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-- by James E. Powell
If NetJet could really read your mind, it might be the ultimate high-octane boost for modem-bound Internet surfers. Unfortunately, it can't, and it's not worth the tax it puts on your patience.
The software exploits your modem's idle times; while you're reading a page, it's downloading, in the background, the pages you're likely to hit next. In theory, by the time you click the next link, it's in the cache already, and you arrive at your destination almost instantly. But that's only true if the page you want really is the one that winds up in the cache.
Unfortunately, NetJet wasn't quite as good at reading my mind-by analyzing my Web usage patterns-as I'd hoped. I often wound up jumping to a page that NetJet hadn't cached, which actually slowed down my surfing since the modem was busy downloading the predicted page. And, because NetJet tries to download pages continually, my own file download performance took about 30 percent longer.
Worse, the utility overrides your ability to specify just the domain in the address area (for example, typing "WinMag" to get to "www.winmag.com"). Peak says a fix is coming. And, since NetJet works its magic by adding a proxy parameter to your browser's configuration, clicking on your browser no longer gets you to the Web; you'll have to launch NetJet instead.
On the other hand, NetJet can be valuable if most of your Web time is spent revisiting favorite sites, since it keeps most-visited sites fresh in the cache. But expect to be annoyed when it tries to download what it thinks you want and forces you to wait while it catches up.