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One simple Chrome plugin makes browsing so much faster, and it’s free

Published Mar 27th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
Google Chrome Updates
Image: Valentin Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

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  • Google has confirmed that it is now resuming Chrome updates after a brief pause due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has truly impacted every last aspect of our lives — even our web browsing.
  • There are plenty of great Chrome updates coming in the next few versions that Google has planned.
  • One thing Google doesn’t seem to be focusing on right now is speeding up the Chrome web browsing experience, and that’s where a fantastic free Chrome plugin called FasterChrome comes in.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

The novel coronavirus outbreak that is tearing through the United States and Europe right now is impacting every last aspect of our lives at this point — even our web browsing. Google announced recently that it was pausing the rollout of Google Chrome updates due to complications resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, and the news didn’t come as much of a surprise. What did come as a surprise, however, was how soon updates resumed. Google has now confirmed that it will resume the release of Google Chrome updates and it has plenty of new features planned. One thing Google doesn’t seem to be focused on right now is speeding up its Chrome browser though, and that’s where a terrific free Chrome extension called FasterChrome comes in.

If you have your own website or if you’reinvolved at all with web development, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Instant.Page. For those unaware, it’s a simple script that dramatically improves page load times on websites. How does it work, you ask? This nifty script takes advantage of the fact that when a person on a desktop computer hovers on a link, there’s a 50% chance that he or she will click on it. With this script, the site begins to load certain elements from the new webpage in the background even before the user clicks the link, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes to load the page once a link is actually clicked.

The same company offers a popular Chrome extension called FasterChrome, and it uses the same principle to speed up your web browsing on all sites, regardless of whether they utilize Instant.Page. With the extension installed and enabled, Chrome will automatically begin to pre-load certain data from a new webpage anytime you hover over a link for at least 65 milliseconds. You can get a feel for how long 65 milliseconds is on the Instant.Page website, but here’s a spoiler: You couldn’t move your pointer to a link and click on it that fast even if you tried.

FasterChrome really does make a huge difference in browsing speed, and it’s completely free to use. You’ll find the extension’s full description below from the Chrome Web Store, followed by a link to install it on your computer.

Navigate the web faster.
FasterChrome uses just-in-time preloading; it preloads a page right before you click on it.

FasterChrome works best on pages that are on the same sites. Pages to external sites are still faster but generally not enough to be noticeable.

How it works: Before you click on a link, you hover your mouse over it. When you have hovered for 65 milliseconds there is one chance out of two that you will click, so FasterChrome starts preloading at this moment, leaving on average over 300 ms for the page to preload.

Pages that trigger an action (such as logging out or deleting something) are excluded. (FasterChrome won’t preload pages with a query string (a “?”) in their URL.)

FasterChrome is based on, a library that you can add to your site in just one minute to give it the same speed boost.

Install FasterChrome

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.