Unlike most other accelerators which provide caching on your own PC, Google Web Accelerator (GWA) uses caching on Google's own dedicated web servers to accelerate browsing.
It also uses a number of other techniques to speed things up, including compression of html pages and the use of pre-fetching links. GWA automatically installs into Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, and can be manually configured to work with other browsers.
To protect user privacy, the accelerator does not function while you are connected to secure sites, such as internet banking. Does it work? You bet! Most users, myself included, report improvements of 10-40% in browsing speeds.
There are, however, some caveats:
- It's only available for Windows XP, Windows 2000 SP3+, and Vista.
- The product is optimized for broadband use, so modem users may experience little or no gain.
- The system currently works best within the USA and Europe, and users located in other areas will only see a small benefit.
- There are some potential privacy issues involved, so all users should closely read what Google has documented on the subject. Personally, I don't have a problem with the privacy issues, but your mileage may vary.
Those reservations aside, this is a terrific product. It provides, at no cost, most of the benefits of expensive commercial web acceleration services like Propel. Download it and see if it speeds up your browsing; if it doesn't, it's perfectly easy to uninstall.
NB: Some Vista users have reported problems with this program (ie. that it simply doesn't work, or that it blocks access). The root causes remain very unclear. It may be a "64-bit problem", or an "SP1 problem", or it may affect only those PCs which are connected to external or internal "private" networks. Because I'm not aware of any uninstallation difficulty, my advice remains the same: you have nothing to loose by trying it.
Google Web Accelerator
Website: [No longer supported by Google]
Download page: http://www.filehippo.com/download_google_web_accelerator/tech/
Alternative download link: No
Author: Google Lab.
Current version: 0.2.70
Version date: February 15, 2007
Download file size: 1.55 MB
Operating systems supported: XP, 2000 SP3+, Vista
Additional software required: IE 5.5+, or Firefox 1.0+
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Unknown
Two alternatives which you might like to consider are:
- Ashampoo Internet Accelerator 2
- TCP Optimizer, which is reviewed in this article Best Free TCP Settings Tweaker
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