it.

  - Add memory.  Memory prices have dropped like a rock this past year,
    to under $2 per megabyte.  So if you don't have at least 16MB of RAM,
    you're suffering needlessly.  Extra memory will really help those
    bloated browsers to start up and run faster, and can minimize nasty
    system hangs.  If you run Win95 or higher, I recommend 64MB of RAM.

  - Get a faster computer.  If you have a few hundred dollars to blow,
    an upgrade to a 300 Mhz CPU is a good investment, considering
    price/performance.  For about $300 you can get a new motherboard
    with 300 Mhz CPU and 64MB of RAM.

If you spend more than fifteen minutes online each day, you should try
one or more of the speedup ideas in this issue.  Your time is more
valuable than you think!  That's all for now, see you next time!
--Bob Rankin

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