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HALNet Users May Surf Faster

HAL-PC offers a compressing proxy server which all HALNET members are now invited to try.

* Why should I care?

According to Wikipedia, "Many users can achieve a 2- to 10-times speed
increase in average browsing experience, while some report a 5- to 20-times
speed increases for specific web sites and pages." The actual speed up
depends on the pages and sites you are browsing, but our tests show for many pages, a 70-80% reduction in load times.

* What is a Compressing Proxy Server?

Many ISP's call it a web accelerator or an Internet accelerator. In short,
the HALNET Compression server does two things. First, it acts as a proxy
server, moving the more popular content closer to you, meaning you get the pages faster. Secondly, while virtually every browser in use today supports
zipping (aka compression) web pages, very few sites will send zipped pages even if your web browser asks for it. Most of the time it is faster to zip and
unzip the web pages than it is to send the unzipped pages. This is because the
sending step is usually the slowest, and sending less data saves more time
than the zipping/unzipping steps. This is especially true for dial-up
users, but even users with a 10 Mbps connection should see some improvement. For this reason, we recommend it even for DSL users.

* Will it mess up my video, online games, or pictures?

No. In most cases, they are already compressed, and compressing them
further would result in no performance gains, or degrade them. HALNET's server only compresses web, css, and javascript pages. It does not compress, images
(GIF, PNG, JPEG), videos, music, or executables. Nor can it do very much to speed up the downloading of those items.

* Is there an additional charge if I want to use it?

Most ISPs charge extra for it, anywhere from $9/month to $50+/year. HALNET
does not. All HALNET subscribers may use it as long as they like without
charge. We currently have no plans to charge for it once it is out of beta
testing either.

* Do I have to install any software?

No, but you do have to make some minor changes in your web browser detailed

* Will you be able to see my information I transmit via SSL?

No. In fact, the HALNET compress server does not support SSL. If you try to
connect to a secure site through it, you will get an error.

* What are the system requirements?

You must be a HALNET subscriber, and must connect from a HALNET IP address
(i.e. from your home or at HAL). If you are at a hotel, public wifi hot
spot, non-HALNET friend's house, etc., you will not be able to access it. Beyond
that, you must a modern browser. Odds are, whatever you are currently using
will work. The following browsers are specifically supported:
Internet Explorer 4 and above
Firefox (all versions)
Opera 4 and above
Chrome (all versions)
Netscape 6 and above.

* How do I use it?

You have to set your web browser proxy server connection. The server name
is and the port is 8080. Set this ONLY for HTTP. No
other protocol is supported. You will get an error page if you try to use the
HALNET compression server for SSL/HTTPS or FTP.

Instructions for IE 7 and 8:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start
    button, and then clicking Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
  3. Click the Connections tab, and then click LAN settings.
  4. Select the Use a proxy server for your LAN check box.
  5. In the Address box, type the name of the proxy server, compression.hal-
  6. In the Port box, type the port number 8080.
  7. When you are finished making changes, click OK until you return to

Instructions for IE 6:

  1. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options, click
    the Connections tab, and then click LAN Settings.
  2. Under Proxy server, click to select the Use a proxy server for your LAN
    check box.
  3. In the Address box, type the name of proxy server, which is
  4. In the Port box, type the port number that is used by the proxy server
    for client connections (which is 8080).
  5. Click to select the Bypass proxy server for local addresses check box if
    you do not want the proxy server computer to be used when you connect to a computer on the local network (this may speed up performance).
  6. Click OK to close the LAN Settings dialog box.
  7. Click OK again to close the Internet Options dialog box.

Instructions for IE 4 and 5 (from Microsoft):

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then
    double-click Internet.
  2. Click the Connections tab, click LAN Settings, and then click to select
    the Use Proxy Server check box.
  3. In the Address box, type the appropriate proxy server information, and
    use the following format:
  4. Click Advanced, and then type the appropriate proxy settings in the
    Servers area. Use the following syntax for the proxy settings:

Instructions for Firefox 3.x:

  1. Select Tools and then Options. For Linux users, select Edit and then
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Open the Network tab.
  4. Click the Settings button in the Connections area.
  5. Select Manual Proxy Configuration.
  6. In the necessary proxy field(s), enter the proxy address and port number.
    For HTTP proxy, enter and for the port enter 8080 .
    Do NOT check "Use this proxy server for all protocols".
  7. Click OK.

Instructions for Opera 8.5

  1. Select the Tools Menu
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Select Advanced Tab
  4. Select Proxy Servers
  5. Check the box next to HTTP
  6. Enter the proxy server's name address in the first box and the proxy's
    port in the box after "Port" ( and 8080)
  7. OK your way out

Instructions for Safari 2.0.3

  1. Select Preferences
  2. Select Advanced
  3. Select Proxies: Change Settings
  4. Check the box next to Web Proxy (HTTP)
  5. Enter the proxy server's name ( in the first box
    and the proxy's port (8080) in the box after the ":"
  6. Select Apply Now

Instructions for Chrome

Chrome uses the same settings as IE, unless you alter your shortcut. If you
wish to alter your shortcut, the format is to add the following to the
command that launches chrome

* How do I stop using the compression server?

Simply follow the instructions above, but instead of entering and port 8080, remove them.