Project Fi has clearly displayed how serious Google is about helping users get the most out of their internet data plans. It is not difficult imagining a future where WiFi will assume a secondary role as compared to data plans. The only problem that remains is the price you are charged by carriers for browsing the web. You can work on optimizing data usage by avoiding streaming or preferring to visit mobile friendly sites, when possible. However, you just can’t reduce the costs incurred during normal browsing. At least you couldn’t effectively before today! Google has just released Chrome Data Saver, an extension for Chrome that automatically compresses webpages before displaying them.
For now, Chrome Data Saver is in beta so the extension’s result are sure to improve in the future. Having said that, it worked pretty well for us even in its first run, and rarely fails to reduce the download size of any webpage. This isn’t really surprising though, given the fact that the extension uses Google’s own servers to compress data.
The best thing about Chrome Data Saver is its ability to compress pages without having any deteriorating effects on the final render. To install the extension to Chrome, head to the link provided at the end of this post and click the ‘Install’ button on the resulting Web Store page. It only takes a few moments for the extension to get installed on your device.
Once done, you will see a new icon in the top-right corner of the browser. It must be remembered that Data Saver does not work in Chrome’s incognito mode or for SSL pages. To see how well the extension is working, click its icon. In the Data Saver mini-window you will see a few basic stats. These stats show the compression rate for the page you are currently visiting. Apart from the compression percentage, the original and compressed sizes of the page are also shown. To help users gauge the overall effectiveness of Chrome Data Saver, the extension has a graph displaying the data compression rates over the past month.
Since the extension is in beta for now, you might run into some temporary problems when using it. For these instances, you can easily disable Data Saver by heading to its main menu. Of course, you can always uninstall the extension later by heading to Chrome’s settings tab.
Chrome Data Saver uses Google’s own servers for compression, which might lead to the functionality getting integrated into Chrome in the future. For now though, you can head to the Chrome Web Store and get your hands on this free extension to see if it can be of any help.