I'm currently stuck in a somewhat backwoods part of the world, with my only source of Internet being a CDMA type dongle.

Webcomics are a slight pain in the rear, but work sloooowly, when they work at all. Some other stuff such as SU chat dosen't work at all. The dongle comes with some software called netbooster which looks old, and dodgy, and I'd rather not install that. Trading off image quality would be alright, and at the moment, the big thing is just to get things running acceptably fast.

What would be my options for getting things to run a little more snappily? I'm currently running Windows 7, with a ZTE CDMA 1x with Reliance Netconnect, in a small town in south india (if geography matters.). The big thing is image load times at the moment it seems.

I have Firefox, Chrome and QT web on my laptop, but I wouldn't be averse to installing another browser. I also have a VPS with decent upload and download, and I wouldn't mind some flavour of proxy if it was simple to install - I don't really care about securing it since I'm only here a few days.


Ping to google

Pinging google.com [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=2108ms TTL=54
Reply from bytes=32 time=2378ms TTL=54
Reply from bytes=32 time=785ms TTL=54
Reply from bytes=32 time=2437ms TTL=54

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 785ms, Maximum = 2437ms, Average = 1927ms

I'm finding it hard to get a bandwidth test to work since this connection is that damned slow. The best i've seen so far is ~20kbps and when i downloaded opera with wget, the average speed i got was about 16kbps

  • I could use some numbers. What bandwidth are you getting? What latency (what's your ping RTT to an important site)?
    – Spiff
    Aug 7, 2012 at 5:04
  • @Spiff My experience with CDMA 1x connections in areas OP is mentioning - the max bandwidth is 144Kbps - realistically, it'll be about ~80Kbps with ping RTT about 550-600ms
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Aug 7, 2012 at 5:20
  • @spiff: updated with what i can work out. Sathya's numbers look rather... optimistic
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 7, 2012 at 12:20
  • @JourneymanGeek holywtfcrapslowconnection.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Aug 7, 2012 at 13:19

3 Answers 3


Your best bet would be to install Opera and make use of Opera Turbo. Turbo compresses all data so that the amount of data to be transferred reduces.

When Opera Turbo is enabled, webpages are compressed via Opera's servers so that they use much less data than the originals. This means that there is less to download, so you can see your webpages more quickly.

Note: disable Turbo when you're using a Stack Exchange site else you'll get up with not being able to visit the site at all

  • 1
    currently downloading that. Will take me an hour at this rate ><
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 7, 2012 at 3:47
  • 1
    Currently testing this out, right here. Not really experiencing any problems with SE and Opera Turbo.
    – iglvzx
    Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53
  • 1
  • Opera is an improvement, but still ohgodslow. Its usable. I'll wait on other answers, and if i don't get any better ones before I go back to lands of faster internet, I'll select this one as the right one ;p
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 7, 2012 at 12:51
  • I found a few other things helped. I've switched to standalone E Mail clients and RSS feed readers (I had thunderbird set up to begin with, since its easier to deal with multiple accounts on that, and feeddemon syncs with google reader. So, in addition to opera, the trick is to use the internet the way I did before ubiquitous webapps ;p
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 10, 2012 at 7:01

In addition to @Sathya's answer - to use opera turbo(which probably is the biggest thing),

Updating this, since opera's gone through a lot of flux since then - I've switched to chrome and the data saver extension. We've gotten better internet availability since the original post, but it cuts back my bandwidth usage by ~20 percent or more, so its still a win.

I found a few things helped. Downloads are an utter pain, and rather unreliable. I used wget (which has really reliable download restarts) to download opera and feeddemon - I already had thunderbird.

The secret, it turned out to using slow internet, is to go back to the old way of offline standalone applications - mail clients, and rss feeds, while mostly web based now, seem to work better when you arn't downloading everything at once.

And of course, realistic expections. I'm off youtube till I get home ;p


Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return. Look for the following entries:

network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which reallyspeeds up page loading.

Alter the entries as follows:

Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true“

Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true“

Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

Right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0″. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves.

The contents are taken from How to speedup firefox

Try to use Add ons. Adblock will removes all the unnecessary ads hence more speed.
Flashblock blocks ALL Flash content from loading automatically so increase in speed.

  • well, no these are more for faster connections, not for slower ones.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Aug 7, 2012 at 4:29
  • 1
    My issue isn't making the full use of a fast connection - pipelining will beat the crap out of my amazingly slow connection (I'm averaging 10 kbps).
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 7, 2012 at 4:51

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