What impressed us most about Onspeed was the quality of its compression technology. Pages spring into your browser two or three times more quickly than normal and images are not overly degraded in the process.
Price$ None (AUD)
Web designers seem to work on the assumption that there's a broadband connection behind every browser. The reality is very different, of course, and anything that claims to make surfing faster merits a look.
Onspeed's trick involves com-pression, with more than 30 algorithms putting the squeeze on Web pages. With less raw data to transfer, pages can be downloaded to your browser much more quickly.
As we know only too well, pages with lots of embedded images - or those lumbered with one or two whoppers - are the slowest to download. It is on such pages that Onspeed works best. When visiting a succession of image-heavy pages, we found that surfing could be five or even six times faster. When we ran repeated tests over a prolonged series of broadly representative URLs, the overall gain was a factor of just under three.
Compression is a lossy business, which means that images look progressively worse the more it is applied. Quite how much resolution you're prepared to sacrifice in the pursuit of speed is a subjective matter, but you can adjust Onspeed's output with a slider control. At maximum compression we noticed a considerable reduction in image quality without much in the way of additional payback, whereas favouring quality markedly slowed surfing.
Certain file down-loads are quicker when using Onspeed, particularly Office docs and PDFs. We halved the time it took to download a PDF version of a 328-page report by using Onspeed. Importantly, PDFs are compressed for faster downloading and then re-expanded when they arrive at your PC. In other words, unlike images, documents are subjected to lossless compression akin to zipping and unzipping files.
E-mail can also be accelerated with the same compression techniques, but the benefits here are less obvious. If somebody sends you a picture as an e-mail attachment or embedded in a message, the chances are that you want to receive it in its original form, not a squished and blurry version. And although you can always disable Onspeed to reload a Web page and see images in their native resolution, you don't get a second chance with e-mail. Still, for sifting sackloads of HTML-formatted spam, Onspeed's compression is welcome.
Onspeed works only with Internet Explorer, not with browsers such as Opera and Mozilla, and e-mail integration works only with Outlook and Outlook Express. This is currently being addressed. Onspeed also promises new algorithms for compressing and speeding up movie and MP3 downloads.
Unfortunately, for Web pages and e-mails to be compressed before being down-loaded to your PC, they are routed through Onspeed's servers. There are clear implications for privacy here and we are particularly uneasy about the idea of a third party sitting between sender and inbox. Also, although Onspeed does work with broadband connections, the difference is much less noticeable in practice.
Finally, remember that you can switch off images in your browser to reap even greater rewards than are possible with compression. True, the Web looks interminably dull without graphics. But as a temporary measure - when scouring 100 Google hits in a hurry, say - it's worth the effort.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Tivoli PAL BT
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
Latest News Articles
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Fetch TV expands with Aussie Broadband
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Access thousands of movies for free thanks to Telstra TV Kanopy App
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?