Google accelerates the web with new software

Written by Wil Harris

May 5, 2005 | 11:18

Tags: #browser #controversy #firefox #internet-explorer #web-browsing

Companies: #google #microsoft #mozilla

Google has released its new Web Accelerator software, which the search giant claims will speed up your browsing process.

The technology behind the software, however, has caused controversy, because of numerous privacy concerns about the way that it works.

One of the primary ways that the accelerator works is by pre-fetching sites it assumes you will visit - so if you search for a certain phrase on Google, the Web Accelerator will automatically pre-fetch the top result, so that it will be cached if you go to click on it.

Google implemented similar functionality for FireFox users last month, but this new version works for Internet Explorer too, as well as other browsers if they're manually hacked for proxies.

The privacy concerns arise because where passwords are submitted via non-secure sites, those passwords may be temporarily cached by Google on its main servers. Additionally, Google caches your cookies, and cookies can contain all sorts of confidential information.

We'd be really keen to find out what kind of performance increases you guys think you're getting, if you download and install the web accelerator. Also up for discussion: would you worry more about privacy concerns if the software was made by someone else, like Microsoft?

The software is here, and you can discuss your results with it in this discussion thread.
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