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Firefox 3 and Web Accelerator Problems Solved

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 3/7/2011

Firefox 3 and Web Accelerator problems proved to be one of the key factors that pushed Google to disband its Google Labs project that aimed to make surfing the Web faster than ever for Windows users with broadband. Read more about the problem here.

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    About Web Accelerator

    Web Accelerator is a now-discontinued Google product that was designed to make Internet resources load faster for broadband users. A web accel key part of the product depended on servers that pre-fetched information from websites to create a cache. Computers with Web Accelerator installed would then load web pages from the caches on Google servers rather than downloading them directly from the Internet. Web Accelerator was a Google Labs product, a classification Google reserves for products and features that are under development.

    Storing pages on local computers, compressing data streams and downloading only changed information on pages also helped make the Internet experience faster with Web Accelerator.

    Web Accelerator was a Windows-only application and worked only with high speed connections to the Internet. Although it was browser-independent, there were Firefox 3 and Web Accelerator problems that contributed to the demise of the project.

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    Security Issues

    According to Google, Web Accelerator was dogged by a security flaw that involved unencrypted cookies that would somehow be uploaded by a user's computer and then downloaded by another. That bizarre flaw was ultimately corrected, but other bugs apparently weighed too heavy on developers prompting Google to shelve the project.

    Although it appears the security flaw affected virtually every Web browser used in conjunction with it, other problems with the program, including a problem with accessing YouTube videos through it also appeared universal, but there was a widely publicized problem with Firefox 3 that helped contribute to Web Accelerator's ultimate demise.

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    Problems with Firefox 3

    By its own admission, when reviewing Firefox 3 and Web Accelerator problems, Google had difficulty making the Web Accelerator product work properly with Firefox 3.

    Problems reported by users seemed to primarily involve blank pages, a problem resulting from the pre-fetching operation of the program. The problem also appeared to be related to the proxy settings required by the program that were needed to make it work properly.

    Although the problems with Firefox led to the designation of Google Web Accelerator as being incompatible with Firefox 3, some people online describe different steps to get the two programs to work together, but none seem to be very reliable.

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    All is Not Lost

    Google has officially disbanded the Web Accelerator project, but computer users and Google fans who want to try out the program still can do it. Thanks to the courtesy of Google, the Web Accelerator program can be downloaded directly from Google.

    To make it possible to use the program, Google has disabled the pre-fetching and caching functions. This means that Google Web Accelerator should work equally well with most browsers in the Windows environment.

    Although Google does not explicitly confirm this, the compression part of Web Accelerator seems to be intact.

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    References

    "Google Web Accelerator Discontinued" retrieved at: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/01/google-web-accelerator-discontinued.html

    Screenshots provided by writer