We present a comparative performance study of a wide selection of optimization techniques to enhance application performance in the context of wide-area wireless networks (WWANs). Unlike in traditional wired and wireless IP-based networks, applications running overWWAN cellular environments are significantly affected by the vagaries of the cellular wireless medium. Prior research has proposed and analyzed optimizations at individual layers of the protocol stack. In contrast, we introduce the first detailed experimentbased evaluation and comparison of all such optimization techniques in a commercial WWAN testbed. This paper, therefore, summarizes our experience in implementing and deploying an infrastructure to improve WWAN performance. The goals of this paper are: (1) to perform an accurate benchmark of application performance over such commercially deployed WWAN environments, (2) to implement and characterize the impact of various optimization techniques across different layers of the protocol stack, and (3) to quantify their interdependencies in realistic scenarios. Additionally, we also discuss measurement pitfalls that we experienced and provide guidelines that may be useful for future experimentation in WWAN environments.