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Faster Web Browsing over Wireless

Almost two months ago I wrote and started investigating why web browsing on my MacBook Air was sluggish. Well, I tried a few things, and then had to focus on other issues and put that problem aside for a bit.

I am happy to say my friend Anthony asked about the same issue and I was able to dig a little deeper. I discovered that DNS lookups over WiFi are much slower than over wired ethernet. I am not sure why this is yet, but I found a work-around. Stand up a caching DNS server on your wireless laptop.

In Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is trivially easy:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.isc.named.plist

sudo launchctl start org.isc.named

In Tiger or Panther you’ll need some more UNIX skills, but it is not very difficult to set up a caching name server on any flavor of Mac OS X. Vastly faster web browsing now!

This link may help those of you using Tiger.

I am sure the same problem can be helped on Linux and/or Windows with the same trick though the commands are likely a bit different.

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