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What is the web cache and what is it for?

The web cache is a resource used by browsers, ISPs and servers to reduce the bandwidth used when loading a web page, for example. The term cache refers to a resource used as storage for fast and limited access data so that they do not have to be searched in slower memories. The principle of operation of the web cache is identical, store data uploaded via the web (images, texts, audio) so that the client does not have to download them again on his next visit to said website.

This type of cache is implemented at various levels depending on its use. On the one hand, there are the private web caches, which are those of web browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and that after one or several visits to the same website store the data loaded from the internet in the main memory of the system (SSD or HDD). ). Thus, on subsequent visits to said website these elements will not be loaded, reducing internet consumption and increasing page loading speed.

Another type of web cache is the shared one, which is usually implemented at the ISP (internet provider) level and in public places where several users connect at the same time. The operation is identical except that it is carried out on a large scale by the ISP or whoever maintains the network. There are also gateway web caches, which are implemented at the server level and are performed equally for all users.

The web cache that has the most impact on the average user is the first one, the private one since it takes into account previous searches and previously loaded pages to store this type of data in the main memory. However, this memory increases in size considerably as we use the browser and it is a good idea to clear the browser cache from time to time.

What is the web cache for?

Web caching is used to reduce the loading time of web pages while reducing internet usage. It is a widely used measure in web browsers and has a great impact, especially on slow connections and unstable WiFi. When the browser saves something in this cache, which in this particular case is the device’s SSD or HDD, it can be viewed without the internet, just like when you intentionally download something. The difference is that in the web cache (private) it is the browser that discriminates what information it saves, and it also does it automatically.

If you want to see the Chrome web cache that it has been storing over time, you will have to use a dedicated program such as ChromeCacheView, since version 66 of the browser there is no longer the possibility of doing it natively. Although you can also clear Chrome’s cache from its settings, by going to the Privacy and security section. The same can be done in other web browsers.

Returning to the topic of the web cache, thanks to this resource (which takes up additional space on the hard drive, and increases over time) we can enjoy faster web loads and lower internet consumption. It is something to keep in mind when using mobile data on smartphones, even mobile browsers have implemented mobile data reduction systems based, in part, on the web cache and its constant improvement and development. After all, it is a type of cache, like the system cache or the  CPU cache, which allows you to access common data faster and using fewer device resources.

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