Submit News Alternative Tip Form

Install Google’s New Data Saver Extension for Chrome

the popover in chrome's data saver addon

Google has made its new Data Saver extension available to install from the Chrome Web Store.

The add-on, news of which leaked late last year, uses Google servers to compress the websites you visit before they’re loaded in Chrome, a move that can help save on bandwidth and speed up page loading times.

data saver extension beta

How The Extension Looks Turned Off

Google say the add-on is still in beta and won’t pipe secure (SSL) or incognito pages using the compression technology.

How Google’s Data Saver Extension Works

Data Saver for Chrome works simply: you install it and it goes about its compression business in the background as you surf.

Clicking the data saver toolbar button added to Chrome opens a pop-over. This shows stats on exactly how much data you have saved so far by way of a fancy graph. You’ll also find a quick ‘off’ switch for the times you may need it (see below for more on that).

The precise amount of data saved with the extension will vary from page to page, website to website. Don’t expect the graph to hit huge peaks right away.

Also keep in mind that freshly squeezed web pages may not look perfect. If you see fuzzy images, have trouble loading certain websites, or find that location detection features are way-off base you’ll know which add-on to disable to undo it!

Who Is It For?

Although most desktop users are unlikely to feel much need for the tool, as nifty as it might be, it will likely be of benefit to those browsing the web on a mobile data plan or capped broadband connection.

It should also help Chrome users with slower connections load pages a bit quicker, too.

Google Chrome for Android and iOS has offered a similar compression feature for a while (albeit disabled by default) while the Opera web-browser’s built-in ‘Opera Turbo’ mode popularised the concept on desktop PCs.

A third-party add-on created last year tried to bring Google’s data saver features to the desktop version of Chrome.

Install the Data Saver extension in Chrome

You can head on over to the Google help page for the data saver extension to glean further details on how the add-on (and the technology behind it) works. You can install the extension itself from the Chrome Web Store right now by clicking the button below.

Data Saver (By Google) on Chrome Web Store

Hat tip Travis C.

  • Finally!

  • cakezula

    No SSL, No thanks. Also, will this be able to work if you’re using a vpn service?

    • Isn’t the whole point of SSL that no-one/thing can intercept your traffic? This extension would defeat that purpose as it passes everything through Google’s byte-crushing servers first.

      • cakezula

        Sure. I’m just saying this is the reason I won’t be using it.

        • Jordan Davenport

          It doesn’t DISABLE TLS (SSL is deprecated) – it just doesn’t compress anything over a secure connection. In other words, it slurps up and attempts compressing all data over HTTP outside Incognito mode but ignores all HTTPS traffic and lets that behave as normal.

          • cakezula

            Interesting. Thanks for the helpful comment!

    • Nathaniel Webb

      If it did SSL, I’d be a lot more concerned. No way to do that except root cert, and that doesn’t go over too well. Just ask Lenovo.

    • ForSquirel

      It’s wonky on a VPN. It’s enabled by default on mobile devices and when you connect in through a VPN certain application(s) would read as if you were Google themselves. I’m assuming it works the same way.

      When it all comes down to it all this really is is a true, “I’m gonna read all your traffic before you see it” thing.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        but, that’s always been the case …

      • S_Deemer

        @ForSquirel:disqus : Can you elaborate on “it’s wonky on a VPN”? I’m using both Data Saver and Tunnelbear VPN on a Chromebook at the moment, and I haven’t noticed any unusual behavior.

      • Noremacam

        just checked chrome’s settings on my phone, and it was not enabled by default. Can anyone else confirm if it is enabled by default?

        • Kurt Schumacher

          Not enabled by default of course….

  • So will this actually speed up browsing? That’s the only use I could get out of it personally.

    • Potentially yes, because parts of pages are reduced in size they’ll arrive faster and load faster. In practice, and if you have a good connection anyway, the boost will be imperceptible.

      • vacuumation

        And that would improve battery life, right? (when our laptop isn’t connected to the power cord)

        • Degru

          No. It may even decrease it since the computer has to use CPU to decompress the pages it receives. But overall, your battery life is going to be about the same as without this extension; the key is the amount of data you are actually downloading.

    • Noremacam

      Because it has to be compressed through a 3rd party server it could potentially be slower in terms of raw data speeds. This extension is designed for those with either slow connections, or metered connections(like using your phone hotspot).

    • shishimaru

      Do you have slow connection? Do you have 2/3/4G? Yes. Otherwise… Meh, no.

  • shishimaru

    I think Opera Turbo compresses even more, right?

    • Opera turbo is on par with Google’s Compression Proxy. See: browsingthenet.blogspot,com/2014/09/chrome-data-compression-proxy-vs-mozilla-janus-vs-opera-turbo.html

      • shishimaru

        No. That page says who’s the faster. I want to know who compresses more. And I’m quite sure Opera Turbo compresses a lot more. Tried for more than a year, especially on Android. Opera compresses up to 50-75%, Chrome goes for 12%.

  • Mi Pen

    Well I have one of the rare 320gb normal HDD models the Acer C710. So I doubt I would ever need this . Still it might be useful for the low spec SDD models for offline content.

  • vacuumation

    Wouldn’t efficiently reducing browsing data on a Chromebook also conserve battery life, when our laptop isn’t connected to a power source?

  • Rich

    Just curious, what are the pros and cons of doing this? Looks like a lot of potential benefits, but I don’t immediately see what are the negatives

    • more use of RAM

    • Noremacam

      Well hypothetically, if you have a really fast connection, sending the webdata to another server to compress it first could be slower.

      Additionally, you’d be sending your data through google, and so that depends on how trustworthy you find them. It’s only non-ssl pages, but still, I could see how some could have reservations.

    • Kurt Schumacher

      Local Web server applications on your internal network can baldy fail – because these can’t be reached by the caching/compressing servers from the Internet, or are connected using an internal URL where no double-facing DNS is in place (resolving to internal/LAN/RFC1918 IPv4 addresses vs. publically routed IPv4 addresses).

    • xdigi

      The con is that your entire browsing history goes to Google, so they can read everything you do…

      • Rich

        Oh no! They’re going to see that I logged into facebook, checked my emails, and read some random articles like OMGchrome

        • xdigi

          And sell that to advertisers… and make money off of it…..

  • Vin

    So how do I get this for my Android phone which has a Chrome browser?

    • Marc

      It already has it, dumbass.

    • Austin Davolt

      It’s only on the beta version, I use it and it works fine, but no incognito…

  • Guest

    chrome offer…. I started working from home, doing various simple jobs which only required desktop or laptop computer and internet access and I couldn’t be happier… It’s been six months since i started this and i made so far total of 36,000 dollars… Basicly i profit about 80 dollars every hour and work for 3 to 4 hours a day.And the best part about this job is that you can decide when to work yourself and for how long and you get a paycheck weekly.—>



    • Austin Davolt

      No one cares about your bug infested site you cow!!! I hate the spam!!! Way too much on this site!!!

  • xdigi

    And send all your browsing history to Google? Yeah, no thanks.

  • Guest


  • billybobfrankwashington

    I have a fast internet connection… If it won’t speed up the page loads even more it’s useless to me.

  • Muhd Faezin (Tiago – Rio 2)

    Nice extension