20th Aug 2015
Google owns the web. It’s pretty simple that making it faster leads to a better business when it comes to its ad network.
So with that out of the way, lets talk about Google’s all-new Web Light compression service. One that is said to compress data with saving up to 80% and load pages up to 4X faster.
Google even claims that pages that have been optimised to take advantage of Web Light, will also benefit from a 50% increase in traffic to these pages.
All of the above claims come from Google and these were the results that were uploaded to a blog post in April after a test run of the project in Indonesia.
Using the URL http://googleweblight.com/?lite_url=[destination URL], we were able to test out the Web Light optimisation on our own TechTree.com.
The results? Our homepage loaded a lot faster. Way faster than we had expected. But there are a couple of tricks.
A Reader like view with Google Web Light.
Firstly, the page barely took a second to load. That is fast, blazing fast, especially on a 3G connection that’s always overloaded in Mumbai’s biggest commercial space, Lower Parel.
Basically, upon hitting the go button you are immediately greeted with a web page sans the load time. But the point is that Web Light only managed to load a fraction of the page and not the entire page. We noticed that scrolling below the visible area, leads to loading symbols with the long pages loading in about 4 breaks. So yes, Web Light did not load the whole page in one go.
Strangely, this also depends on the length of the page. If it is about two 3 scrolls down, you will not see the loading symbols, but head on to our top 5 shoot outs page, and you will be greeted with plenty of them.
Secondly, Web Light’s optimisations do not play well with websites that are heavy on graphics. So if your website has plenty of animations, and the focus is on presentation, then it will not be a good idea. On the bright side, even the ads load, this is thanks to the fact that Google Web Light does support its own Google AdSense and other third-party ad networks as well.
Coming to its closest data friendly competitor, Opera, it is a different scene. Opera’s data compression browser called Opera Mini is supposed to deliver 90% in savings thanks to its cloud-based rendering.
Opera Mini (on the right) is fast, but the page rendering is slightly off compared to Turbo.
Opera Turbo delivers a little less. Load times are a lot longer, but what we get is a better looking web-experience, one that is richer and saves your data.
Chrome Standard: 30 seconds on 3G
Chrome with Google Web Light: 4 seconds on 3G
Opera Standard: 44 seconds on 3G
Opera Turbo: 20 seconds on 3G
Opera Mini: 6 seconds on 3G
A look at speeds we managed to get and you can tell that it is inversely proportional to the browsing experience. Faster load times will give you a Reader View of the web, while slow load times (with a similar level of data compression) will lead to a richer web browsing experience.
To put things into perspective, it depends on what the user wants. If you simply want to read and have little or no images involved in your web-browsing experience then Google’s Web Light is a better choice.
Web Light will make sense for countries like India, where data penetration is not just scarce, it non-existent outside metros. Clearly, there is a reason why Datawind’s sold so many Akash tablets with the cloud-driven data compression technology.
If a richer web-browsing experience is what matters to users, then Opera Mini is your tool of choice.
Indeed, you cannot compare the two. As Google’s Web Light will only work for links within its search results. Moreover, it only works for Android devices, but we still managed to get it working on iOS.
Opera on the other hand works with everything. The open web, without any restrictions. More importantly, Opera Turbo will even help buffer your video a lot faster and help you save data on that as well.
In short, good ol’ Opera is still the winner when it comes to a data friendly web-browsing experience.
This is a fact, because Google’s data compression techniques were built to deliver the web to new customers who rarely get access to it, while Opera’s techniques were designed to deliver the web faster and with data savings.
Opera Is Still Better Than Google’s Web Light | TechTree.com
Opera Is Still Better Than Google’s Web Light
Opera’s tried and tested data compression techniques are no match for Google.
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