AI

Flywheel: Google’s Data Compression Proxy for the Mobile Web

Abstract

Mobile devices are increasingly the dominant Internet access technology. Nevertheless, high costs, data caps, and throttling are a source of widespread frustration, and a significant barrier to adoption in emerging markets. This paper presents Flywheel, an HTTP proxy service that extends the life of mobile data plans by compressing responses in-flight between origin servers and client browsers. Flywheel is integrated with the Chrome web browser and reduces the size of proxied web pages by 50% for a median user. We report measurement results from millions of users as well as experience gained during three years of operating and evolving the production service at Google.