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Friday, September 27, 2019

How HTTP/3 and QUIC Will Speed Up Your Web Browsing

A global map featuring network-style connections focused on North America.

HTTP/3 is becoming more widespread. Cloudflare is now supporting HTTP/3, which is already part of Chrome Canary and will be added to Firefox Nightly soon. This new standard will make your web browsing faster and more secure.

Why HTTP/3 and QUIC Matter

Here’s the short explanation: Web browsers, web servers, and other critical pieces of web infrastructure are getting support for a new standard named HTTP/3, which uses QUIC. This is a more modern version of HTTP, which web browsers use to communicate with web servers and send data back and forth.

HTTP/3 has been rewritten to send data more quickly with better resistance to errors. It has built-in encryption, too. That means more speed and security. It’s not just data transfer speed, either: HTTP/3 should reduce latency as well, meaning websites will start loading more quickly after you click or tap a link.

The average person never needs to know about HTTP/3 and QUIC. People who run websites and develop web software have some work to do, but it’s all going to be transparent to the average person. One day, your web browser and the websites you use will start communicating over HTTP/3 instead, and the web will get better and better as more sites opt to use HTTP/3.

From HTTP/1 to HTTP/2

HTTP shown in Google Chrome's address bar.

The original version of HTTP uses the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP.) First described in 1974, TCP was never designed with the speed and responsiveness of today’s web in mind.  Google tried to fix many of TCP’s problems with a new protocol named SPDY, which informed HTTP/2.

HTTP/2 arrived in most major browsers by the end of 2015, adding features like data compression and pipelining of multiple requests over a single TCP connection to speed things up.

As of September 2019, W3Techs estimates that HTTP/2 is now being used by 41% of websites.

What Are HTTP/3 and QUIC?

HTTP/3 is more of a rewrite of the HTTP protocol. Instead of using TCP, HTTP/3 uses Google’s QUIC protocol. HTTP/3 was initially known as HTTP-over-QUIC. HTTP/3 also includes TLS 1.3 encryption, so there’s no need for a separate HTTPS that bolts security onto the protocol, as there is today.

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from How-To Geek https://ift.tt/2ne5o7S

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