You are here

Fasterfox extension

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
NMC
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-13 19:33
Fasterfox extension

Can anyone tell me if there are any implications with using the Fasterfox extension with Portable Firefox? Does it cause more wear to the USB drive with extra writes to the drive? I am happy to use it on my portable hard drive but it was using it on my flash drive which concerned me.
Thanks in advance

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
I recommend against FasterFox

Just in general, as it unfairly *NAILS* websites' bandwidth for your own benefit at the expense of all other users of said website... especially on database-driven dynamic sites like this one. That's why PortableApps.com is configured to disable it.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

NMC
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-13 19:33
Ok thanks

I had realised that its Turbo mode was not very good practice and had been using it on the lower setting. You could possibly explain to me about how websites react to this, as I have been unable to get on to the no-install site for a while now. Could they have banned me based on IP address or something? The Fasterfox was configured to Turbo mode by default when I installed it.Thanks for your reply.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
FasterFox is Turbo by default

As you notice, FasterFox is in Turbo mode by default. This mode will place dozens of requests, all at the same time, to a web server for pages. Web servers with interactive DOS protection will automatically block IPs that do this.

Dynamic sites, like this one, can only serve a certain number of pages in a given time frame. So, when a FasterFox user comes along, and, say, visits the Forums main page... they'll view one page... but they'll actually download 52 different pages from this web server. Every one of those requests means that someone else has to wait to view a page. If you had even a few FasterFox users visiting a website at the same time, it could easily bog it down pretty badly. Not to mention the fact that the site owners (like me) have to pay for all that wasted bandwidth.

As this looks like a denial of service attack, some websites will auto-block IPs that exhibit this abusive behaviour. Some will do a temporary block, some will permanently block your IP.

FasterFox is abusive by default (as explained above) and requires webmasters to "opt out" of their abusive behavior. I have the FasterFox exclusion string in my robots.txt to disable the behavior (which they finally introduced after webmasters got pretty upset). In the future, I'll probably remove the string and install DOS-blocking software to simply cut off FasterFox users. I really don't want selfish, abusive users visiting my sites. It's a real shame that FasterFox doesn't make it clearer what it actually does and the impact it has on websites and fellow web users... so unknowning users end up being abusive without even knowing they're doing it.

Side Note: In the case of No-Install, they were actually down for a while. They are back up now.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Ryan McCue
Ryan McCue's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2006-01-06 21:27
I`m putting in a robots.txt file soon

so thanks for the info
----
R McCue

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

Bruce Pascoe
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-15 16:14
Don't cut us off completely.

Hey, wait a minute here. Calling all FasterFox users selfish and abusive is a gross generalization. I'm a FasterFox user, but I try to be responsible with it and have had FasterFox's prefetching turned off since the beginning.

Anyway, if the line in your robots.txt is already doing a good job of stopping FasterFox from prefetching, then there's no need to shut us out completely. If you did that, you'd be just as inconsiderate as the abusive users. I'm responsible with my FasterFox settings, and wouldn't appreciate being locked out of your site completely just for using an extension with the *capability* to be abusive. That's as dumb as the lady who sued McDonalds because it's too fattening, or the guy who's trying to start a class-action lawsuit against Apple because iPods *have the capability* to cause hearing loss if turned up too loud.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
You're missing the point a bit

Using the new method of cutting off abusive users *WON'T* have any effect at all on a responsible FasterFox user (non-prefetching), since they won't be abusing the server. The newer methods being worked on only cutoff abusive users.

The issue is that there are other prefetching mechanisms that are being implemented that are just as abusive as FasterFox in turbo mode. AND there are a number of FasterFox users that are downgrading to 1.0 (or not upgrading) so that robots.txt entry has NO effect on them and they are still abusing this server.

In short, the new method allows webmasters to block based on abusive behavior proactively... rather than blocking on method reactively (which doesn't even entirely work... as with FasterFox 1.0).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Bruce Pascoe
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-15 16:14
All right, that's fine then.

It's just that you said "In the future, I'll probably remove the string and install DOS-blocking software to simply cut off FasterFox users"--this made it seem like you intended to block all Fasterfox users regardless of their settings.

Just so you're aware, Fasterfox is no longer abusive by default (at least since 1.0.3--not sure about earlier versions). Prefetching now has to be explicitly enabled, even in Turbo mode.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Older versions were

And version 1.0 and earlier will abuse the server even if you have the disabling string in robots.txt, since it was added later. 1.0 is still available and quite a few inconsiderate folks are specifically downgrading it to get around the anti-abuse settings in robots.txt.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Bruce Pascoe
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-15 16:14
Ah.

Well, those users are definitely abusive then, no doubt about it. Can't blame Fasterfox for their behavior. The Fasterfox developer is trying to be responsible; if someone is downgrading Fasterfox just to get around the robots.txt string, then they _should_ be blocked.

I don't see where it gets them, though. Fasterfox's prefetching doesn't even work right. In my experience, any links it prefetches are just redownloaded again anyway when you click the link. Enhanced Prefetching my ass.

Topic locked