Solved: Firefox lag issue (proxy)

Firefox_LogoI’ve had this issue with Firefox being blazingly slow at work. I attributed it to the lack of proper broadband and hardware, until someone told me that we had multiple ADSL links and a whole bunch of Cisco and LevelOne stuff.

Drilling down into the problem, I realised that an initial request for a webpage rewarded me with a 10-15 second wait before the page would load. If I didn’t use that connection – as in, I didn’t immediately (within a couple of seconds) click on a link to get to another page – the next request for another page would make me wait again. This was a HUGE pain as some of our business software ran off web applications, such as SalesForce.

I thought this was a “keep-alive” issue. Back in the day, modems needed this setting to keep from being disconnected. I used this web service to continually refresh a page. It worked for a fashion, but there had to be a more elegant solution to this problem… And you don’t want your IT department coming down on you like a ton of bricks for loading a seemingly identical webpage every 30 seconds!!

I went through a bunch of about:config tweaks in Firefox – some of which could be found here… No cigar. The tweaks DO work, but they still didn’t solve my problem…

And lo and behold, looking though my settings in Tools->Options->Advanced->Network->Connection Settings… I found “Auto-detect proxy settings for this network” checked. We don’t have a proxy! Firefox doesn’t NEED to look for a proxy everytime I request a page! The lag was caused by Firefox looking for a proxy to use everytime a page was requested! Grrrr.

Check “No proxy”. Voila. Problem solved. This was staring at me all this while. I could have saved a whole bunch of time. I am an idiot.

Well there you go. I hope this tip comes in handy for you.

Oh. Happy Birthday Firefox! You turn 5!