You didn't specify which browser you were using and what kind of internet connection you had.
If the internet connection is eg. satellite link, it has high download bandwidth and very slow upload bandwidth and high latency. Similar thing applies to 3G/HSDPA mobile connection, though latency is lower than in satellite but still often 10-30x compared to ADSL or cablemodem.
I use Opera which allows me to set the concurrent connections to some very hign number, eg 32 or more. This means that when opening a website over high latency link, the browser takes couple seconds to do the handshakes with the server and then it downloads 32 items simultaneously and often can max out the download bandwidth which would never happen if the browser did download single/few files at a time.
The speed difference can also happen if you computer is slow or doesn't have enough memory and the browser can then bog down the machine whilst it renders the page. This can be avoided by using a faster/lighter browser like Opera or if possible, set the browser not to render page until it has downloaded all required elements. Nowadays browsers try to render the page as soon as possible, which usually causes them to re-render the page multiple times and this can be slow on an older machine.