Chrome 17 Offers Enhanced Speed and Safety
Article by George Norman
On 09 Feb 2012
The latest stable version of Google Chrome web browser is v. 17.0 which was rolled out to the public on Wednesday, the 8th of February, one day after the release of Chrome for Android Beta 1. Chrome 17, which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome Frame, comes with two main new elements: enhanced speed and safety. Let’s take a quick look at the two, shall we?

Enhanced speed
What Chrome 17 does to offer even faster browsing speeds is it prerenders a webpage you are very likely to visit. Google Software Engineer Noé Lutz explains: “When you start typing in the omnibox and the URL autocompletes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will prerender the page, so it will appear faster--sometimes, even instantly--as soon as you hit Enter.”


Enhanced security
As you may already know, Google Chrome’s Safe Browsing feature protects against phishing, drive-by malware, and harmful downloads. Safe Browsing downloads a continuously-updated list of known phishing and malware websites and warns you when you try to visit a potentially harmful site. With version 17, the browser now also checks executable files against a whitelist. If the executable don’t match the whitelist, Chrome will warn the user.

There’s another reason why Chrome 17 has enhanced security to offer: this latest version plugs a total of 20 security holes. One of them is rated a critical, eight are rated as high risk, and the remaining are either medium or low risk vulnerabilities. Shawn Goertzen got $1,000 for uncovering the critical vulnerability and reporting it to Google.

If you’re already on Chrome, the browser will update itself automatically. You can manually trigger an update by clicking the wrench icon and then going to About Google Chrome.
If you’re not using Google’s Chrome browser, I invite you to get it. You can download the latest version here.

Tags: Google, Chrome, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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