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Stable release 2.0.0 / 2006-10-30
Platform Cross-platform
Development status Unmaintained
Type Mozilla extension
License MPL 1.1
Origins and Lineage

Fasterfox is a Mozilla Firefox extension that provides an interface to tweak some performance related settings such as browser network connection, cache, timings, as well as provide an optional controversial feature which forces Link prefetching. These changes can decrease (or if suboptimally set, increase) page loading time. Since 2006, the original extension version 2.0.0 is not maintained by the developer Tony Gentilcore, and is not compatible with Firefox 3.0 or later. As of November 2008, there are alternative extensions that are compatible with Firefox 3.0 such as Fasterfox (developed by spinball), and Fasterfox Lite by BigRedBrent.



An interface is provided to adjust a range of networks settings.[1] This allows adjusting of:


With Fasterfox prefetching enabled, the browser will prefetch all links on a page in the background. Subsequently, if (or when) one or more of those links is clicked, only a fraction of the time to load the page will be used, since the page has already been cached.[2] Users can disable this option. Fasterfox version 1.0.1 and later checks the robots.txt file on the root folder of servers to see whether or not it should prefetch the page.[3]

Prefetched file types

When enabled in Fasterfox, Firefox will prefetch all links with the following extensions:

but with the exception of those links it deems to be dynamic content by URL.

Forced Prefetch controversy

Forcing link prefetching, or forcing links which are not explicitly specified as able to be prefetched, is a controversial feature, for several reasons:

  • it is not standards compliant (even though prefetching in itself is not a standard)
  • prefetched links that are never subsequently viewed are downloaded
    • with consequences for site statistics
    • which can actually slow down browsing due to cache pollution
    • this additional traffic may cost webmasters additional bandwidth (and therefore money).
    • this additional traffic may cost the browser user additional bandwidth (and therefore money).
    • prefetched advertising might be morally or even legally problematic - see click fraud.
  • some links cannot be cached
    • dynamic content cannot be cached anyway
    • pages can be explicitly marked as not to be cached
  • websites may fail or browsing become annoying
    • unintended side effects when visiting a web site that ascribes actions to links (e.g. exposing a "Cancel" or "Delete" action via a link)
    • users may receive error messages in connection with pages which they are not actually viewing[4]
  • webmasters may block browsers that show signs of robot activity, or simple block browsers with the Fasterfox


As mentioned above, websites can use their robots.txt file to block Fasterfox's user agent from prefetching links to their documents (or to just some of their documents).[3] Many websites do this in order to lower their bandwidth costs and improve responsiveness.[5]

Pop-Up Blocker

Fasterfox also blocks pop-ups that appear as a results of Flash plug-ins (movies) and Flash exploits.


External links

ka:Fasterfox ja:Fasterfox pt:Fasterfox ru:Fasterfox

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