University Study Finds Adblock Plus Could Save 40 Percent Network Bandwidth

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Vanquishing pesky pop-ups and vacuous videos reduces IP traffic in test enterprise network environment

A Canadian university study has found that using the Adblock Plus browser extension can save between 25 and 40 percent network bandwidth if deployed across an internal enterprise network.

The study tested the ability of the Adblock Plus extension, popular amongst web users who want to block ads being displayed, in reducing IP traffic when installed in a large enterprise network environment, and found that huge amounts of bandwidth was saved by blocking web-based advertisements and video trailers.

Lack of studies

“While the present popularity of Adblock Plus represents a certain vindication of its ad-blocking model, there is a lack of technical studies on its effectiveness,” said Malcolm Toms, Manager of Network Operations in the faculty of arts and social sciences at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

“The purpose of this study was to fill this knowledge gap and evaluate the effectiveness of Adblock Plus in an enterprise environment, and document any reduction in network traffic.”

The study was carried out over a period of six weeks and involved 100 volunteers in an active enterprise computing environment at the university. The study’s main conclusions were that Adblock Plus was not only effective in blocking online advertisements, but that it “significantly” reduced network data usage.

adblockResearchers said that that the reduced network data demand would lead to lower infrastructure costs than a comparable network without Adblock Plus. The reduced network data demand could also lead to lower energy costs overall, said the paper, as a by-product of lower commodity network costs.

“As large organisations seek to save time and money by reducing bandwidth consumption across their networks, we’re proud that Adblock Plus can help in that endeavor,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “We are grateful to the staff at Simon Fraser University and SNF New Media Lab for undertaking this study and validating the impact of our tool in enterprise environments.”

Corrections: An earlier version of this article implied that Simon Fraser University, as an organisation, deployed Adblock Plus across its network. However, this is not true. The study was confined to a dedicated network designed to test the efficacy of Adblock Plus in saving bandwidth for the sole intention of the study. Therefore, the bandwidth gains were not for the entire organisation.

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