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Google Chrome Getting Faster, More Secure

Google has an interestingpost on its Chrome Blog today that highlights two new features that will be coming to its web browser soon: web page pre-loading and an improvement to its Safe Browsing technology. But you don't have to wait to get these features: If you sign up for the  Chrome Beta channel, you can get them today.

According to Google, the two big improvements in today's Beta release are:

Web page pre-loading. "Chrome will now start loading some web pages in the background, even before you’ve finished typing the URL in the omnibox," the post notes. "If the URL auto-completes to a site you're very likely to visit, Chrome will begin to prerender the page. Prerendering reduces the time between when you hit Enter and when you see you see your fully-loaded web page--in some cases, the web page appears instantly."

Safe Browsing improvements. Chrome's Safe Browsing feature already protected users against automated web attacks. But now it can examine downloaded executable files to determine whether they're malicious. "If a file you download is known to be bad, or is hosted on a website that hosts a relatively high percentage of malicious downloads, Chrome will warn you that the file appears to be malicious and that you should discard it," the post reads. "We're starting small with this initial Beta release, but we’ll be ramping up coverage for more and more malicious files in the coming months."

If you're not familiar with the various types of Chrome releases there are, you should be. There are a number of versions, as it turns out, but the big three, perhaps, are:

Chrome. This is of course the safe, public version of Chrome. This is the stable Chrome version, the one that most people normally use.

Chrome Canary. Want to live on the bleeding edge? This version of Chrome, which installs alongside other Chrome versions rather than replacing them, is updated far more frequently than other versions and does not undergo thorough testing. But it always includes the very latest feature.

Chrome Beta. This version of Chrome is one version ahead of the normal, public version. It provides an early peek at functionality that's coming soon.

(There's also a Dev channel, and I've been warned that the Beta version can be a bit slower than the stable one. I've not noticed that.)

Google recommends that users be cautious with even the Beta version since it "inherently comes with more bugs and kinks to work out." But I use it regularly in lieu of the stable version and have never had any issues. And I suspect anyone reading this blog could do the same.
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