For advertisers, ad-blocking software is an annoyance. For IT administrators, it might just be the key to reducing network congestion.

A recent study (.pdf) by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia has found that installing ad-blocking software reduces ordinary Web-browsing bandwidth usage by 25 percent. The reduction is even more dramatic for streaming video: blocking the ads cuts bandwidth by 40 percent.

The researchers behind the study used Adblock Plus, an ad-blocking extension that’s widely available for free. Significantly, Adblock Plus recently introduced a mass-install option for IT admins, letting them deploy the Chrome extension across all of the computers under their purview, without disturbing the people using those computers.

The Simon Fraser study had a fairly small, almost simplistic methodology: Six computers were set up on a single network, with three running Adblock Plus and three without it. Network analysis tools measured the bandwidth used by each computer as volunteer students browsed through a defined set of websites, spending 5-10 minutes on each one, simulating student research as well as ordinary browsing behavior.

When the tests were done, the researchers tallied the download totals for each set of computers and compared those with adblocking software against those without it.

Adblock Plus helped pay for the study, providing $8,500 to offset server and networking equipment costs. The research was self-published by the university.

A study by Simon Fraser University, supported by Adblock Plus, shows that Adblock Plus reduces network usage.

Above: A study by Simon Fraser University, supported by Adblock Plus, shows that Adblock Plus reduces network usage.

Image Credit: Adblock Plus

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member