May 23, 2012
I’ve recently switched to using Globe’s mobile broadband as my backup connection (through my Android smartphone tethered via WiFi). One thing Globe users would usually complain about is the fuzzy image quality when using Globe Tattoo or Globe 3G. This is because of the image compression that Globe implements in order to save on data use.
A quick source check would reveal that Globe replaces HTML on the fly to prefix images URLs with
18.104.22.168 such that an image with the URL
This would be fine for most users, and it also helps speed up access, especially for image-heavy websites. But, this results in ugly websites. Also, those of us who need to view images in full quality — such as people working in graphic design or publishing — would need an alternative.
An online search would come up with various means to go around this issue, such as using a local proxy to filter out the IP-address based proxy that converts image to a lossy format. Others would involve inserting a few lines in a website’s header in order to prevent images from being cached.
Basically, you would need to insert these headers:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Pragma" CONTENT="no-cache">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Cache-Control" CONTENT="no-cache">
Benvallack.com describes how to do this on Mozilla Firefox with an extension called Modify Headers. On Google Chrome, this is also possible with an extension called ModHeader. Given that Chrome has recently overtaken Internet Explorer in terms of popularity, I believe Globe broadband users on Google Chrome would benefit from this.
You will basically need to add the following strings of text to ModHeader:
- Name: Pragma / Value: no-cache
- Name: Cache-Control / Value: no-cache
A quick test of the before and after images would tell us that the trick worked.
Notice the compression artifacts on the before image.
This may slow down web browsing for you, especially since Chrome is essentially loading all elements directly from the website and using up bandwidth to do so. Therefore, it might be a good idea to selectively activate the ModHeader functionality, to only prevent caching on certain websites.
If compression does not bother you, then you will notice connection speed to be faster if you just leave Globe’s proxy be. But, if you need to view images in better quality, then disabling cache might be the better option.J. Angelo Racoma is a technology and automotive journalist and blogger. See more of his work at e27.sg, Android Authority and Tech Wire Asia. Follow him via Twitter at @jangelo.