How to Save and Monitor Bandwidth when using Firefox

Shankar Ganesh 10-03-2008

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.


Block Images

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.

Block Firefox Images

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.

Block Javascript, Java and other Special Executable Content from running with Noscript


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.

Block Javascript, Java and other Special Executable Content from running with Noscript

NoScript blocks all scripts (ex. animations) in sites, and allows only a few trusted sites to run such applets on your browser.

Block Javascript, Java and other Special Executable Content from running with Noscript

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.

Limit the upload and download rates (throttling) for Firefox

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.


Related topics: Bandwidth, Mozilla Firefox, Online Privacy.

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  1. M Yakub Mizan
    October 12, 2009 at 7:08 am

    The firefox plug-ins Better Cache saves you all.

  2. loveprone
    October 14, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Nice addons. We can also enhance the browsing speed by modifying the advance configurations. Please check Mozilla Firefox's Official Support website for more information.

  3. Dave Drager
    March 11, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Great article! I need to block images/JS sometimes if I am on a low bandwidth connection (for example, if I'm tethered to my cell phone on an EDGE connection).

    It is not a pretty web but it is a functional one!

  4. Ashish Mohta
    March 11, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Block The images ? So all you are planning to watch flash and text on web sites. This is something not right

    Javascript ? Probably You need it sometimes too.

    Tell everybody to use adblocks and there goes your money as no ads will never be displayed.

    Probably the speed is not a big time problem on internet now. If you are on dial up these sure can help. May be we can have a profile which has these things so any tine you go on dialup it does work but if you are on broad band it hardly matters.



  5. vincent Cassar
    March 11, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Finally an extension to manage bandwidth caps. I'm saved ....

  6. Sumesh
    March 11, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Blocking JS and images are not a good idea - its like browsing during early 90s.

    FF throttle's a good idea, though.

  7. Thilak
    March 11, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Web 2.0 sites heavily rely on Javascripts, so I won't turn it off. Instead, I would turn flash off. There is a handy extension called FlashBlock ( try it out!

  8. Sherri
    March 11, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I'd enjoy a caching addon that allowed perma-caching of certain sites.