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Turbocharging with the Cache

Have you noticed that when you return to a Web document that you've viewed recently, it appears much more quickly than when you first accessed it? That's because your browser isn't taking it from the Internet; instead, the browser is getting it from the cache, an area on your hard disk or in your computer's RAM (memory) in which it saves pages. The cache is handy because it greatly speeds up the process of working on the Web. After all, why bother to reload a file from the Internet when it's already sitting on your hard drive? (Okay, you may think of some reasons to do so, but I'll come back to those when I talk about the Reload command.)

When the browser loads a Web page, it places it in the cache. You can generally control the size of the cache. Not all browsers let you do so, but Netscape, Internet Explorer, and many others do. When the cache fills up, the oldest files are removed to make room for newer ones. Each time the browser tries to load a page, it might look in the cache first to see whether it has the page stored. (Whether it does depends on how you set up the cache.) If it finds that the page is available, it can retrieve the page from the cache very quickly.

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