Google has launched beta software that the company says will speed up the time it takes to search the Internet and load web content.

Web Accelerator, which is available at no charge, runs alongside a browser and directs all searches and page requests through Google’s servers. The software supports Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox browsers.



In improving performance on the web, the application makes use of a cache, or data store, on the local computer, as well as caches on Google’s servers, Marissa Mayer, director of consumer web products for Google, said Thursday. The software is only available for broadband users.



The desktop cache is for web pages that are pre-loaded based on a person’s web activity. The software uses mathematical formulas to try to determine what web content the person is most likely to seek, based on prior behavior. The cache on Google’s server is populated with popular web content based on the activity of Web Accelerator users as a whole.



Feeding web pages either from a desktop cache or a Google server is normally faster than getting the content from the public Internet. In addition, Google compresses the data for faster movement to the browser.



Google estimates that people who spend 20 hours to 30 hours a week on the Internet, could shave off about two to three hours a month in the time spent searching and loading web pages.



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