How to Reduce Data Usage While Browsing Internet

Posted on June 15, 2015 in tips • 2 min read

According to the HTTP Archive, the average webpage size has increased by 50 % per year. When you don’t have unlimited internet, using the Internet without crossing data cap seems an impossible task. But you can browse the web consuming less data.

I use a volume based Internet connection of 40 GB per month. I follow some methods to reduce the data consumption while using Internet.

STEPS:

1. Browser:

Let’s start with the browser. The browser is our gateway to the Internet. I use Google Chrome as my primary internet browser. Google has an official extension for Chrome that compresses the data for HTTP websites so that it becomes faster and uses less data. The extension is called Data Saver.

Download it from here and once added, you should see a icon added beside the menu in chrome. Click it and select Turn on data saver .

Data Saver Screenshot 1 Data Saver Screenshot 2

From now on, Chrome should start compressing the site elements and images by passing them through google servers. In my testing, I saved up to 20% data in a month.

Note: This doesn’t work on secure pages and in incognito mode.

2. YouTube Settings:

There is a hidden setting in YouTube that plays videos in 360p quality by default. 360p is both clear as well as data friendly quality for watching video.

To access the setting, go to https://www.youtube.com/account_playback and tick “I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video.” in Video playback quality. From now on, Videos will default to 360p.

Also, YouTube has an experimental video player that uses HTML5 instead of Flash to play videos. It can play videos with an average bandwidth reduction of 35 percent. To enable it, go to TestTube and on the bottom, click “Get the player” under Try out the Redesigned YouTube Player.

YouTube HTML5 Player

3. Run Plugins on Demand:

Chrome automatically plays flash ads and videos leading to higher data usage. You can stop this behaviour.

Go to settings through menu and then select

Show advanced settings > Privacy > Content settings. > Plug-ins > Click to play

From now on, video advertisement won’t be played automatically, thus saving a lot of data.

I hope these tips will help you lower data usage and be under your data cap. If you have any other tips, do leave them as comments.