Cache is a term that is quite often encountered, especially when we want to delete browser history or clean cellphone storage. However, do you know what it is?
The cache is data that is temporarily stored by the browser. Another term for the cache is cache memory. It can be used to speed up access to a website, but it can also slow down your computer.
If so, is it necessary to clear cached data?
When you want to access information on a site, without a cache, the system takes longer to find what information you mean.
The system will download the data on the site one by one because it is not recorded in the history. The system doesn’t even know whether you’ve accessed the data or not. However, the presence of a cache will make the process more practical.
For example, if you visit a site for the first time, the system will automatically record and download the data you access. This data is called cache. From the cache, the system will know that you have visited this site.
So, when you visit the site in the future, the system can give you a faster “shortcut” to access the information. The system does not need to download any more data in it.
How Cache Works
When you visit a site for the first time, you will log in in the normal way. Where the browser will send a data access request to the server. When the server responds to the request, it sends the HTML file to the browser.
The HTML file will then be converted into the appearance of a website page on the user’s computer screen.
Then, the browser will download and save data from the website temporarily.
What is stored starts from complex multimedia data, to your username and password?
So that when making repeated visits to the same site, the browser does not need to send requests to the webserver and download the same data repeatedly.
The browser simply retrieves the data that has been stored in the local storage space. The temporary data storage process is called caching.
Cache also turns out to have various types that you must know. Each type of cache is also adapted to the system used. Some types of caches are:
This type of cache uses Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). Indeed, in terms of speed performance, DRAM is much slower than SRAM which is applied to cache memory types.
The way it works is that when data is required to be recalled, the Disk Cache will slowly check it first in the memory buffer section.
Memory cache is data storage that utilizes a technology called Static Random Access Memory Cells (SRAM) and is processed directly by RAM (Random Access Memory) in a computer.
Utilization of cache memory makes the path of traffic from the main memory part of a multiprocessor system faster when accessed. However, it memory speed is also affected by level, and of course, the data memory size is also different.
Basically, the memory cache has three levels, which are commonly referred to as L1 Cache, L2 Cache, and L3 Cache.
At level 1, this section has a function as an internal cache memory with three multilevel storage capacities, ranging from 8Kb, 64Kb to 128Kb, and is the level that has the highest speed compared to L2 and L3.
At the L2 level, although the memory storage space is much more adequate than in L1, the data access process in this section is quite slow. However, the size of its data storage capacity can reach 2Mb.
While at the L3 level, this section is usually owned by computer equipment that has been upgraded with more than one memory storage core (such as dual-core and octa-core).
Understanding web cache is a system process in displaying data on a site quickly when needed. The web cache is temporarily stored on a browser or server so that when accessed, the loading process also tends to be short.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, the main function of it is the efficiency of system load times. Breaking down, here are the cache-specific functions:
Improve Load Time
Cache serves to speed up the page loading process of a website or application.
Because every data request does not need to always go to the web server. Browsers can directly retrieve data that is on local storage.
This will be very helpful if the site or application that is accessed has large images or videos.
The existence of a cache will save server bandwidth usage.
As you know, servers can receive thousands of access requests every day.
If there are too many requests coming to the server, the connection will feel slower even if the server is down.
The cache will save you from slow connections.
Because the browser will retrieve data that is already in local storage instead of sending a new request to the server and must share bandwidth resources with other clients.
Ease of Access
When you want to enter a certain site, you need to enter the domain name of the website you want to go to.
Then enter the username and password.
With it, you don’t have to write down the full domain name, it will usually appear by itself.
Even with a username and password, you don’t need to write it down repeatedly every time you want to access the site.
For example Gmail. When the username and password are already in it, you can simply open Gmail and can go directly to the inbox page.
Website Still Running Even Offline
Some PWAs or Progressive Web Apps can be run even when they are offline.
You can view the content that was accessed before the internet connection was lost. Because the application has stored data in it.
Lack of Cache
Although it can facilitate surfing activities in cyberspace and the use of online applications, it also has several drawbacks, including:
Causing Full Storage
Although cached data is temporary and relatively small in size, over time it can accumulate.
Try to open the smartphone and see it on your various applications. Compare the original app size and the current app size.
If you use it often, the size of the application or web browser will definitely increase.
Creating Application Error
Although it rarely happens, sometimes errors occur in the caching process that makes data corrupt.
These errors can cause the browser or application to fail to load the website, such as the appearance of a 404 error message, a 505 error, and so on.
Sometimes too much cache also makes the application stop working with the error message “Unfortunately, App Has Stopped”.
Blocking Access to Latest Updates
The cache stores data from the client browser’s first visit to a website.
So that when making a repeat visit to the website, the client browser will immediately be treated to data based on what has been stored in it.
If your cache is too full, the client browser may fail to display updates on a website properly.
Because it cannot retrieve new data from the server.
Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks
Although it can speed up website load times and make it easier to access them, caches also open up gaps for hackers to attack your device.
This is because the client browser cache may contain your sensitive personal information.
Like passwords into online stores, email, or social media.
Your browser cache could be hacked by hackers and your data could be taken for irresponsible use.
It’s not just the client browser that is threatened by hacker attacks from it.
Web servers can also be easy targets for hackers.
Should Cache Be Cleared?
The cache is like two sides of a coin, it has advantages but can also cause problems if not managed properly.
To make your browsing experience safer and your computer lighter, we recommend that you regularly manage your cache.
Clear cached data regularly; three days, once a week, or according to the frequency of use of the browser or application on your device.