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Browsing the Internet offline

Imagine a world where you have all the information of the Internet without even connecting to the net, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

business Updated: Apr 20, 2006 16:01 IST

Internet literally means an inter connected world. But imagine a world where you have all the information of the Internet, your favourite websites and more without even connecting to the net. Well that's what a new service called Webaroo promises.

Offline browsing - a radical idea?

Offline browsing by itself isn't really a radical idea. Offline browsing works on the cache stored on your computer and lets your browse the last updated webpage, which you saved when you were online.

So the way it works is

1.Cache of your favourite website is stored on your computer
2.You can set-up a schedule to synchronize the offline pages with the most recently updated ones.

Offline browsing has been far from perfect. Exactly the right reason for webaroo to tap into the market.

How Webaroo works

Webaroo is a free software program and service that lets one search and browse real web pages without a connection. Webaroo's technology makes it simple to store the content, webpages of your choice. The application stores and makes searchable the web content on your laptop, PDA or smart phone. The content is updated every time you sync so the content freshness is maintained.
Offline browsing had much scope for improvements primarily on the cache updating front and the content front. Exactly the two fronts Webaroo claims to have worked on.

The two critical components at the core of Webaroo technology: one is a system designed to maximize Content Density and the other is our Smart Caching technology. The Content Density component crawl the web, analyse web pages and select the subset of pages that maximize Content Density (ie the most content value in the least storage size). Webaroo determines the content value based on the diversity and quality of the pages.

Smart caching allows Webaroo to be smart in the way it updates the content users have downloaded. When users connect their mobile devices to the Internet, the client software checks with the server to see if there are any updates available.

Webaroo has plans to announce the introduction of a laptop from Acer pre-loaded with about 40 gigabytes of Web on Monday. Webaroo's founders say that they came upon this idea to launch an offline Web since the Internet, which is about a million gigabytes, has grown too huge.

Webaroo's technology collects and compresses data that it feels users are most likely to use. These sites and the accompanying data are then compiled into the smallest space possible, with a selection/condensation ratio of 25,000:1.

The Junglee Connection

Rakesh Mathur, remember him? The same person behind Junglee which sold to Amazon at the height of the dotcom boom.  He has founded webaroo. "There is a lot of junk and a lot of redundancy on the Web," says he and his future plans include taking the journey of offline browsing even further. Something like the whole World Wide Web on a 40 gb hard drive.  Is that a possibility? Perhaps only time will tell.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and edits www.thebusinessedition.com you can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com