Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Google's Services [e.g. Gmail, Analytics, etc.] Are Slow

I think that I discovered why Google Analytics and Google Gmail are very slow. I'm an Opera user, and I thought that Google made changes to its services which made it incompatible with Opera. I don't know if that is the case, but I found out that we can adjust the network connections settings to receive data in the way that Google wants to send.

I'll try to give Opera users a walk through, but I'm sure that the overall principles still apply to Firefox users and other users.

From what it seems, with Google Gmail, and especially with Google Analytics, we need to allow for more connections to the server, because Google wants to send many files at once.

Opera users should go into Preferences->Advanced->Network.

Look for "Max connections to a server" and "Max total connections". I set the first at 16, and the second at 128.

Gmail and Analytics is now faster.

I discovered this, when I noticed that 1 or 2 Flash files were loaded at a time, while I waited for Google Analytics to load up in a few tabs. I guess that it makes sense, since I set my "Max connections to a server" to 2, according to a recommendation that I read before.

I think that you have to be careful, because maybe your system can't handle 1 of or both of the maximums, or perhaps the web site doesn't need that many connections. The problem with those types of web sites is that their files transfer so quickly. Since it takes a moment to create a connection, it would actually be faster to just transfer them all in 1 connection. To know for sure, you'd have to open up a fresh session of Opera, with no other Opera things running or loaded. You would then adjust Opera's connection settings to see what happens.

I'll probably have to take notes. I'd like to test out YouTube and Slashdot, since I go there quite a bit. I'll post my discoveries here.


  1. it does seem to speed things up a bit, thanks for the tip!

  2. You're welcome.

    I was just thinking about this, a few moments ago. I'm surprised at what a difference it makes.

    I encourage you to check back next week. I'm planning an entire week's worth of blog entries to help us save time, and have better control over Opera [that is, the browser].

  3. You can also use privoxy (or your browsers's content blocking, but I like privoxy because it works with any browser on multiple machines) to block google analytics altogether. Makes a huge difference on a lot of the sites I visit.

  4. Hello, Anonymous.

    Thank you for the suggestion. I did not realize that content blocking would speed things up. I thought that the slow speed was on Google's end. I'll try it, later on.