Google has recently released a beta version of an extension called Data Saver for desktop Chrome that aims to reduce data usage and cost when tethered to a mobile connection. The beta version of the Data Saver extension is now available on the Chrome Store.
The extension is designed to reduce data usage and cost by compressing pages on Google’s server before the data is sent to the browser. Data Saver also tracks how much data has been saved while the extension is enabled and displays the information as handy statistics.
However, as data costs will be cut, so will the quality of the pages. Due to the compression, pages will load with grainier still images. On its support page, Google also mentions other sacrifices may include breaking location services, intranet sites not loading and users experiencing difficulty logging into a mobile provider’s website.
In order to maintain privacy of HTTPS connections, the Data Saver extension will not compress data on HTTPS sites. This means data won’t be compress video being viewed on YouTube or when the browser is in Incognito mode.
Aside from a few exceptions, the Data Saver extension still promises significant savings on data usage. Google experimented with data compression in Chrome on mobile and has now introduced a built-in feature on iOS and Android, claiming the ability to reduce page size by 50 percent. This similar extension for desktop could be a welcome addition for laptops relying on a mobile networks for connectivity.