What Is HTTP/3? How Does It Compare to HTTP/2?

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What Is HTTP/3? How Does It Compare to HTTP/2?

In the past, the public primarily used web browsers to enter chatrooms and visit blog sites. Today, web browsing has become a place to watch 4K videos, edit photos, play games, shop, bank, work, and so much more.

As new web apps become increasingly complex, the demand for a secure and more efficient internet protocol has pushed for the development of HTTP/3.

So what is HTTP/3? How is it better than the previous versions, and how does it impact your browsing experience?

What Is HTTP/3?

HTTP/3 is the third (and newest) generation of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).This internet protocol is used in the application layer, where users are given the capability to interact with the web and its resources. HTTP/3 aims to provide a faster and more efficient internet experience without compromising security.

Previously, consumers and developers could only rely on TCP/IP to safely convey data. The issue with TCP is that the client and server must make a series of SYN-ACK connections in order to properly setup. The client and server may only communicate data to each other after the handshake and TLS connection.

Users face slower load times while browsing the internet since the process takes four “round trips” from client to server. HTTP/3’s latest features will address this issue.

Some key HTTP/3 features include:

  • HTTP/3 has TLS 1.3 encryption for security.
  • Instead to HPACK, QPACK compresses requests and headers.
  • Through QUIC, it provides quick and dependable single handshake connections.
  • Flow control is applied to all frame headers and payloads (data) for better data transfers.
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How HTTP/3 Provides Fast, Reliable, and Secure Connections

One of the benefits of HTTP/3 is its support for the QUIC protocol, a new internet protocol designed to replace TCP connections. Data is delivered and received by the client and server via QUIC after a single handshake. Because HTTP/3 includes TLS 1.3 encryption, this single handshake ensures a stable connection from both sides and instantly encrypts data.

According to a Request Metrics research, using QUIC instead of TCP offers a quicker and more efficient approach to establish connections and encrypt data. The test compares the efficiency of QUIC’s single handshake versus TCP’s three-way handshake with encryption.

So, how is it feasible to establish a quick, dependable, and secure connection with a single handshake?

To solve the question, let’s first examine how HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 transport data.

HTTP/3, as seen in the figure above, employs the fast but unstable UDP connection. For those who are unfamiliar, UDP compromises dependability in order to create a rapid connection through a single-handshake or one round trip.

To address UDP difficulties, QUIC supports native multiplexing as well as packet inspection and recovery mechanisms to ensure a stable connection. Simultaneously, HTTP/3’s auto TLS protocol allows seamless encryption without requiring an additional back and forth between the client and server.

We obtain a quick, stable, and secure connection using UDP’s single-handshake connection, QUIC’s native multiplexing, and HTTP/3’s auto TLS connection, which ultimately gives a superior user experience.

How Big of an Impact Will HTTP/3 Have?

We’ve determined that HTTP/3 will enhance your experience by delivering a quicker and more efficient internet connection. The issue is, how much more?

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The same Request Metrics research looked at how quickly data was transmitted on three different-sized websites, including a tiny site, a content site, and a single-page site, and how effectively web pages loaded while utilizing HTTP/2 and HTTP/3.

Here is the result:

Small SiteContent SiteSingle-Page Site
HTTP/2500ms1000ms600ms
HTTP/3100ms675ms300ms

In all test sites, HTTP/3 was much quicker than HTTP/2. HTTP/3, for example, was 200ms quicker than HTTP/2 on the tiny site, 325ms on the content site, and 300ms on the single-page site.

Users should anticipate a considerable decrease in total latency by adopting HTTP/3, making your surfing experience quicker and more dependable without sacrificing security.

HTTP/3 Is All Set to Replace HTTP/2

Overall, HTTP/3 is the current standard in use today. As a result, since you’re presumably already utilizing it, end consumers don’t have to do anything to reap its advantages. In reality, you may already be utilizing the QUIC protocol since Google has integrated it into the majority, if not all, of its online applications and services.

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