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HTTP/3: 3rd Version of the HTTP Protocol

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‘HTTP Over QUIC’ is being renamed to ‘HTTP/3’ ahead of its 2019 launch. Here’s a guide to the project that aims for a faster, more stable internet.

The internet is decades old and has been slowly evolving to cope up with growing needs.

While it does continue to face issues on all sides in the name of net neutrality, that didn’t stop researchers and companies from implementing newer technologies for a better tomorrow.

The HTTP/3 represents this promise as it is being addressed as the official third version of the HTTP protocol.

But the most essential services in society, such as security, military, medical and insurance companies, are still working on HTTP/1 because they can’t risk people’s lives if a new technology fails.

The adoption rate of HTTP/2 has not been great either, but as the new HTTP/3 technology is supported by Google, it may see wider adoption because of some of its key benefits.

What Is HTTP/3?

It has been finalized by the technical community that the HTTP over QUIC experimental protocol, which has been under testing for years, will be renamed and launched as HTTP/3.

The information was confirmed by the officials at Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the naming process has been done mainly to make it easily recognizable among everyone without using too much technical jargon. The rename was proposed in a mailing list discussion in late-October.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the core of the internet as it allows servers, modems and computers to connect with one another over a massive network set up around the globe.

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Even when major technologies such as the iPhone were launched in the early 2010s, the original HTTP was never changed until 2015 with the launch of HTTP/2. Because of its late arrival, HTTP/2 never became instantly popular.

Updating the technology requires lots of pre-planning so that it doesn’t ultimately fail. This reason was more than enough for most companies and researchers to create massive gaps between researching and developing new and better solutions.

The Origin of HTTP Connectivity

HTTP/1.1 was originally released back in 1999 and most people were never aware of what was happening behind the screen for a very long time.

Even when major technologies such as the iPhone were launched in the early 2010s, the original HTTP was never changed until 2015 with the launch of HTTP/2. Because of its late arrival, HTTP/2 never became instantly popular.

Its predecessor, HTTP/3, is expected to rollout as early as 2019. The QUIC protocol that powers the technology was developed by Google, and it is expected that the company will ensure its widespread adoption.

The idea was pioneered by web infrastructure developer Mark Nottingham.

Key Advantages of Upgrading to HTTP/3

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When successfully implemented, HTTP/3 will bring about significant improvements to connection establishment time. It will make it easier to have congestion control, support multiplexing and do forward error connection.

The biggest advantage that most experts expect from the QUIC technology is that it will significantly reduce the amount of latency, making it easier to communicate over the internet.

The idea emerged as part of Google’s Chromium project; it stands for Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC, for short). Google has already started implementing QUIC technology in their servers and made it a default request method on their Chrome browsers.

They confirm that traffic has significantly increased in the test period and successfully executed without any connectivity issues.

Such an assurance is necessary to make the move from the TCP/TLS/HTTP/2 technology to the new platform.

When successfully implemented, HTTP/3 will bring about significant improvements to connection establishment time.

It will make it easier to have congestion control, support multiplexing and do forward error connection.

Networking experts will also be able to do connection migration which can help in lowering the overhead handshake process. Google has been taking strong steps in implementing this protocol since 2016.

After the company implemented it in Chrome, Opera did the same and Facebook has followed suit to be ahead of the technology curve.

HTTP/3 is projected to address the problems previously experienced with the previous system’s resource consumption, network issues with sending and receiving files, timeout limits, and other problems.

Overcoming these issues would pave the way for a faster, more stable and secure internet experience. With Google behind the project, it might soon see widespread adoption in 2019.

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