I must admit that I wince whenever I read a claim that a particular program will speed up my PC. I've been trying these programs for more than a decade and frankly most don't work. But there is always an exception that proves the rule and SpeedyFox is indeed, such an exception.
SpeedyFox is a program designed to speed up Firefox. It doesn't claim to speed up your browsing but rather to make Firefox load more quickly and to accelerate some specific operations such as viewing/searching your browsing history and working with cookies.
According to the SpeedyFox website the program works by contacting the databases that Firefox users to store its information.
"Firefox uses SQLITE databases to store lots of its settings. By over time the databases grow and Firefox starts working slowly. SpeedyFox compacts those databases without loosing any data."
This seems like a credible claim but as ever, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I tested it out on my personal laptop and it worked like a charm. After running SpeedyFox my version, of Firefox definitely loads quicker. However I was unable to assess whether there was any improvement in dealing with browsing history or with cookies - I'm not even sure how I would go about measuring that. But the improvement in loading speed alone more than justifies the use of the product.
I should say that my version of Firefox was an excellent candidate for improvement as my profile was very old. Users with newer profiles are unlikely to see the same sort of improvement I experienced.
Usage of SpeedyFox couldn't be simpler. The program doesn't require installing so all you need do is download and run the executable. You will then see the following screen.
Unless you are using the portable version of Firefox you will normally just accept the default setting for your profile. Then click the " Speed Up My Firefox" button and you're done.
The optimization process is quick; only a few seconds in my case and the improvement is immediate, you'll notice it the next time you load Firefox.
All up, a pretty useful free utility that provides a genuine benefit to most Firefox users. The degree of benefit will depend on the age and condition of your profile. I suspect some folks will see a significant improvement while others will see almost none. But what the heck, you've got nothing to lose, so give it a try.
http://www.crystalidea.com/speedyfox (300KB, Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7)
Thanks to regular contributor Lex Davidson for the suggestion.