Firefox Preloader - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Firefox Preloader

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CNET Editors' review

It hasn't been updated since February 2005, but Firefox Preloader continues to help users who want faster boot times while maintaining a heavy load of tabs and extensions. Weighing in with an installer at 840Kb and using about 30MB of RAM, the program dramatically improved start-up times on Firefox when loaded with tabs and extensions.

How dramatic were the improvements? Without using the Preloader, it took 32.1 seconds for Firefox to open, and 2 minutes, 34.2 seconds to finish loading all the tabs. With the Preloader running, Firefox opened in 7.8 seconds, with another 1 minute, 36.7 seconds to complete all the tabs. Firefox Preloader is not otherwise laden with options. You can set it to run when you turn on your computer, and it installs a convenient system tray icon for accessing it on the fly. From there, you can unload the preloader which clears out the program from the list of active tasks, and you can reload it, which dumps it from the active cache and then reloads it.

The Preloader doesn't play well with certain browser functions, notably when Firefox restarts after installing an extension or theme. It almost certainly adds at least a small amount of time to the computer's boot cycle, since it's one more thing that needs to load before Windows is ready to go. But for users who want to have their cake of extensions and tabs and eat it, too, Firefox Preloader remains a reasonable way to gain back more than a few precious seconds.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.8 stars

    out of 54 votes

    • 5 star: 10
    • 4 star: 11
    • 3 star: 7
    • 2 star: 12
    • 1 star: 14
  • Current version:

    2.8 stars

    out of 54 votes

    • 5 star: 10
    • 4 star: 11
    • 3 star: 7
    • 2 star: 12
    • 1 star: 14
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 54

  • 3.0 stars

    "It helps a little"

    November 4, 2011  |   By davepen

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    I have two machines,one quick and one slow, on the quick machine I cannot see much difference, but on the slow machine it has speeded up startup enough to stop me swearing! It has not made either machine lightning fast but startup has improved!

    Cons

    None that has surfaced yet.

    Summary

    Any help to make Firefox faster has to be a good thing, will improve slower machines but the improvement to quick machines will be marginal.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Must have for me, Firefox starts so much faster!"

    May 23, 2011  |   By Euroshoppare

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    * Firefox start up time is almost instant, much faster then before
    * Takes almost no space
    * Uses only 536kb memory while Firefox is active

    Cons

    * Does use some Ram
    * Must be turned off to be able to update Firefox

    Summary

    Well, if you're like me and fed up with the long start up time of Firefox this is a must, very small and simple to use, but does make wonders happen. :)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The best way to spend 30 mb of memory!!!"

    January 3, 2011  |   By joe94ification

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    It has ALWAYS worked and loaded Firefox at least 4 times faster than normal. I am a hardcore Firefox user and found Preloader to go perfect with the set up I have now for Firefox.

    Cons

    Absolutely no cons what-so-ever.....

    Summary

    If you are a hardcore Firefox user or even the average Firefox user then this is a must have for you!!

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Reminds me of a Browser Hi-Jacker"

    July 23, 2010  |   By chunkylover39

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    Loads Firefox very fast.

    Cons

    After using once, the program started Firefox by itself and sent me to a software website that sent my W.O.T. to RED. Slowed my computer down to a crawl, asking for scripts to be run with no explanation.

    Summary

    I'll just wait for Firefox to figure this out.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I love it!!"

    June 14, 2010  |   By Zeta-Reticuli

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    firefox snaps up a hell of alot quicker, i really really recomend it for any firefox user, this thing is the peanut butter to my jelly sandwhich

    Cons

    my windows starts up later by 1 second or so but that doesnt matter to me, the preloader is worth it

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Spectacular"

    May 12, 2010  |   By warlover2

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    It does exactly what it claims to do:Firefox now launches,regardless of number of addons/extensions, just as fast as Chrome/Dragon, which is very quick.

    Cons

    Slower bootup times. When you start your computer, it might take a couple more seconds for everything to load.

    Summary

    This is a must for all Firefox users. The slightly longer wait at Windows startup is worth the much less launch time for Firefox. I have about 30 extensions and it still launches much quicker. Pair this with Firetune for faster browsing speed as well. If you are scared of Chrome and other browsers like it because of the well-known Google spyware in them but want a fast loading browser, get Avant, Opera, or Firefox WITH Preloader. You will not regret it!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works Great if you hate Firefox's slow boot time"

    April 12, 2010  |   By ruppert92

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    Make's Firefox boot so much faster!

    Cons

    May take up too much ram for you, but i've heard only a max of 2mb and in today's standards thats nothing.

    Summary

    Unless you have an ancient computer, and/or only have limited ram this may not be for you, although i cannot say from experience, as is works great on my computer with 1.25GB ram and a 3ghz processor. I love it and i think untill mozilla makes firefox a faster booter, this will be great for you. It kept me from switching to google chrome

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Works As Advertised But A Caveat"

    November 25, 2009  |   By OldManYoung

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    Firefox loads instantly on warm start up, and i mean instantly.

    Cons

    Doesn't not load latest minefield trunk builds, minimizes Firefox to system RAM

    Summary

    Firefox Preloader works as advertised: it loads Firefox instantly on warm start ups, and when i say instantly i mean IE-instantly. On cold boot, the start up is remarkably reduced. It took me a good 30-40 frustrating seconds without the prelauncher but now with the Preloader i have Firefox up and ready within 5 seconds.

    The disadvantage of this software is that:
    1) It will need to run in the background taking up about 2MB maximum.
    2) It does not 'load parts of the software' on the system memory rather stores whole of the software on the memory. On cold boot, the software loads Firefox which takes about 20MB of RAM but once you open the browser, it will save the whole software taking up about the same amount of RAM that Firefox took while it was running the next you close it. For example, if a running Firefox (no pun intended) took 170MB, the Preloader will save the browser on all of the 170MB of RAM when you close it instead of the bare essentials.

    This is a clear disadvantage for systems with low RAM and processing power. But if you have more than 2GB of RAM and a decent processor (usually most recent laptop and desktops) then this software should not create any slow downs. If it does, like for say while gaming, you can just unload it from the memory.

    I have a Core 2 @3.20GHz, 4GB RAM running on Win 7 and i have not encountered any problems and i am incredibly happy with the software. I am going to use it. I highly recommend this for people with 2GB+ RAM who has their Firefox loaded up with user customization and tons of extensions. It's a boon.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "I didn't use this"

    November 1, 2009  |   By cherikee

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    ...................

    Cons

    ........................

    Summary

    What are you people talking about 30-60 second load times? I don't think I have ever seen firefox load slower than 4-5 seconds. I am confused......................

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Redundand Resource Hog"

    October 26, 2009  |   By zobva

    Version: Firefox Preloader 1.0 build 366

    Pros

    Firefox starts nearly instantly with FF Preloader just as advertised, after tgthe first startup which takes the usual 45 seconds to a full minute

    Cons

    What they don't tell you is that Preloader caused Firefox to load also and run constantly in the background, using up to 100 megabytes of RAM!

    Summary

    The exact same result can be realized by starting Firefox, then minimizing it to the taskbar instead of closing it rather than having yet another program running (Preloader) using system resources. If you check the system processes with the FF Preloaderrunning, you'll see that it has Firefox is running anyway.

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Results 1-10 of 54

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Firefox Preloader