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Old 23. Nov 2009, 11:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Firefox problem

I did for a long time use Firefox as my preferred browser, but since the introduction of later versions (late version of 2, if I recall correctly, and all versions of 3) it has deteriorated severely in download speed. I now have the following browsers installed: Firefox 3.5.5, Firefox IEtab, IE8 (8.0.6001.18702), Opera 10.10 and Google Chrome 3.0.195.33 on my desktop (XP, SP3, 1Gb RAM), all of them Swedish versions.

I have tried different setups for Firefox (with and without bookmarks, add-ons etc) Swedish as well as US-English versions, but always with the same disappointing outcome with respect to download speed.

This evening between 22:00 and 23:00 I measured the download speed for each of the above browsers five times (in random order) with the following average - arithmetic mean, Mbit/sec - results (the figures within parentheses are average response times in ms):

Firefox: 8.1 (15.2)
Firefox, IEtab: 21.6 (16.6)
IE: 23.0 (15.6)
Opera: 21.4 (22.4)
Google Chrome: 21.7 (15.8)

As you can see, there seems to be no significant differences between the last four, while Firefox obviously is inferior.

Can anyone in the forum explain why I have this problem, and is there a solution to the problem? (I am paying the broadband company for a download speed of up to 24 Mbit/sec.)
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you talking about the inbuilt downloader of Firefox? I don't think there is any setting in Firefox, that is related to the downloading speed. The problem may be elsewhere.

If you feel that the inbuilt downloader of Firefox has problems, then why use it. You can use an external download accelerator like Orbit or Free Download Manager, and integrate it with Firefox using FlashGot addon.

Have you tried posting about this problem in the Mozilla forum?
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 07:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually, it is broadband speed (not download speed) measured by sending "phony traffic" to and from a nearby test site. (I asked a question long ago in the Mozilla forum, but no response. I have just tried again.)
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 08:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In your starting post, you have mentioned about download speed. I am not getting exactly what you are trying to say here. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can help you.
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you tried running Firefox in safe mode? Doing this will disable all add-ons etc and you can see if it runs any faster. If it does run faster then you might have some conflicting add-ons or extensions installed. You'll then have to disable/enable them one at a time using Firefox in normal mode and see if you can pinpoiint which ones, if any, are causing Firefox to run slow.

If it still runs slower than your other browsers then it might be an idea to do a complete clean install of Firefox, profile and everything, using RevoUninstaller. Clear eveything out and then download a fresh copy and start again. See if it speeds up after that.

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Old 24. Nov 2009, 09:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Slightly better in safe mode: 10.1 (average of 5 runs). Will once again (have done it before without success, using RevoUninstaller) do a complete clean install. Will be back with new results!
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Did a complete uninstall using RevoUninstaller, then found (and removed) a few more Firefox files using Agent Ransack, restarted my computer, downloaded a fresh exe file, and did a clean install. The speed test still was disappointing: 10.2 Mbit/sec (standard as well as safe mode). It seems to be impossible make Firefox work on my system. :-(
Anyway, thanks for your help.
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Old 24. Nov 2009, 10:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bengt, have you tried pipelining Firefox?.. if all else is failing it might be worth a try. I've found a page that describes the procedure much better than I can.
It's here

Maybe this will make it possible for you to run FF?

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Old 25. Nov 2009, 12:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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deya, I tried the 5-step procedure for speeding up FF, but without any noticeable effect. I then downloaded the program recommended below the 5-step procedure, FireTune, and used it, but still no improvement over the 10.2 above. When I entered about:config, I saw that there are lots of parameters that can be changed. However, as an average user, I wouldn´t dare to make any changes without very explicit advice like the one you proposed above. Thanks deya for your effort to give help!
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Old 25. Nov 2009, 05:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well if that didn't work my ideas are getting low as to a fix, I'm assuming that your machine is clean and free of malware etc. and that your firewall isn't blocking FF in any way?

There is a free tool called SpeedyFox that's designed to give FF a boost. It's here

Could be worth a try, but seeing as how you have a new copy installed I'm not so sure it will help. Have you spoken to your broadband supplier about the problem, asked about their DNS servers etc? Other than that I've dried up on ideas as to what could be causing it, maybe someone else here might be able to shed some light on it.

Just out of curiosity, Bengt, what about trying SeaMonkey? Although it's virtually the same as FF you never know, it might perform better for you on your machine and you can still use many of the FF add-ons, but not all of them. I actually prefer it to FF.
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