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Firm touts surfing 5 times faster

Datalytics has a Web accelerator product will let users surf the Web up to five times faster than they do today.

Datalytics Incorported will announce a Web accelerator product at the Internet World trade show next month in New York that will let users surf the Web up to five times faster than they do today.

The product, dubbed Blaze, is the latest example of a growing category of software that promises to boost performance of Web browsers and servers. Blaze relies on four technologies: compression, encapsulation, read-ahead browsing, and intelligent caching to speed up the process of downloading Web pages in real time.

Compression squeezes the pages into smaller chunks of data while the encapsulation technology reduces the number of HTTP connections between the client and server. Downloading an average Web pages typically involves 20 to 30 such connections, but the company says Blaze reduces that number to less than five.

The read-ahead browsing feature uses idle modem time to "prefetch pages" that a user is likely to visit next. Intelligent caching takes advantage of existing caching features to make sure that pages don't have to be downloaded several times in a single session.

Blaze is expected to sell for $79 to $99 and be posted to the Web for downloading on December 16, according to Datalytics president Jeff Meyer. The company expects to ship the product to retail outlets by February and may even sign a bundling deal with IBM to ship it with its Aptiva PC.

Competition is already getting stiff, however, in the Web acceleration market. As previously reported, Peak Technologies showed off a $29.95 Java application called Peak Net.Jet, which the company says is a "turbocharger for the Internet," last week at Comdex.

Datalytics' advantage may be in its marketing deals. Blaze will be bundled with Web servers for Windows NT and Unix from Microsoft and Netscape Communications.

Datalytics was founded in March 1994. The privately held company's investors include Dow Jones & Company and Aegon USA.