Buckle Your Seat Belt. The Internet is About to Get Much Faster.

what-does-http-mean300If you’ve ever wanted to understand why a web page you’re trying to access is taking so long to download, listen up.

One of the most basic and ubiquitous elements of online communication is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or “HTTP,” which you’ve probably noticed in the top left corner of your web browser window as the prefix before the addresses of almost every single website you’ve ever visited. Web pages and servers use HTTP to communicate with each other, requesting to access a page and likewise providing the information on any given page. From the early days of the Internet until now, little has changed about HTTP. Well, the computer network is about to be revolutionized. HTTP/2, the first significant update to the system, is about to speed up your Internet.

The technology behind HTTP was first used at the beginning of the Internet, around 1991. Its functionality as a service was improved and tweaked until the product HTTP was officially released in 1999. It was the standard communication tool online and stayed that way – until now. However, since the twilight of the last century, the Internet has changed and progressed by leaps and bounds: graphics are more complex, JavaScript code is everywhere, Flash and embedded elements fill web pages, etc. As such, HTTP has become outdated, unfit to cope with such a data-rich environment.

Companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress have had to implement adjustments and improvements to their HTTP performance since, every year, the amount of online traffic they handle increases by remarkable amounts. Google itself needs the software to handle 40,000 web searches per second, constantly.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which develops and promotes Internet standards, took notice of the need among the web’s biggest players and decided to develop HTTP/2.

The new communication tool is set to be used widely within the coming few weeks. The most popular web browsers, Firefox v36, Chrome v40 and Internet Explorer v11, have made the relevant preparations and already support HTTP/2. Hopefully, we will all notice a quicker, more efficient online experience.