axlrosen writes "Web accelerators first came around years ago, and they didn't live up to the hype. Now TV commercials are advertising accelerators that speed up your dial-up connection by up to 5 times, they say. AOL and EarthLink throw them in for free; some ISPs charge a monthly fee. Tests by PC World, PC Magazine and CNET show that they do speed up your surfing quite a bit. They work by using improved compression and caching. The downside is they don't help streaming video or audio." And they require non-Free software on the client's end, too.