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Google touts website prefetching with Chrome 17

Increases bandwdith usage in the pursuit of speed
Thu Feb 09 2012, 13:57

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has released Chrome 17, claiming that the web browser can prefetch web sites even before the user hits enter on the address bar.

Google put the Chrome 17 web browser into the stable channel yesterday, making the usual promises of faster and safer browsing. One of the biggest changes in Chrome 17 is the ability to preload pages in the background while the user is typing in the address bar.

Google said that Chrome 17 can pre-render web pages, so in some cases the web page will appear instantly. What Google doesn't mention is that in order to get this near instant web site display, it is likely to increase bandwidth usage and there will be some times when the prefetched web site misses what the user ends up wanting to visit.

The firm's web browser also checks downloads against a whitelist and then consults the Google search engine to find out whether a download happens to be malware.

Google has also included 20 or so major security fixes to Chrome 17, one of which it labeled as critical. As part of its bug bounty programme, Google said it paid out over $11,000 to security researchers.

The company also claimed to have introduced new extension APIs in Chrome 17 but didn't release any details. µ


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