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Chrome and Firefox are about to get WAY faster

Chrome and Firefox are about to get WAY faster
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

It's funny to think that there was a time when we routinely waited half a minute for Web pages to load. Thanks to DSL, cable and fiber Internet, modern websites load in a few seconds or less. Of course, our expectations have also changed.

In the modern age of broadband Internet, even delays of 100 milliseconds, literally the blink of an eye, can determine whether you use a site or go find a faster one. And on mobile gadgets that often have slower Internet connections and hardware, waiting for sites to load can seem like agony. However, Google, as always, has a solution.

Google has made a number of tweaks to its Chrome browser over the years to speed up how websites load. For example, it can guess what sites you're about to visit and start loading them before you click. It also stops Flash from loading automatically.

Another trick Google has is data compression. By compressing the data before it's sent to you, the data arrives faster over a slower connection. Right now, it uses a system called Zopfli, but that's about to get an upgrade.

The new compression system is called Brotli, and it compresses data 26% better than Zopfli. That means as the next version of Chrome arrives in the next few weeks, you should see a bump in website loading speeds, especially on mobile gadgets. For mobile gadgets on cellular, it also means you'll see 26% less data usage during your usual browsing with the Chrome app.

It isn't just Chrome. Mozilla has indicated that a future update to Firefox will include Brotli as well, so you'll see a speed increase there as well. The exact version number isn't known yet.

A speed bump on the browser side is nice, but the delays you're seeing could be from your Internet provider. Find out if you're getting the Internet speed you're paying for.

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Source: The Verge
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