What impressed us most about Onspeed was the quality of its compression technology. Pages spring into your browser two or three times more quickly than normal and images are not overly degraded in the process.
Price$ None (AUD)
Web designers seem to work on the assumption that there's a broadband connection behind every browser. The reality is very different, of course, and anything that claims to make surfing faster merits a look.
Onspeed's trick involves com-pression, with more than 30 algorithms putting the squeeze on Web pages. With less raw data to transfer, pages can be downloaded to your browser much more quickly.
As we know only too well, pages with lots of embedded images - or those lumbered with one or two whoppers - are the slowest to download. It is on such pages that Onspeed works best. When visiting a succession of image-heavy pages, we found that surfing could be five or even six times faster. When we ran repeated tests over a prolonged series of broadly representative URLs, the overall gain was a factor of just under three.
Compression is a lossy business, which means that images look progressively worse the more it is applied. Quite how much resolution you're prepared to sacrifice in the pursuit of speed is a subjective matter, but you can adjust Onspeed's output with a slider control. At maximum compression we noticed a considerable reduction in image quality without much in the way of additional payback, whereas favouring quality markedly slowed surfing.
Certain file down-loads are quicker when using Onspeed, particularly Office docs and PDFs. We halved the time it took to download a PDF version of a 328-page report by using Onspeed. Importantly, PDFs are compressed for faster downloading and then re-expanded when they arrive at your PC. In other words, unlike images, documents are subjected to lossless compression akin to zipping and unzipping files.
E-mail can also be accelerated with the same compression techniques, but the benefits here are less obvious. If somebody sends you a picture as an e-mail attachment or embedded in a message, the chances are that you want to receive it in its original form, not a squished and blurry version. And although you can always disable Onspeed to reload a Web page and see images in their native resolution, you don't get a second chance with e-mail. Still, for sifting sackloads of HTML-formatted spam, Onspeed's compression is welcome.
Onspeed works only with Internet Explorer, not with browsers such as Opera and Mozilla, and e-mail integration works only with Outlook and Outlook Express. This is currently being addressed. Onspeed also promises new algorithms for compressing and speeding up movie and MP3 downloads.
Unfortunately, for Web pages and e-mails to be compressed before being down-loaded to your PC, they are routed through Onspeed's servers. There are clear implications for privacy here and we are particularly uneasy about the idea of a third party sitting between sender and inbox. Also, although Onspeed does work with broadband connections, the difference is much less noticeable in practice.
Finally, remember that you can switch off images in your browser to reap even greater rewards than are possible with compression. True, the Web looks interminably dull without graphics. But as a temporary measure - when scouring 100 Google hits in a hurry, say - it's worth the effort.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- Goodbye Google Now, hello new feed that obsessively track your interests
- How to deal with “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC” error
- Net Neutrality: The July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action protest and what to expect
- Google Assistant: 5 killer new features you should be using
- Microsoft apologizes after a rogue Windows 10 preview build causes chaos
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTGraph DB Specialist | 6mth ContractOther
- CCBusiness and Financial AnalystNSW
- CCAdlib 5.3 Development ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther
- FTFront-end Development LeadOther
- TPBusiness analyst - Business Case approval**NSW
- FTBI Platform ManagerOther
- FTData Scientist/Java LeadVIC
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- CCDesktop Support EngineerNSW
- FTBI Support AnalystNSW
- FTSolutions ArchitectWA
- CCSolutions Architect - CANBERRA BASEDNSW
- FTJunior-Mid level .Net/Front-End Developer (Brisbane)NSW
- FTIntermediate BI DeveloperOther
- FTService Delivery ManagerOther
- FTVCE EngineerOther
- CCNetIQ Development OR Netiq Access ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSharePoint DeveloperOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCService Desk AnalystACT
- FTStorage & Backup Engineer x2 - EMCOther
- CCTechnical WriterNSW
- FTAccount ManagerACT