Faster Internet Traffic
OnSpeed from Avanquest£39.99 direct from Avanquest
Let's face it, we all want more. It doesn't matter whether we talking about speed, quantity, capacity or whatever type of measurement you care to think of, the very fact of human nature means the desire is there except perhaps when it comes to waist size and those final demands that mistakenly get pushed through out letter boxes. While not offering to help with the latter two, OnSpeed is a service that claims it will add go-faster stripes to your current Internet operation.
OnSpeed, now up to version 5, is available as a service on an annual subscription basis. It works in conjunction with your existing ISP (Internet Service Provider) and promises to increase the speed of your Internet traffic by varying amounts depending upon your type of connection. Dial-up users are promised the biggest increase with up to ten times improvement. GPRS/3G mobile connection should benefit by up to eight times while Broadband users could see an increase of up to five times.
OnSpeed makes use of patented compression technology, entitled Content Sensitive Compression (CSC), to achieve the promised increase in speed. This technology allows for the compression of individual elements using specific algorithms thus making it possible to gain the optimum benefit. OnSpeed has developed algorithms for text, HTML objects, photo-realistic images, line art, animated objects, Office documents and Macromedia Flash.
Unfortunately, OnSpeed's scope does not cover everything. There are a number of items that it is unable to affect with its various algorithms although it does make use of a generic algorithm. OnSpeed is unable to accelerate browsing when HTPPS sites are involved or when handling QuickTime. MP3, AVI, MPEG, executable files, and streaming media content. For some users this will cover a hefty chunk of their Internet activity and will adversely affect any speed gain. OnSpeed also has a problem when working with the AOL browser due to certain ports being blocked. AOL users will need to download an alternate web browser in order to alleviate this problem.
OnSpeed adds an icon to the tool bar of your browser so that you have access to various tools to adjust settings and view data about any savings. A 15-day trial version of this service is available so that you can check out whether it is suitable for your use of the Internet. Using this trial does mean you have to put up with constant reminders about your OnSpeed status. These reminders pop up over whatever you are doing and appear rather too frequently for my liking and they could easily put off some users.
Apart from these constant reminders, OnSpeed works seamlessly in the background. It does speed up certain operations. I particularly noticed a speeding up of email downloads and some web sites were loaded quicker. However I was unable to match, or get close to, the promised five times faster when using my Broadband connection. While some will benefit from this service, available at £39.99 including shipping available at €32 available for $30, it will not suit everybody. Windows users will require a Pentium 200MHz running Windows 98 with IE 5.0 or later. Most other browsers are supported. The service is also available for Mac users with a Mac G3 333MHz with Mac OS X 10.2.
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