Understanding Cache – How Caches Affect Your Browsing Experience?
What is a Browser Cache?
While browsing the internet, you must have noticed that the websites you visit often load faster compared to other websites that you visit for the first time. This happens because our internet browsers – Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox – collect the information about the websites and images that we visit and store that information in a reserved storage location known as a cache.
So, the next time you visit the website, it will load faster because of the cached version in the browser.
How Caches Affect Your Browsing Experience?
Caches have both advantages and disadvantages. First, we discuss how caches benefit your browsing experience.
Advantages of Caches:
- Improved Performance:
As discussed above, the main benefit of caches is to improve the performance of the system. When the website files are stored locally, the browser only needs to fetch the information you need to visit for the first time. While it loads the local files instantly on subsequent visits.
- Data Saving for apps:
Apps also store frequently used data to the cache. This way the apps not only run faster but in some cases, it allows apps to work offline as well.
- Data storage for later usage:
A lot of system’s efficiency is consumed in downloading files for the first time. However, when a copy of the file is already stored locally, the web or app doesn’t need to waste time, battery, and other resources of the system for downloading the file again. Only the new files or changed files are downloaded.
Downside of Caches:
- A Cache can take up a lot of storage space:
Though caches improve the efficiency of the system by storing files locally, some caches can take a lot of storage space and limit the free space on your system. And it becomes necessary to clear the cache and recover a large amount of storage memory.
- Caches can get corrupted and cause the app to behave badly: If the cache’s file gets corrupted due to virus or any other issue, it will cause disruption in displaying the data correctly or even crash. To resolve this issue, it’s better to clear the caches.
- Caches can prevent loading the latest version of the web pages and apps:
Though caches are supposed to load the files unchanged since our last visit, that doesn’t always work. Because sometimes, the website gets an update or any info is updated in the app. In such a case, a cache might not load the latest version of the web page. To resolve this issue, we need to clear the cache and download the latest version of the webpage or app.
How regularly should you clear Caches?
Whenever your system prompts any glitch in its performance due to corrupted files or indicates low data storage space, it’s time to clear caches. Every browser and app has its own option and procedure to clear the caches.
Once you clear the caches, you not only free up storage space but also be able to get rid of corrupted files and download the latest versions of the files and images. However, clearing cache can also delete files that are designed to run your system efficiently. Moreover, you also need to login to your favorite websites all over again.