Low Bandwidth Internet Connections.
This can be applied
a decent bandwidth that it has too many devices connecting, making it
too slow for individual users and for controlling data charges.
There is arrogant
assumption made by designers
of electronic devices that there is unfettered access to the
broadband internet connection at no cost.
Everything on your phone wants to talk to the
internet, often background
stuff, some of it just tracking you, some of it checking for updates
downloading them in the background.
bloatware does very little for the end user. I have no idea what Skype
consuming bandwidth while you are not using it or just using it for
When working in
remote locations with
narrow bandwidth, or when using very expensive satellite communications, the
expectation of infinite bandwidth is both catastrophic and expensive.
using phones while roaming abroad have similar problems.
Smartphones are the worst at hidden
background internet consumption. The
only concession they make is to default to taking updates when only on
wireless connection. In
that option is even worse; there is no phone connection and there may
be a poor
wireless internet connection in the workplace. On finding that Wifi the
busy downloading updates that are not required now, and applications
automatically login, grinding your
tiny internet connection to a halt.
is a real fiddle stopping the phones consuming bandwidth.
Solutions: These are some ideas to restrict internet use.
I have collected
them through bitter experience.
To stop all connections and updates you need to use a proxy server and
deny any route to the internet. Ideas for that
Phones and tablets
- Remove all
but essential apps.
OsmAnd map navigation software. This allows you to
have predownloaded maps of whole countries, and you can be off line to
use Navigation and maps. 10 maps are free. Better than Googlemaps
anyway. Download before the trip.
- Turn off sync in accounts and
sync…. Make email connect when you want. Headers only.
- Turn off DropBox One Drive of any uploading app
- Google play: stop automatic
- Log out of Skype, which is
vicious at consuming data, even in chat messaging mode. Avoid using
- Log out of Facebook when not
using it. Log out
of everything! All chat services use when needed and then log
- Go into
flight mode when not needing the internet.
- Apps get permission to start
and log in on restarting the phone. It is not easy, or even possible to
this behavior (uninstalling works), so beware when switching phone back
on. eveything will come back up.
- The wireless connection can be
set up to use a proxy server on your smart phone, not a direct route to
the internet, and
controls much of the traffic, will speed things up but it
needs some work on
local network to set it up.
- Turn off Automatic
protest) but also look out for other software that seeks update and
kill stop them
doing so, such as antivirus programmes (more Windows protesting). Stop
startup update checkers via msconfig or by using a dedicated startup
update anything. Windows 10 has an option to delay updates when
connected to such a network but that does not stop other things from updating.
- Windows 10 set the connection to
"metered network" Beware that Windows itself may ignore this for
critcal updates and many apps ignore it.
- Make sure DropBox or One drive and similar are off and do not log in.
- With Gmail set the default to “basic html for slow connections”.
- Set browsers to use https://duckduckgo.com/
as default search engine. Seems
quicker and leaner than Google, I suppose because it is not doing
- Email clients set to use IMAP
not POP. Send email as text not
- Turn off all messaging gtalk,
- Set email clients such as outlook to only
to download headers… then you
click on the email you want to download that with the attachment. Outlook falls over and
seizes with very bad
and slow connections, and you may have to install Thunderbird email
better SeaMonkey browser (do this before you set off) as it has
- The (only?)
nice thing about OLD Outlook (2007) was when attaching pictures you can
it to shrink them to a few kbytes on sending, on the fly.
This is set by
the insert dialog on Outlook. Tick the bottom box so that everytime you
a picture the shrink file option comes up.
Outlook 10-16 the option is less obvious, and is
not done within outlook. "Send to email" Modern
Office 2016 is typically modern by almost hiding and
degrading a useful function as thought not to be needed.
- Browser: Enable pop
up blocker. Enable content control. Turn off
animations (advanced) Increase the Browser’s Cache volume
- Text only browsing. Internet Explorer has setting option to turn
off graphic. SeaMonkey from Mozilla and Firefox browser can be
a text only browser, and switch it and off on the fly. Graphics
chew bandwidth. It is the words that give the information you are
seeking. Alas this
solution is not perfect; badly
designed web sites do not present an alphanumeric
“alternative text” when
showing a graphic icon as a press button, so sometimes you do not see
to press in text only mode. You has to reload that one page with
but remember to turn the graphics option back off after. Set
tab to about:config That is the
place where this is set. Type in “permissions” in
the search box at
about:config page and click on permissions.default.image . Click on permissions.default.image
and set the number to 2 meaning graphics
off. When switching
reset that to 1,
graphics on, go back to your web page
tab, refresh the page (ctrl F5) do what is
needed and to then go back to
about:config tab to turn permissions.default.image back to 2 (graphics
- Turn off Pre-caching. This
pre-downloads links you may never click
on and will consume data while you are reading a page.
In SeaMonkey or Firefox this is found in
If you are in charge of the local
internet connection that is struggling with narrow bandwidth, then
a caching proxy server between users and the internet is essential.
This can stop a
leakage via other ports especially especially if the computers and
longer have a
direct route to the internet gateway.
These caching servers can also block streaming and
sites, and a lot of web page material is kept local. A login
and timed sessions can be applied.
Local caching proxy server makes a huge
the network may need a
local updating service, such as windows update locally (WSUS) so the
only need downloading once rather than every machine downloading its
direct from the internet.
Have a local email
server or mirrored local server. It
is a form of madness
emailing each other in the remote office using the overseas email
you have a narrow connection. The
goes up to the satellite, goes to gmail servers or corporate or
and then back down
again. Sending one email to many local users will waste even more
bandwidth. 1mb file
up and say 1m x6 comes
For a really anal approach to be
used by individuals on a personal satellite connections here is another
suggestion here using an external proxy server.