data usage: firefox vs default browserGeneral


  1. Zabrak999

    Zabrak999 Well-Known Member

    Hi there, just wondering what Browser I should be using, when I'm wanting to use less mobile data.

    Which browser zaps less data between the two? If you know another browser that zaps even less, then that'd be fantastic, too.

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  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    The amount of data depends on the web page, not the browser you use to get to it. About the only way to really minimize web data usage is to use a text-only browser, and I don't know if anyone has made one for Android. But if you go to a page that's full of Javascript files, graphics and other junk, it's going to download a lot of data no matter which browser you use.
  3. Zabrak999

    Zabrak999 Well-Known Member


    Well wait a minute, what about Opera Mini? Everybody's been saying it reduces your data by quite a bit
    dustwun77 likes this.
  4. Scootmien

    Scootmien Well-Known Member

    From How to Minimize Your Android Data Usage and Avoid Overage Charges Your mileage may vary.

    While the default browser in Android gets better with each release, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to minimizing data usage. Fortunately there are several alternatives that feature data compression and optimization to help reduce usage.
    Chrome Beta: The newest optimized browser is actually a Google offering. The most recent offering of Chrome Beta features a new experimental proxy service run by Google that promises to radically increase mobile browsing speeds while decreasing data loads. In order to turn on access to this new proxy system, you will need to enter the address chrome://flags in the address bar of Chrome Beta and enable the entry for Experimental Data Compression Proxy. The release and the feature are brand new so we haven
    dustwun77, BlueBiker and photogost like this.
  5. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    There's a difference in the amount of data space a browser uses in RAM (the larger the browser program, the more RAM it needs to run) and the amount of data a web page sends your phone. The browser author can't reduce the amount of data the web page sends your phone - that's determined by the person writing the web page. (That was one of the problems with the ACA website - it sent tons of data to the user.)

    You pay data charges (or minutes or however you want to figure it) by the amount of data sent to the phone (and data sent by the phone to the site), not by how much data space the program takes in your phone.

    You're asking for the price of orange juice, but figuring it by the number of branches on the tree. You pay for the amount of juice, not the number of branches. A page with 20k of data will cost you 20k of data to read, regardless of the size of the browser you use to look at it. But the smaller the browser is, the faster it will (probably) run. (Not always true - IE5 and 6 were pigs when it came to interpreting Javascript, even though they were a lot smaller than IE9, which interprets JS a lot faster.)
  6. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    Good advice above. Some ideas that might help:

    • Make sure you're viewing the Mobile versions of sites, not the Desktop ones. It'll not only look better on a phone's small screen but will likely minimize the size of objects downloaded.
    • Consider installing a dedicated app offered by a website that you visit often (Facebook, Twitter, Phandroid, whatever). There's no guarantee it'll use less bandwidth (it could even be more), but it's worth trying both ways and using your phone's bandwidth measuring features to see if it's a win.
    • Caching matters for any website you visit often. I didn't see any user settings for cache control in either the mobile Firefox or native phone browser, but it's possible that one reserves more space (in internal memory or on the SD card) than the other and therefore doesn't need to download the same objects as often.
    • It may(?) be the case that setting plugins to disabled or "on demand" will prevent or delay the loading of corresponding objects that you don't want to view.
    • Installing an ad blocker type add-on will probably reduce the number of objects downloaded and will definitely make rendering faster.
    dustwun77 likes this.

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