Bandwidth Hero is a browser extension for the Firefox and Chrome web browsers that can reduce your internet usage considerably by compressing the images embedded in the webpages as you access them. When you open a webpage in your web browser, the links of all the images embedded in it are replaced with the links that run through the Bandwidth Hero image compressor server. This server compresses all the images to reduce their size and this is how Bandwidth Hero can cut down on your data usage. This extension is specially useful if you are using a limited data plan on your 4G LTE dongle.
After the installation of Bandwidth Hero extension in your web browser, the first thing that you have to do is configure the Bandwidth Hero compression server in the settings. For this, you have to create a free account on Heroku.com cloud hosting. After this, you can follow the link Deploy to Heroku on the Bandwidth Hero’s github webpage https://github.com/ayastreb/bandwidth-hero-proxy. Give your app a unique name, choose a data center (US or Europe) and click on Deploy. In a few seconds, the app will be ready – copy the app URL from View App or Open App links. The URL will have the format https://[your-app-name].herokuapp.com/.
Once you have the Bandwidth Hero compressor app, you can enter its URL in the Bandwidth Hero extension settings. You can open these settings by clicking on the Bandwidth Hero icon and clicking on Configure data compression service. Then enter the app URL in the Data Compression Service textbox and it will show a check-mark next to it indicating that the service is running fine.
After these tedious steps, you are all set. Now if you visit a webpage, you will notice that all the images are being compressed. If you have selected the option to turn all the images to greyscale then all the colored images will be compressed with greyscale option making them even smaller in terms of filesize and making the webpage load faster. You can see how much data Bandwidth Hero has saved and how many images have been processed so far by clicking on its icon.
Bandwidth Hero is a really useful extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers, if you want to cut down on the data usage when on the limited yet expensive 3G/4G LTE data packs. But the extra step to configure the data compression service makes it a bit difficult for the novice.
You can get the Bandwidth Hero extension for Chrome or Firefox from https://bandwidth-hero.com/.