Google has just launched the Google Web Accelerator, a free downloadable service that promises to make the web a little bit faster for those with a high speed internet connection. (The Google Web Accelerator won't really help those with dial-up connections.) It's free and requires that you have either Windows 2000 SP3+ or Windows XP.
The neat thing is that it tells you how much time you're saving. I've been using it and so far it has saved me 1.1 minutes of surfing time. In fact, a performance report on my Google Toolbar tells me that the Google Web Accelerator has sped up my surfing by 15%! It's easy to install and quite easy to turn off in case you need to.
The Google Web Accelerator works because Google maintains a near perfect copy of most of the internet on its own servers. That is, they cache the most frequently accessed pages and, since their servers are extremely efficient, they can deliver the content to you quicker than the native server. Even for pages that they may not cache, the brains at Google have figured out a way to tweak Internet Explorer (and Firefox) to make loading pages quicker.
If you can load Google Web Accelerator on your machine and have high speed internet access, you might experience surfing at speeds 15% better than you do today. However, we at SquirrelNet think the Google Web Accelerator is part of a much bigger strategy Google has to dislodge Microsoft from its dominant position in the software industry. More on this soon...