What is HTTP/2? Everything you want to know about HTTP/2

Posted at December 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm by Jithin

As we all know about the HTTP protocol, initially I’m going to explain generally about the HTTP protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for communication on the World Wide Web (www). HTTP is an application protocol which runs on top of the TCP/IP layer. When a user requests a web page in the browser, HTTP takes the request and establish the connection between the web server and a client. HTTP is synchronous and the data sent over a plain text, so it’s not secure. And in a technical way the HTTP have high round trips to multiple connections and also it is stateless protocol, means each command is executed separately without knowledge of previous commands.

The HTTP/2 is the latest version of HTTP network protocol used by WWW (World Wide Web). HTTP/2 is developed by Hypertext Transfer Protocol developers of Internet Engineering Task Force and which is now supported by all the major browsers. Google was investigating the issues on HTTP/1.1 deeply and they found that the HTTP/1.1 costs too much in terms of resources like CPU resources and Internet connection Usage capacity. After the experiment done by Google, they developed a SPDY as an experimental alternative for better security and website loading speed, that would be the precursor to HTTP/2. Let’s discuss the advantages of HTTP/2:

1) HTTP/2 is binary, instead of textual.

2) HTTP/2 is fully multiplexed.

3) It uses header compression HPACK to reduce overhead.

4) It allows servers to “push” responses proactively into client caches instead of waiting for a new request for each resource.

5) The ALPN extension which allows for faster-encrypted connections.

6) It reduces additional round trip times (RTT).

7) Asset concatenation and domain sharing are no longer needed with HTTP/2.

The HTTP/2 can send multiple requests for a data parallel through a single TC connection, this will allow to downloading website files from one server. HTTP/2 will reduce Round Trip Time (RTT) which will make your website load faster without any optimization. HTTP/2 will make our website and applications faster, simpler and more robust and also supports many workarounds on HTTP/1/1 too. Also, this new tool provides better additional optimization of our applications and improve the performance of our websites.

As we mentioned earlier HTTP/2 doesn’t modify the HTTP working around, all the core concepts of HTTP such as methods, status codes, URIs, and header fields, remains same on HTTP/2. The most changes are according to data frames which are transferred between the client and server.

While testing both HTTP and HTTP/2 protocol in detail, each test loads 36 unique and uncached images with a size of around 292KB in total. After multiple tests, HTTP/2 were able to load 84% faster than HTTP.

In a testing environment over HTTPv1.1 with HTTPS and HTTP/2 for 36 images, we could see the HTTP/2 will load within 0.321S, which is 84% faster than HTTP and 87% faster than HTTPS. Please find below screenshot of our live test:

HTTP protocol

 

Also while testing the same for 360 images, we could see HTTP/2 have a massive performance difference over HTTPv1.1 and HTTPS. On this test HTTP/2 loads within 1.545s, which is 92% faster than HTTP and HTTPS. Please find the screenshot of our live test below:

HTTP2

 

Currently, many CDN providers like Cloudflare, Maxcdn, Keycdn provides HTTP/2 support through which we can improve the website performance much more. Through configuring our websites on any of the above CDN providers will improve the performance of our websites by implementing HTTP/2 support and much more new cache systems. I would personally recommend Cloudflare CDN which is very easy and they also provide all these features on their free account.

HTTP/2 is the next version of HTTP which will improve the performance of our site without any need for shredding, spriting, concatenating etc. Also presently all web browsers support HTTP/2 without any trouble and many of the Web servers are also initiated their support for HTTP/2 to bring most performance over the web. HTTP/2 will be the future of the web, through which the performance will be much faster without any change on the websites.

 

If you need any further help please do reach our support department.

 

 

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