While you browse, modern browsers track your behavior
Browsers like Internet Explorer 11 & Chrome go to great lengths to fetch web pages faster & improve the user experience.
Besides tracking user browser habits, IE 11 depends on Bing to improve the user experience ...
Page Prediction, preload (also called prerender), and prefetch in IE11 give the browser a head start in downloading and rendering the next page or downloading resources for the next page
The predictions are done using our understanding of browsing patterns, user browsing habits, and common cues in Web pages, like “next” links and pagination. Bing’s extensive knowledge of the Web and data mining help make these predictions laser sharp.
while Chrome relies on the Google search engine to do such things as monitor what files you're trying to download:
On the security front, Chrome now does even more to help protect you from malicious downloads. In addition to checking a list of known bad files, Chrome also does checks on executable files (like ".exe" and ".msi" files). If the executable doesn't match a whitelist, Chrome checks with Google for more information, such as whether the website you're accessing hosts a high number of malicious downloads.
IE 11 (on Windows 8?) can know if you're on a metered Internet connection and "Unlike other browsers, IE does not preload pages or prefetch content when you are on a metered network that charges you per byte or when you are close to your data limit."
Jeffrey Tippet of MSFT explains how IE 11 does this:
Windows 8 includes top-to-bottom integration of intelligence for network cost. In most cases, Windows will automatically obtain cost information from your mobile broadband provider -- there's an API for network drivers to expose the data plan parameters from the mobile broadband provider. If you connect to your Windows Phone's connection sharing hotspot, the phone will even pass along costing information from its own mobile broadband interface.Once Windows knows the costing information, it uses the information to schedule OS and store app updates, file and setting synchs, and other background data transfers. The costing information is also made available to apps through the GetConnectionCost API. The quote you selected from this article indicates that Internet Explorer uses this API to make an informed trade-off between maximizing responsiveness and minimizing network data usage.
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