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Enable Google’s Mobile Data Compression Tech In Google Chrome on the Desktop

chrome data saving on the desktop

The Add-On Promises Big Data Savings

Mobile data saving was one of the big features to land in the mobile version of Chrome on Android and iOS  recently — but did you know that you can enable it on the desktop, too?

The Chrome Data Compression Proxy for Chrome mobile claims to be able to reduce data usage by as much as 50%.

To achieve this, web content is funnelled through a secure Google Server where images, scripts and the like are compressed and optimised. The newly squashed assets are then speedily served to the users using the efficient SPDY protocol.

While the feature is relatively new to mobile browsers, it’s not unique on the desktop. Opera has included a “turbo” mode, which, like Google’s data savings features, compresses web files like images and scripts via an intermediate server, since 2009.

But for Chrome users  a new, unofficial ‘experimental extension’ claims to bring the benefits of Google’s Chrome Data Compression Proxy feature to regular desktop builds.

The developer behind the add-on, Jerzy Głowacki, explains:

“The extension sends all HTTP (but not HTTPS) traffic through Chrome Data Compression Proxy server, which uses SPDY protocol to speed up web browsing. Enabled state is indicated by a green icon. You can manually disable the proxy by clicking on the icon.”

But does it actually work? During a brief hands on with  it only one page managed to load successfully when it was enabled. All other pages threw up an ‘ERR_PROXY_CERTIFICATE_INVALID‘ error.

That’s an important takeaway here; as this add-on is not endorsed by Google it can be blocked from working at any time.

Bandwidth savings can be viewed in Chrome at chrome://net-internals/#bandwidth.

Get The Extension

The add-on is available to install for free directly from the Chrome Web Store.

Data Compression Extension for Google Chrome

The source code is also available for those worried about where data is being sent to check over.

  • Juan Carlos Cornejo

    I’ve been wanting a feature like this for a while now. I use a mobile hotspot primarily now.

    However, I think I’ll wait until Google implements this. I don’t want to get used a feature that may ultimately disappear.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Alvin B.

      Exactly, this is great for those who are tethering. It can be toggled off easily enough as well, for when you’re on unmetered connections.

  • Sean Lumly

    I personally disabled this feature on Chrome for Android. Privacy concerns aside (which I’m not terribly paranoid about), I found the added latency to be negative to my usage experience. I should try enabling the feature again to determine if this is still the case.

  • W.G.

    Not sure how much I’d trust this… I rather wait for Google include it natively: crbug.com/344193

  • Brandon

    How does this compare to firefox?

  • maevian

    Opera has been doing this for years on mobile, not only on the desktop!

  • ForSquirel

    I’d pass, and like I said last time, I’d pass on the android version as well if you’re concerned about privacy. It doesn’t play well with VPNs(the android version at least). Not sure about this as I’m not going to try.