These days, though internet connection speeds have advanced, there are people out there who are using limited connection that come with a monthly bandwidth cap. In such cases when the user goes over the limit for that time period, he is usually surprised with a hefty bill at the end of the month. If your monthly bandwidth is limited here are some tools to help you reduce and monitor your bandwidth consumption.
Go to the Tools >> Options dialog in Firefox. In the content tab, uncheck ‘Load Images Automatically’. By clicking on the exceptions button, you could add a few sites which can be allowed to display images. This way, you can set Firefox to download images from only a handful of sites. That means less bandwidth consumed, since every other page on the internet contains pictures. You’ll lose the full glory of a webpage, though.
Similarly you can also use the additional options present in the dialog to block Java Scripts and Java elements.
Block Obtrusive and Bandwidth Consuming ads using Adblock Plus
Adblock Plus is a neat addon for Firefox that blocks banner ads and images that consume your bandwidth hugely. Once installed, you can use the settings to add filters and block advertisements on webpages. Wildcards and regular expressions supported.
Right click, and set an image/ad to be blocked, it’ll never appear again. Otherwise, use the icon in the toolbar to view the page’s multimedia elements along with the networks that serve them, and block them.
NoScript blocks all scripts (ex. animations) in sites, and allows only a few trusted sites to run such applets on your browser.
Besides saving tons of bandwidth, you’ll also get improved security because only these executable elements do harmful things to your computer, most of the time.
Cap Download/Upload rates and monitor your bandwidth consumption
Firefox Throttle is a very interesting addon for Firefox that lets you limit the upload and download rates (throttling) for Firefox – this will affect not just the speed of your downloads, but also the loading time of web pages. Basically, by using Firefox Throttle you are able to reduce the speed of your connection.
You can also exclude websites from being ‘throttled’. There’s a little button to immediately turn on/off throttling. The Options dialog has a Stats tab that displays the amount of bandwidth consumed – how much data has been uploaded and downloaded. Quite useful if you’re sharing an internet connection across multiple computers.
Another addon worth a mention here is Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics. Although it doesn’t monitor your bandwidth, it lets you test download/upload speeds.