Internet Optimization 101

This is mostly for myself, but I wanted to document somewhere the various things I’ve learned from setting up my laptop in the hopes of making the Internet as fast as possible while supporting Internet radio, podcasting, Second Life, etc.

Required Items:

Fast DNS Infrastructure(i.e. OpenDNS) – This company has an entire soon-to-be world-wide infrastructure dedicated to serving DNS as quickly as possible. This is the part of the Internet that turns into a number for your PC to contact. Huge speed bost.

Another option worth mentioning is the publicly available services from a hosting company named Hurricane Electric.  I encountered some problems with OpenDNS and eventually ended up using HE for my DNS.

Fast Local Search – So I discovered the hard way, that if I leave Spotlight enabled(I’m on a Mac, I bet Windows is similar) that it tries in vain to index every cache on my machine…essentially turning into slag. Once Firefox started freaking I decided to fix it. Voila, SO much better. Just a tip. 🙂

Optional Items:

Fast Caching Infrastructure(i.e. squid) – It’s total overkill, but I love it. I currently devote 512MB of RAM and 4GB of HD to what is essentially a massive personal web cache, via a piece of software called squid. It did need some tweaking…following are my customized settings:

./configure –with-aufs-threads=32
http_port localhost:3128
cache_mem 512 MB
maximum_object_size_in_memory 256 MB
cache_dir aufs /usr/local/squid/var/cache 4096 16 256
maximum_object_size 256 MB
shutdown_lifetime 1 seconds
cache_effective_user nobody
cache_effective_group staff
ipcache_size 4096
fqdncache_size 4096

That’s pretty much it. The rest is “standard” squid setup, but dang do these settings make my web surfing just toast. Love it…and hope this helps others.