HTTP/2 web protocol set to make the internet faster


The first update to the HTTP web protocol in 15 years has been approved, paving the way for a faster internet for everyone.

HTTP/2 should result in quicker web page loading, longer connections and stronger encryption, compared to the current http:// preceding web addresses.

Mark Nottingham, the chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) body developing the update, confirmed that HTTP/2 has now received approval from the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).

Now the protocol update will go through an editing process before it is published, at which point it can be widely adopted by web browser providers.

A separate blog post on the IETF site read: "HTTP/2 will help provide faster user experience for browsing, reduce the amount of bandwidth required, and make the use of secure connections easier."

Rather than completely overhaul the existing HTTP protocol, the update is designed to allow a "seamless switch" between the two, meaning web developers will have minimal changes to apply to their applications and APIs.

"Web users largely will be able to benefit from the improvements offered by HTTP/2 without having to do anything different," the post added.

Nottingham's IETF HTTP Working Group started work on the new protocol back in 2012, choosing to base it on Google's SPDY protocol, and it is designed to use fewer connections to reduce the burden on servers and networks.

"This is especially important when the network is getting congested, because HTTP/1's use of multiple connections for parallelism adds to the problem," he said in a blog post last year.

Nottingham said this clearing of obstacles will improve users' experience by effectively making the web run faster.

He added: "It's more accurate to view the new protocol as removing some key impediments to performance; once browsers and servers learn how and when to take advantage of that, performance should start incrementally improving."

Google has already announced its intention to switch to HTTP/2, and it can currently be tested in both Firefox and Chrome.