How to reduce bandwidth on limited broadband package


Salam. Finally, after series of personal travel entries, now I’m back with my personal tech tips.

This time, I’d like to share my own experience on how to reduce bandwidth on your broadband. Its the same trend whether in Malaysia or Australia, telcos will have a variety of broadband packages to suit the customers’ needs.

For your information, I’m on a Vodafone Mobile Broadband with only 12GB data monthly. For the past 6 months, I’ve never exceeded my usage. I’ll share some of the tips. But try these at your own risk.

1. Web browser setup

Most of the time I’m using Chrome for my everyday web browsing. There are some extension or add-ons which are quite useful to reduce the bandwidth on these four popular browsers.

Google Chrome
These are some of the must have Chrome Extensions. You can get them from Google Chrome Store.

Install User Agent Switcher add-ons- change to iPhone version

How to Activate User Agent Switcher in Safari. It is already installed in Safari, so you just have to activate it.


  • Disable Image. At the menu, go to View – Images. Select either to Show images, Cached images or No images. under preferences
  • Enable Opera Turbo – Opera Turbo uses compression technology that boosts your webpage download speed on limited-bandwidth connections — for example, when using a crowded Wi-Fi connection in a cafe or a slow dial-up modem.

2. Web browsing best practice

Access the mobile or touch version of the website
Add these handy bookmark to access mobile version of every website. This is just in case you don’t want to use User Agent all the time.

Refrain from watching too much videos on Youtube or Facebook.
Its tempting to watch online video, but I limit myself to watch only popular videos or worth watching ones, like one video a day.

Read blogs from Google Reader
Google Reader only feed you with the blog article and strip out the ads, widgets stuff in the sidebar of the website. That save lot of data as well.

Other popular tips is to disable Javascript, Flash etc. but I don’t really do that. Most website need Javascript to run elegantly.

3. Youtube tips

You still want to watch video on Youtube? That’s fine. Here’s some handy tips to make it works for you.

Activate feather version
View YouTube videos on a super-low latency page. Still in beta mode and not available for all videos. Plus you have to activate the Feather everytime you go to Youtube. More info.

Watch low resolution videos

In the video box, click on the Gear Icon in the bottom right. Then tick the box next to ‘Never play high quality video’

Convert talks or lectures to MP3
Don’t waste bandwidth by watching talks, lectures or speeches on video. Convert them to MP3. Just google ‘Youtube to MP3’ and there are tons of them. Some requires Java and some requires registration. 5 minutes standard quality video can consume up to 50MB while it only 5MB when converted to MP3.

4. Non browser-based tips

Besides stuff on the browser, there are also bandwidth consuming stuff beyond the browser. They are some apps and processes in the background, running without you realize they did. So what I did was:

  1. Turn off Torrent client and P2P software. If you’ve finished downloading, click the stop button to stop seeding.
  2. Turn off antivirus auto update. Just update when you feel necessary.
  3. Disable auto update on other application as well. You will know it once they prompt you for update in the taskbar.
  4. Manage your Dropbox wisely. If you share your Dropbox with other users, be careful as they might upload something without you noticing it.

5. Monitor your bandwidth using these softwares

On Windows, there are few softwares, from a simple to a detailed monitoring. Some of them are: Down2Home, Networx and Net Guard.

6. Use free Wifi!

I’m still figuring out the best way to fulfill your download needs. This is the best solution so far. Use a free Wifi network at your office or somewhere else. It sure can save your bandwidth but don’t expect too much on the speed quality.

I can say that my monthly consumption at this rate is 6GB per month. But someday I’ll upgrade and use 100GB or more. Internet is the future, content and speed is everything.

Well, that’s all for now. I have been drafting this entry for quite some time and I’m glad I managed to publish this today. Hope this article is useful. Please bookmark, share and tweet if you feel so!

3 thoughts on “How to reduce bandwidth on limited broadband package”

  1. salam. just try using WOT add-on to prevent missleading link and missleading google search results. this add-on will give you green or red cyrcle for bad links base on community input. so you will not wasting your bandwith to open missleading/spamming site. Tq

  2. Pingback: How do I use less data? | Duke and Rutgers in Berlin

  3. Pingback: usase limit for broadband

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