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Browsing Frugally Without Wasting Bandwidth?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the ix-nay-on-the-orn-pay dept.

The Internet 450

forrestm writes "At home, my internet connection is limited to 1GB / month before I have to pay extra. At my university, I'm charged around 2.5c per megabyte. I rarely download anything big, but I often go through a large amount of bandwidth by simply browsing around. For example, when I play a YouTube video, click a link, and then return to the video, the whole video reloads. When I read some websites, such as BoingBoing.net or Cnet.com, my status bar shows a whole lot of data being transferred through other domains. Some pages seem to send/receive data at certain intervals for the duration of my visit. When I begin to enter a search in Firefox's search bar, a list of suggestions is automatically downloaded. In addition to this, Firefox often requests internet access of its own accord, even though I have automatic updating turned off. All this is costing me! How do I stop unsolicited use of my internet connection? How do I go about not wasting bandwidth like this?"

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That's lousy (2, Informative)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507429)

Why would it be so bad in a day where technology should be so advanced?

What about disabling pictures/whatever in your Internet browser settings?

Re:That's lousy (1, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507669)

The base right now is that the original poster has made a bad deal on his internet access.

Many sites has so much junk embedded that it's almost impossible not to enter the limit imposed by the ISP unless you use Lynx or some other text only browser.

One may question if it's worth it to have such a lousy deal or if it's better to have a deal where you pay a little more per month and have a higher or no limit solution.

For me I have a 10/100 internet connection for about $40/month with no caps.

No Script (5, Insightful)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507431)

If you're a FireFox user I would recommend the No Script and adblock add on. That way you're not actually loading anything unless you specify.

Re:No Script (5, Informative)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507461)

I find No Script to be a bit of a pain, usually, because I seem to spend half of my time allowing things that I need. Adblock, however, is the only thing that keeps the internet usable for me when I exceed my download limit. I get shaped down to 56k instead of my usual 10 Mb/s - a very painful fall. Adblock lets me load pages in far less than half the time it would take without it. It's shocking how much crap is foisted on us at our own expense, really.

Re:No Script (2, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507507)

... because I seem to spend half of my time allowing things that I need...

You can either white list those "things that I need" or go to better Web sites. If you want Web 2.0 then you need a better connection. If you want to save bandwidth turn off all scripting and disallow iframes, meta-refreshes, plugins etc. Better yet use Lynx as people have already suggested. A Website that can't be viewed with Lynx is a Web site not worth visiting.

Re:No Script (1)

catch23 (97972) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507603)

It is pretty painful whitelisting everything manually in NoScript. They probably don't want to create trusted whitelists since someone could potentially do some dns poisoning and cause the whitelist to be tainted. I usually just turn NoScript off when I'm visiting my usual set of sites, then turn it on when I'm going into uncharted waters. It does make web browsing a painful experience at least until the whitelist contains most of the "good" websites so that your pages don't look all broken.

Re:No Script (3, Interesting)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507693)

Your "usual list of sites"? How long is it? Just whitelist the lot of them and be done with it, unless we're talking hundreds of them, which is a bit strange. It's really quite easy.

WTF!?!?! (5, Informative)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507879)

Dude, all you have to do when visiting a site to be white-listed is is :
1. visit the site.
2. navigate your curser to the 'S' with the red circle and slash (in the bottom right corner of FF), and choose "allow this page". If you have not set NoScript to refresh the page withe new settings (Windows= 'tools'> Add-ons> highlight (left-click/hover on NoScript in the 'add-ons' dialog box) NoScript, click on the 'Options' button> select 'General' tab> checkmark the box labeled 'Automatically reload affected pages when permissions change.'

3. ???

4. PROFIT!!!

For extra credit,try the "appearance' tab (Tools>Add-ons>NoScript>Options.

Personally, mine is set at:

(long story, short version) "Show..."
"Status bar labeled" == unchecked
"Full Domain" == unchecked
"Full Address" == unchecked

It provides a nice experience online for me, along with control over which parts of a web page can load.

When in doubt, you can always try "temporarily allow XYZ.org/com/net/edu".

P.S. I am currently having to settle for a Windows machine against my choice, but the above info is the same under Linux and Firefox, except it is accessed from "Edit">"Preferences">....

You're talking jibber-jabber (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507885)

It takes two clicks to permanently whitelist a site. Your "usual set of sites" will take a minute or so to add.

>"potentially do some dns poisoning and cause the whitelist to be tainted"

You said you turn noscript off for your "usual" sites then on again when you "venture out". How is this safer than just whitelisting your usual sites?

Re:No Script (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507789)

A Website that can't be viewed with Lynx is a Web site not worth visiting.

So how would you rate my university's website, the only place I can sign up for my classes (IE only)? Should I quit until they fix it for lynx?

Re:No Script (2, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507903)

So how would you rate my university's website, the only place I can sign up for my classes (IE only)? Should I quit until they fix it for lynx?

I don't know what University you go to. One university I was thinking of going to (when I was just a teeny-bopper) offered me a partial scholarship but I turned them down because of the very poor customer service. I would have probably done the same with your university. If you've already committed yourself financially then you can always try to ask for a refund or a transfer. I'm sorry to hear about your school. You should complain to the student union about this absurdity.

Re:No Script (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507913)

No , just post your university name here, and then write a paper about browser comptibility , reffering to this article.

Re:No Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507947)

Yes.

Foist2Foist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507515)

"It's shocking how much crap is foisted on us at our own expense, really."

So you use P2P too, huh?

Re:No Script (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507533)

Seconding Adblock Plus. Less maintenance and user-interaction involved. Blocks not only javascript but also images, frames, objects, and even ajax requests. Here's an easy filter that blocks all the js crap that wordpress users put on their websites: /wp-content/plugins/

Also try HttpFox. It monitors all http traffic in Firefox, including the Google autocomplete requests.

Re:No Script (3, Informative)

aug24 (38229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507643)

I suggest FlashBlock instead of NoScript if he only wants to stop flash from being auto-downloaded and leave the JS alone.

Justin.

Re:No Script (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507791)

I suggest FlashBlock instead of NoScript if he only wants to stop flash from being auto-downloaded and leave the JS alone.

Agreed. I don't argue that NoScript isn't useful for some people; but for the average person it's too extreme of a solution. FlashBlock stops the vast majority of current web annoyances without requiring user intervention just to get the average site's navigation working.

Some may argue that for a site to require JavaScript for navigation is ridiculous; but we've got to deal with the real world here. Disabling all client-side scripting by default just breaks too many sites.

Re:No Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507749)

Hear hear...

Adblock is great and wouldn't be without it now. And totally agree with the statement regarding the crap we have to filter out. I wouldn't mind a simple gif banner, but those flash ads really chew the bandwidth / slow the loading of pages.

Re:No Script (1)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507839)

The most recent NoScript upgrades have done good work with the Untrusted lists -- you can make most decisions permanent from the icon menu, now. I've never needed more than fifteen seconds to get any site working -- even the crazy blogs with six adservers, three tracking services, and four types of embedded media.

But even if it was more trouble, I'd still use it. Remember, NoScript is message-agnostic -- it's not an adblocker by any means, it just limits the services your computer will make available to websites. You're still able to display a banner or text ad, to someone running NoScript; I'm not blocking ads, I'm just not allowing Flash to run by default.

So to my mind, NoScript serves the internet better than AdBlocker. If there were /no/ ads, pages would start to vanish; I don't take any steps to block ads, but I do protect my computer from historically insecure third-party plugins.

Re:No Script (1)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507855)

You can set NoScript to block only 3rd-party scripts i.e. allow scripts from the site you went to (e.g. Google) but block all the extra crud. In Options, General, check the "allow base 2nd-level domains by default". That cuts out mostt of the extra work you're talking about, but assumes you don't go to any sites that have malicious intent in their own right.

Re:No Script (1)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507863)

Change your NoScript settings to always temporarily allow Full Domains (or even Base 2nd Level domains if you're ok with that) and you'll find very few sites give you reason to whitelist or blacklist anything else (apart from the embedded links to Youtube videos that seem to litter the web.)

In addition to NoScript I run Flashblock and Adblock Plus, too. I find pages load far faster for me in Firefox than they do in IE.

Use Squid (3, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507433)

Setup Squid with bandwidth limits as you see fit.

Sorry (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507437)

You're screwed. Welcome to the age of greed.

Here you go (4, Informative)

dgun (1056422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507441)

Go minimal (1, Insightful)

jadedoto (1242580) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507443)

Just use Lynx.

One word! (1, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507445)

Lynx.

Re:One word! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507493)

Amazing. Yours is the 3rd lynx reference posted within one minute!

There needs to be karma-neutral way to mod posts redundant.

To quote Adam Savage: (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507449)

At home, my internet connection is limited to 1GB / month before I have to pay extra.

"Well there's your problem."

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507517)

To be fair he could be in a third world nation where that is actually the top teir plan. For example a 1mbps "unlimited" connection in Vanuatu goes for the princly sum of $585 USD per month.

Perhaps 1gb downloads per month is all the submitter can reasonably afford, or even get.

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507547)

Hell it doesn't even have to be third world... afaik 1GB is still the standard cap in NZ (which sometimes feels like third world)

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507591)

You can barely browse the web with 1 gb

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (2, Interesting)

Eythian (552130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507593)

It is the standard in that it's the base-level cap. It works well enough for people who read a few webpages and get their email. A number of friends, and my parents are on that. Heavier users can quite happily get more, although it does get a bit pricier. I put my plan up to 100Gb the other day, and it costs NZ$95/mo.

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507605)

I'm sure that Telstra wishes everyone in Australia were still on 1GB (well you pretty much are if you're on NextG [HSPA]).

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507773)

To be fair he could be in a third world nation where that is actually the top teir plan.

You're using Telstra BigPond in Australia, aren't you? Sigh.

Re:To quote Adam Savage: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507799)

You know those CAPS they're introducing of late in the US of A ... well wait, your turn cometh. In New Zealand we're capped at 3GB a month - blew past that again the other day, so 10 days of surviving on DIAL-UP speed. Grrrr! Having had enough of the 'incumbent`s' Nanny State caps, we are switching to a more open plan within 2 weeks with another provider, where we will pay a reasonable small fee per Gb on top of a flat monthly rate.

Lynx (-1, Redundant)

Nkwe (604125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507451)

'nuff said

Re:Lynx (0, Redundant)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507469)

I second that notation.

answer (-1, Redundant)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507459)

firefox + noscript

easy (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507463)

firefox + adblock + flashblock + noscript + dont use youtube

Re:easy (2, Insightful)

i'm lost (1247580) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507613)

Does flashblock do anything that noscript doesn't do?

Re:easy (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507673)

Better yet, uninstall flash altogether.

Re:easy (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507681)

no idea, noscript is not something I personally use because i find it be more of a pain in the ass than a help most of the time, but i know it stops pages refreshing themselves which is why it got a mention.

Re:easy (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507941)

I'm not sure, I only use Flashblock, but on Youtube, Flashblock is great. You click a video and it starts loading.

You click back and forward, the video doesn't reload. The flash is blocked.

Re:easy (4, Informative)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507937)

Use adblockplus rather than adblock. Adblock is obsolete, and does not work with current Firefox versions.

Here are some bandwidth saving keys to add to your user.js file:
---- // Don't submit every character I type in the search box to google
user_pref("browser.search.suggest.enabled", false);
user_pref("browser.search.update", false); // Update extensions and Adblock filters every 15 days.
user_pref("extensions.update.interval", 1296000);
user_pref("extensions.adblockplus.synchronizationinterval", 360); // Note that the first is measured in seconds, and the second is measured in hours. // Block pages from autorefreshing
user_pref("accessibility.blockautorefresh", true);

---

Leave youtube videos loaded in the tab until you are sure you won't want to watch it again. I typically turn the sound off and allow a youtube video to load while I am surfing in another tab. When the video is done loading, I turn the sound back on and watch it from the beginning.

Squid. (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507465)

Install a cache server. Like Squid.

http://www.squid-cache.org/ [squid-cache.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squid_cache [wikipedia.org] /thread.

--
BMO

Re:Squid. (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507499)

Which actually doesn't help the youtube problem. Squid can't cache youtube videos. You'd think it'd be able to, I would expect it to, but it doesn't.

Re:Squid. (4, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507529)

Something like "Downloadhelper is good for Youtube. It's a Firefox extension. You don't need Javascript or flash enabled to use it. Just download the video and watch it as many times as you want. I know there are other programs like this, but this one is actually up-todate and simple to use.

Re:Squid. (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507543)

The only time I don't preview my posts is the only time they need to be corrected. Here is the Link to downloadhelper:
http://www.downloadhelper.net/ [downloadhelper.net]

Re:Squid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507691)

That's only part of the problem though.
If you're done watching the video and then want to read the comments (for some reason) going to the next page of comments causes the video to be downloaded again.

Re:Squid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507769)

Nope, going to the next page of comments just changes the comments, the video stays where it is.

Re:Squid. (3, Informative)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507757)

It is *possible* to cache YouTube videos and the like, but you'd need some technical skill to pull it off. Basically, you'd write a Squid pre-filter that replaces embedded YouTube videos with an embedded call to a local cgi-script. On the first invocation, the cgi-script would download and cache the video while streaming it to the client. Subsequent calls would skip the download process.

Of course, this only saves bandwidth when you re-watch the same video over-and-over.

Even in the pre-YouTube days of the internet, Squid didn't help with bandwidth all that much. I once set up a Squid cache in transparent-proxy mode at an ISP with around 400 dial-up customers. I gave it 4 GB of cache space, which doesn't sound like much now, but our biggest drives were 500mb full-height SCSI bricks. I tuned every configurable option and pulled every trick in the book to maximize the caching. The experiment lasted around a month, during which time Squid saved us around 30% on our inbound bandwidth, according to log analysis. We finally had to shut it down because customers started to notice that they weren't seeing real-time data (like stock quotes) and some of them threatened to sue.

Bottom line: If you want low-bandwidth internet, use one of the these:

Lynx [isc.org]

Links [jikos.cz]

ELinks [elinks.or.cz]

w3m [sourceforge.net]

Re:Squid. (2, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507523)

Install a cache server. Like Squid.

Judging by my squid analysis (using Calamaris), Squid will only save about 10% of a small network's bandwidth -- even if it is setup with a reasonably large (5GB) cache and a large size (100MB) for the maximum size of cached objects.

Re:Squid. (2, Interesting)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507569)

I like polipo [jussieu.fr] . It's much, much easier to use for personal browsing and you can have it cache your cgi-bin stuff or whatever. You should be able to set it up to cache the youtube videos, even if they are 'Cache-Control: no-cache'.

I tried to install squid, but it brought back sendmail nightmares. Squid is just way overkill for personal browsing proxy/cache.

Re: Deploy a minifying proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507891)

May I suggest that you deploy a ZiProxy somwhere where you got more bandwidth?

http://ziproxy.sourceforge.net/

I use it with my 3G modem that is limited in both connection speed and with a monthly cap.

Er...common sense? (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507467)

For example, when I play a YouTube video, click a link, and then return to the video, the whole video reloads.

Middle mouse on a link opens a new tab. This problem is easily solved.

Some pages seem to send/receive data at certain intervals for the duration of my visit.

Use the "Stop" button?

When I begin to enter a search in Firefox's search bar, a list of suggestions is automatically downloaded.

So disable that in about:config
This is all pretty easy stuff.

Only things you can do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507475)

Browse with telnet. Masturbate less.

Re:Only things you can do (2, Funny)

chibiace (898665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507559)

ASCII porn? take up playing MUDs.

hosts file (2)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507483)

About 100 ad domains eat up most bandwidth if you're using the most popular sites. Put those 100 domains into your hosts file pointed at '127.0.0.1' and eliminate half or more of the bandwidth used by normal surfing at cnn.com, yahoo.com, etc. Google it - there's a site out there that has a huge hosts file you can download; it's overkill - you really only need about 200 max. Just keep checking where your unwanted cookies are coming from, and null those sites.

Don't download, and don't watch video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507501)

At work, my internet connection is limited to 200MB/week before they start asking questions. So, similar to yours.

I stay under that with a few simple strategies:

  • Adblock Plus
  • Flashblock
  • Don't download large files. Anything over 10MB is large. Most P2P is out (sorry!)
  • Don't watch YouTube (sorry!)
  • Find a way to keep an eye on your quota. Something like Net Usage Item [iau5.com] (that Firefox extension is geared towards Australian ISPs, who all have strict quotas)

In particular, the amount of usage you use when "normally" browsing the web, get Firefox search suggestions, etc. doesn't amount to much. So don't sweat that.

adblock and noscript, shut down computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507505)

1. don't spend too much time browsing.
2. use firefox with adblock and noscript. Adblock is a must. Noscript is optional.

wow. (1)

kristersaurus (1315861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507511)

seriously though, where do you live? the moon? ocean floor?

Re:wow. (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507555)

Australia. Probably the Australian National University.

How do I know? That almost-exactly describes my current situation.

Library (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507521)

Go to the library?
Seriously, if you're at a University, or hell, any community, you should have a library which usually has some kind of internet connection. And you don't have to worry about being charged some arbitrary amount per MB. : /

Re:Library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507717)

He says he pays 2.5c a meg at university, so that probably applies to his university library as well?

Re:Library (0)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507951)

I've rarely seen a library that had student's only admittance; actually I've only seen it once for my high school library and that can't be counted. Typically, universities, at least respectable ones, have areas that are meant to service the public during the day. This may consist of a shiny fountain, some art work, and a library in most cases. I believe these services exist for two reasons: 1) advertising and 2) to uphold the ideal that (public) education builds better communities. From that point of view, it seems almost mandatory to pay a pittance of $100-$1000 for a connection to the largest source of information in the world.

make believe you are a cell phone (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507527)

force text only. no flash or images

and set your browser to identify yourself as say, blackberry's browser. opera can do this sort of cloaking through an easy menu interface. large sites you visit will automatically downstep your content. otherwise, purposefully only visit sites that are mobile friendly versions of the main sites. for example, slashot's mobile friendly site is http://slashdot.org/palm [slashdot.org]

A wifi card and your neighbour's internet. (3, Funny)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507549)

I'm thinking that's your best bet.

Re:A wifi card and your neighbour's internet. (1)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507557)

Oh, and possibly a very good antenna, in case your neighbors aren't so close.

Good call (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507923)

You've been moderated funny, but that's pretty insightful actually. It just goes to show how ridiculous these limits are, when there's a good chance you could find more free, unused, and unrecognised bandwidth just lying around on the airwaves.

Host files (1)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507585)

I don't know what OS you're running, but this will work with any of them. Go search for a host file blacklist that routes known ads/spam/flash to localhost. Here is the one I use:

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org]

Instructions are on the page. This saves a huge amount of bandwidth in addition to the time spent waiting around for slow adservers before the page loads.

It probably blocks some slashverts, but oh well. Life isn't fair.

-b

Use Opera (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507597)

Use http://www.opera.com/ [opera.com] . You can set all kinds of "site preferences" including javascript, (turn it off! will save lots of bandwidth), plugins, etc.

You can also "block content", like from advertisers and 3rd party links, unneeded extra pictures and crap, etc. It's really great!!

You can also set user or author mode, including css, etc.

Also you can set up a firewall to block all of the ad servers, like admt.com, advertising.com, the whole list- block them all!

Try it- you will love it!!

Don't browse (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507601)

User curl or wget.

Disable prefetching (4, Interesting)

mj01nir (153067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507617)

Disable prefetching [mozillazine.org] .
about:config
network.prefetch-next false

Re:Disable prefetching (2, Interesting)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507699)

Crap like this enabled by default hurts Firefox mindshare.
From my about:config there dozens of entires i had to manually change for firefox to work smoothly,plus adblock.
Adblock doesn't have the NoScript functionality of "Block everything unless i told you otherwise" and i have to block ads one by one(i don't use susbscription filters).I once tried using blocksite,but its much slower to operate and interface is primitive.

use the colorful web browser (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507639)

called elinks.

Some Firefox suggestions (2, Informative)

gregbaker (22648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507641)

I have a couple of suggestions for Firefox...

Don't load images: Preferences -> Content and uncheck "Load images automatically".

Block other media you don't want: FlashBlock [mozdev.org] , AdBlock [mozilla.org] , QuickJava [mozilla.org] (for Java and JavaScript)

You could also try fiddling with the browser.cache.check_doc_frequency [mozillazine.org] in your about:config. I haven't tried it, but setting it to 2 might yield good results.

Try a compressing proxy (2, Interesting)

keeboo (724305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507645)

If you have access to a remote server which do not have bandwidth limitations (perhaps a friendly sysadmin in an university?) you may try a compressing proxy such as Ziproxy [sourceforge.net] which recompresses pictures to lower quality and does some extra black magic aswell.

It seems that RabbIT [khelekore.org] does that too, but I've never used that software myself.

Don't stream, download. (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507647)

I don't have flash installed, so I just download the videos to watch. This is particularly easy from youtube.

I use this bookmarklet, there are many other sites like this, but I find this convenient, and you can always just use FireBug to watch for the FLV files. javascript:document.location='http://keepvid.com/?url='+escape(window.location);

The most proactive approach is.... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507651)

wardriving.

No offense to wherever you are, but I haven't seen such crazy restrictions since....well those are the worst I've ever heard of. And I've been around since the BBS days.

Re:The most proactive approach is.... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507697)

No offense to wherever you are, but I haven't seen such crazy restrictions since....well those are the worst I've ever heard of. And I've been around since the BBS days.

In the early days of DSL in my region, there were some ISPs that offered those restrictions. They were reported to be good ISPs, just a tad costly if you exceeded their limit. It didn't seem "so" bad at the time 1GB at 640k/256, well except you could bust your limit after 1/2 hour.

For the life of me I can't remember the name of the ISPs in question, mainly because I didn't use them. Part of the reason to get DSL was to download things CD sized like linux.

Four ways (3, Informative)

Leemeng (970560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507723)

1. Adblock Plus (not plain Adblock)

2. FlashBlock

3. Modified Hosts file (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm)

4. If you need to watch a Youtube vid more than once, you can download it to your PC via keepvid.com.

Get a new ISP (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507725)

Seriously. If you don't like the policy, let them know. Dump the bastards!

Try K-Meleon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507735)

http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] has a so called "privacy" bar where you enable and disable images, javascript with one click.
Opera has such buttons too but for me they won't work right (the images one).

Most of the web looks good without images and javascript is mostly useless. Plus by disabling javascript you also disable Flash.

Use lynx (0, Redundant)

Fnyar (752435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507739)

Use lynx.

What kind of university is that? (1)

thesappho (1293114) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507747)

---begin reply---

2.5c for 1MB? 1$ for 40 MB, 10$ for 400MB or ~20$ for 700MB (divx video :)). Does RIAA operate your university? These fees would certainly stop warez imho :).

Also i guess universities exist for education not making money from students. Does your university have capped connection :).

Mine didn't charge for me in late 1990s.

But anything else your question was about limiting browsers extra bandwidth usage.
So firefox with adblock blocking .swfs and .flvs. also maybe .gifs
Using lynx (http://lynx.isc.org/) or links (previous post)
banning all ports but 80,8080 :).

---end of reply---

---begin calculations for fun---

hmmm. maybe founding my own university
only one 10Mb connection ~112.5$/h (assuming many students want to access net)
two 10Mbs ~225$
hmmm i'm starting to like the idea :)

---end of rubbish---

Do like what the guy from... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507751)

Do like what the guy from those AT&T commercials who has cable internet does.....get a LONG ethernet cable.....and borrow a neighbor's connection. Shoot...even offer to pay like 10 bucks a month for the privilege.

It's either that or learn how to cantenna and war-drive.

Use Opera (4, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507753)

Nobody suggested this yet, so I will:

Use Opera.

One of its really great features is the ability to browse the web with image loading turned off, either completely, or just by allowing already-cached images to be displayed. Ever ended up on a random forum while googling something and had half a dozen megabytes of flashy avatars and signatures loaded, plus someone embedding giant images into the thread? I have. Image loading toggle is a keypress or a mouse click away.

If you globally turn JavaScript and plugins off, you won't be surprised by a site loading a megabyte of JS from somewhere (damn those huge libraries), or by any kind of Flash content or embedded videos. Helps security, too. You can always whitelist sites you regularly use.

The third great thing about Opera is instant Back/Forward navigation. Nothing is reloaded. Extra bandwidth savings. Extra time savings, too, with mouse gestures.

no-no, no-no-no-no, there's no limits! (1)

arikol (728226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507763)

Seriously, who has a 1GB xap these days? I come from a country in the middle of f$#*ing nowhere, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, we have 3 fiber optic cables connecting us to the outside world. A 1GB cap would be something for our cellphone (perhaps). I mean,can't you pay like five bucks extra for unlimited?? Last time I had a cap it was (no, not a "cap in mah ass") 40GB, was up to 100GB when I quit that contract. Those caps were only on packets from outside the country, using those limited fiber optic cables. Domestic traffic was unlimited, no matter how cheap a connection you bought. Anyways, If you're running windows install a proper firewall and learn how to use it. ZoneAlarm makes a free version of their firewall which allows you to specify rules for all programs. That lets you block programs from calling out unless you want them to. You will be getting annoying messages and will have to allow programs every time if you want to keep maximum control. The built in firewalls on both windows and Mac are a bit lousy in that they are inbound only, that is, they block unauthorized access from outside parties. A proper firewall (many available, but for example, ZoneAlarmFree on Win and LittleSnitch on Mac) will be more customizable and block both incoming attacks and monitor what programs try to communicate OUT of your computer. Use either Firefox or the Opera browser. I like Opera better as it is smaller, faster and more full featured. Opera however does not support plugins in the way Firefox does (well, it does actually, there just aren't as many useful ones). Opera has a built in ad-blocking device which works pretty well, very good pop-up blocker, you can easily switch between having images enabled or not, Switch JavaScript on/off, Java on/off, sound in webpages on/off, abimated images on/off etc. Most of those options are in the quick preferences. Firefox is more spartan when it arrives, but has plugins to do quite a few things. Worth checking out. Firefox has fewer page rendering problem (Opera doesn't have many these days, though). Both browsers are free as in beer, FireFox is also free as in speech. Both are available on all major operating systems. I use both browsers on WinXP, Mac, and Ubuntu. So, recap: Firewall, learn it Browser, Opera and Firefox, learn their blocking features. DON'T use InternetExplorer (badbadbad) on win or Safari (not good enough) on Mac.

cache in on your browsing history! (1)

damagehead (1393625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507775)

firstly, I would recommend getting rid of toolbars like google, yahoo, etc. these thing transfer lot of data back and forth. secondly, and most importantly, consider installing squid caching proxy server. Squid will really help in reducing your overall bandwidth by returning cached results.

Invest in a better package (1)

boris_the_hacker (125310) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507793)

I personally would invest in a better package.

Work out how much you are paying over the odds each month of extra bandwidth and then just pay that up front for a better package. You are certainly likely to get a better deal.

opera mini on you pc (-flash, +compression also) (1)

stevetures (656643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507815)

You could piggyback on Opera Mini (I have no idea what their eula says, Im not a lawyer, etc). They claim to compress web content by 90% on their backend before the output is redirected to your phone (or PC, in this case).

Download Opera Mini and the Microemulator

http://www.operamini.com/download/pc/generic/generic_advanced_midp_2/ [operamini.com]

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=30014&package_id=21993&release_id=587061 [sourceforge.net]

You could also try uninstalling Flash is generally pretty easy. Zipping all your attachments etc

Oh and stop reading pages like Slashdot. Its all just nonsense anyways. ;-)

Firefox's search bar (2, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507829)

When I begin to enter a search in Firefox's search bar, a list of suggestions is automatically downloaded.

Turn this feature off. Click on the downarrow to the left of the search box, select "Manage Search Engines" and de-select "Show search suggestions".

You can also disable this (annoying) feature for Google page searches from their Preferences page. This sets "SG=0" in the Google PREF cookie -- which I've set in my proxy server so it's effectively disabled for all my browsers.

where in the world... (1)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507851)

...do they have such awful terms of service?

Live Without Video! (1)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507895)

Seriously - you can tinker around about the edges, but 1 minute of YouTube video a day will negate all your hard work.

Also: use the low bandwidth versions of sites, such as Google [google.com] , BBC News [bbc.co.uk] , or Washington Post [twp.com]

. On Slashdot, set "Simple Design" and "Low Bandwidth" here [slashdot.org] .

RSS Feeds (1)

BauerUK (1387393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507905)

Most of the big news sites will have an RSS/XML feed you can subscribe to. This is usually free of images and advertisements, and is much lighter than browsing through the site itself. Maybe using an RSS reader for the sites with lots of rich content may limit the amount you transfer.

My suggestions (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507907)

The problem is that your ISP is using bandwidth schemes that belonged years back. You ask what you can do to minimize your bandwidth usage, but aside from ad block programs, there's nothing you can do.

I wonder how an ISP can defend such pricing in 2008 where a simple Youtube video can set you back 100 MB. I've noticed that my everyday usage goes beyond 500 MB on a slow day, but it's usually well over 1000 MB per day considering the fact that I watch some videos and such.

Anyway, install an ad blocker, set your browser cache to 50 GB and install two browsers; one displaying images and one that won't. So every time you check your e-mail, use the one that has images disabled.

There's really nothing you can do beyond that, unless there's a nifty program that could download JPG files in really low quality. This is possible and utilized by some older browsers back when JPG files were loaded on 56k connections. The images would first load in compressed low quality and continue until it was 100%.

Where do you live?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507935)

Where do you live? I need to know, so I can avoid ever living there.

I researched this issue before... (1)

cwolfsheep (685385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507945)

That guy suggesting RabbIT may not be far off in his thinking. Realistically, we need to get admins to change behavior at the server level. For bandwidth reduction, using HTTP compression & converting non-animated GIFs into optimized PNGs will help (did this with servers I work with). I did write up my initial findings last year: I should probably go research if there's a way to shrink Flash files... http://www.wolfsheep.com/index.php/Technical/FixOurWeb [wolfsheep.com]
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