Update: Zipedia is no longer available. The add-on has been pulled from the Mozilla Add-ons repository and the official homepage seems to have received the last update in 2008. We suggest you check out Wikipedia Taxi instead which is mentioned below.
Zipedia (via Instant Fundas) is actually the second (Wikipedia Taxi was the first) application that enables you to download Wikipedia contents so that you can access those contents locally without Internet connection.
The main difference between Wikipedia Taxi and Zipedia is that the latter is provided as a Firefox add-on which adds Wikipedia offline search right into the browser.
The contents of Wikipedia can then be accessed by typing wikipedia://wiki/ into the address bar of the Firefox browser. A keyword that you can assign to it should make this more comfortable and a bookmark would do the same thing.
The main benefit of this approach is that you can search Wikipedia while you are offline or Internet access is limited. Other uses could be due to slow Internet connections or if Wikipedia is banned in the network.
The first step is to download the articles provided by Wikipedia. You can select any language version you like from the Wikipedia Dump.
You start the import in the options of the add-on which also contains a download link to a recommended Wikipedia backup which has a size of more than 7 Gigabytes. Yes, the download can take a while unless you pick a different article backup. It's also important to have enough space on the hard drive for the download to complete.
Zipedia imports the Wikipedia download after it completes which puts some strain on the system and takes a while as well. After that Wikipedia can be browsed by entering the address mentioned above in the Firefox address bar.
Images can't be browsed and the search is only looking at titles and not article contents which is a bit disappointing.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.