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Guide: How to Increase Downloading Speed on Chrome Browser
Today, internet connections are fast enough to seamlessly perform multiple browser tasks simultaneously. However, there still comes that strange time when your entire internet connection suffers from a site taking up all available bandwidth for itself.
Whether it’s downloading a file or streaming video, certain types of activities can slow things down to a crawl. So, is there anything you can do about it other than installing browser extensions or using a download manager?
If you use Chrome, yes! Thanks to the web development tools that come with the Google browser as standard, you can easily create easily deployable network throttling profiles to actively manage your downloads.
And even better, you can also choose to manage the speeds of each tab individually. Sounds great, right?
Create custom network profiles
Chrome’s web development tools called DevTools are some insanely powerful configuration options that allow developers to test websites in a variety of simulated situations, including different network conditions. Hence, these tools provide a number of useful options when it comes to managing download speeds using network throttling profiles.
Fortunately, you don’t need to have advanced knowledge to mess around with the DevTools for the task at hand. So let’s dive right in!
Step 1: Open the Chrome menu, point to More tools, and click Developer Tools.
You should now see the DevTools panel load on the right or the bottom of the window.
Note: Alternatively, you can open the DevTools panel by pressing the F12 key.
Step 2: Click the vertical Ellipsis icon – three dots – in the top right corner of the DevTools panel. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Click on the Throttling side tab. You should now be on the Network Throttling Profiles screen. To create a custom profile, click Add Custom Profile button
Step 4: Specify a download speed limit in kilobits per second (kb / s) using the box under Download. Choose to only insert a value in the Upload box if you want to limit the upload speed – otherwise leave it intact.
Note: Internet connections are usually displayed in megabits per second – each megabit is 1000 kilobits. However, keep in mind that 1 kilobit is only one-eighth of the more well-known kilobyte, so if you enter a speed of 100 kb / s, for example, you should only get 12.5 KB / s.
Also, make sure not to assign a value that exceeds the maximum bandwidth of your Internet connection. If you are confused, check out this handy conversion tool to decipher your connection speed.
Note: The Latency field is best left alone, but you can add a value in milliseconds if you want to simulate a slow or lagging network connection.
Finally, enter a profile name. Preferably give it a name with something that reflects the download speed of the profile as this will make it easier to switch between profiles later.
To finish adding a profile, click Add. The screenshot above shows three profiles named Slow, Medium, and Fast, added at speeds of 100, 500, and 1,000 kb / s, respectively.
After creating your network profiles, click on the ‘x’ shaped icon in the top right corner to exit the DevTools panel. You can always come to this screen to add new profiles or change existing ones.back to menu ↑
Custom profiles in action
Now that you’ve created one or more custom profiles, let’s take a look at how to use them in practice when it comes to downloading a file. The procedure should also work well on video streaming sites with auto-settable playback resolutions, such as YouTube.
Step 1: Open a new tab and go to the web page where you want to start the download. DO NOT start the download.
Then bring up the DevTools panel, then click the Online option at the top of the DevTools menu bar. You should now see a drop-down menu along with your list of custom profiles. Select your desired restriction profile.
Note: If you don’t see the Online option, expand the DevTools panel further to the left.
Step 2: Start the download. The screenshot below shows an NVIDIA display driver with a file size of 493MB downloading at 12.8KB / s – which is about an eight of 100kb / s – as specified by the throttling profile.
If you have already created multiple custom profiles, you can easily switch between them and the download should be adjusted accordingly!
Applying the custom Fast profile with a maximum download limit of 1,000 KB / s has been accelerated up the download speed considerably!
Important: Applying a custom profile BEFORE starting a download or playing a video is crucial for the above procedure to work!back to menu ↑
A few things to keep in mind
In practice, the DevTools are a bit tricky to deal with. As you have already found out, you need to apply a custom profile BEFORE performing a download, which is something you really should keep in mind.
There are also some additional considerations to keep in mind. So check out the list below to find out what you can or cannot do with the DevTools and your custom profiles.back to menu ↑
Tabs are isolated
Chrome’s DevTools only affects the tab it is loaded on. This means that you can work in other tabs without the adverse effects of a slow network throttling profile.
Therefore, this brings a host of advantages when it comes to massive downloads that could otherwise take up all the bandwidth for a significant amount of time.back to menu ↑
Do not exit DevTools
Do not exit the DevTools panel during a download. This will revert Chrome to its default network profile, removing all pending downloads related to the tab up automatically to normal speed.
And to make matters worse, you also cannot apply a custom profile during a download.back to menu ↑
Switch between profiles
Do not switch to Chrome’s default online profile. While you can easily switch between custom profiles, switching to the default profile will resume all downloads at normal speed and is irreversible.
You can of course choose to reapply a custom profile and restart the download, but why waste time in the first place?back to menu ↑
Dealing with multiple sites
You can choose to apply custom network profiles to as many tabs as you want. Know that for the duration of each download, you must keep an active copy of the DevTools panel open on each respective tab.
Note: Applying profiles to multiple tabs can slow down your network if the combined values of all profiles exceed the maximum available bandwidth.back to menu ↑
When streaming videos
When streaming videos, make sure to apply the profile before starting playback. However, some videos may not load at all on a slow network profile if the video hosting site does not automatically adjust the resolution depending on the connection speed.back to menu ↑
Some control certainly feels good
Chrome’s built-in download capabilities are sparse at best, but with some custom throttling profiles at hand, you have a lot of control over your downloads – or even streaming videos.
You may find the whole procedure a little confusing at first, but it usually gets easier after a few downloads.
So any suggestions or tipsThe comments section is directly below.back to menu ↑
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