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Opera Mini is a great browser that works well on feature phones and iPhones. Unlike most browsers, it uses Opera's servers to transcode every page you browse to into a small, easy-to-render chunk that's sent to Opera Mini.

What's a simple way for me to set up something similar on a very fast VPS out there so I can browse more comfortably on a 10KBps connection? I have no idea where to start, but I'm most comfortable in the NodeJS world.

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  • you could start with looking at squid which is very powerfull, but I think you'll never find something that also adapt a web page to the screen of a mobile phone.
    – Kiwy
    Dec 2, 2013 at 16:37

2 Answers 2

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What you are looking for is a forwarding, non-caching, HTTP proxy server targeted for traffic optimization, which is what Opera uses on their servers. There are two open source proxies available for you to install on your own server:

  1. Ziproxy, which is already available in the repositories for some distributions.
  2. RabbIT.
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  • +1 I'd be interested in reading how much this really saves an average user. You can't squeeze a stone that much, and browser caching will make a lot of the benefits theoretical.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 2, 2013 at 18:33
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    @goldilocks I have an instance of Opera 12 open for about 10 hours. Upon clicking its icon it tells me I saved 1,2 GB on this session, which is 50% of all HTTP traffic. On my limited 3G plan the difference is really noticeable, mainly in websites full of images, of course. Dec 2, 2013 at 18:42
  • 50% is a lot. I did read "up to 90%", which makes sense for an all text page. You cannot significantly compress .jpg and .png files, though, unless you reduce the size/resolution/quality. Which online often won't matter much, particularly on a phone. Social network-y stuff can contain ridiculously high-res images even after the platform itself has reduced them somewhat.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 2, 2013 at 19:13
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    @goldilocks Yes, it comes at a cost - Opera recompresses images as WEBP. It really isn't very noticeable, though, unless you are viewing some high resolution pictures as in photo-sharing websites, like you mentioned. Opera also offers a "reload image in original quality" right-click option, which the OP won't be able to replicate. Also, for people with high-speed Internet access, it will just increase the latency. Dec 2, 2013 at 19:28
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If you don't mind using a terminal, I would recommend installing Browsh browser on your VPS and connect to it using Mosh SSH client, which keeps connection alive in case of lost connectivity. This solution gives you much data savings.

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