We are proud to announce that we will be one of the first web hosting providers in the world to release HTTP3 capabilities to all our customers. G7Cloud is currently testing the latest innovation and expected to release HTTP3 in Q1 2020. If you are already a customer you won’t need to do anything, HTTP3 will be enabled by default.
How will HTTP3 improve my website?
Before we can explain what HTTP3 is and how it can benefit your website we first need to understand the two most common networking protocols TCP and UDP.
The TCP protocol requires a connection to be established before any data is being sent. Imagine having to shake someones hand before you begin a conversation. This is similar to how the TCP protocol works and guess what? your computer has used the TCP protocol to load this page!
Your computer/browser sends a request to load G7cloud.com, what actually takes place behind the scenes is the TCP handshake that’s seen below.
The client is your browser (Chrome/Safari/Firefox)
This process takes place for every single request that your browser loads, this means every image loaded on the page goes through the process above.
UDP works very differently, this protocol is connection-less which means once your browser sends a request the server immediately sends you all the requested files without any handshake taking place upon every file that’s served for the website to complete loading.
What is UDP used for?
UDP is commonly used to load videos or music files, these files need to be streamed to your browser continuously without delay, this means video and music streams cannot continuously establish a connection every few seconds hence they use the UDP protocol.
What is HTTP2?
HTTP2 utilizes multiplexing which means the first request goes through the usual TCP handshake and all other requests are loaded within that single connection, eliminating the need to establish a new connection for every file that’s loaded. Note on average websites will contain over 100 requests/files.
What is HTTP3?
HTTP3 replaces the TCP protocol with the connection-less UDP protocol, eliminating the need to establish a handshake first. This would allow websites to load significantly faster and latency will be noticeably faster resulting in a noticeable improvement, especially for mobile devices with poor internet connectivity.
How is HTTP3 significantly faster than HTTP2?
As HTTP3 will use the UDP protocol we should notice a huge difference in website performance. Although HTTP2 does a great job at only establishing a single connection, it’s important to note that this event has to occur for every single unique server (hostname) you are loading files from. An enterprise website will commonly load files from 50+ different servers, this means even with HTTP2 your browser is required to establish many connections which dramatically reduce HTTP2’s performance benefits.
With HTTP3, regardless how many servers are loading files on a given website, every file will be sent directly to your browser without requiring a connection to be established first, greatly improving the websites response and page load times.