Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, or HTTP is the protocol used to transfer data over the internet. Hyper Text refers to all the data, including text, images, videos, sounds, and hyperlinks (web links that can be clicked upon to access). HTTP is the application layer in the Internet Protocols.
The HTTP version that is currently being used across the globe is HTTP/2. It was introduced on 14th May 2015. Now, HTTP/3 is slowly replacing the older version.
Before we discuss the difference in HTTP/2 and HTTP/3, it’s important to understand the concept of HTTP itself. HTTP is a set of protocols. It defines and decides how data is communicated between a client and a server. When you access a website, your computer (client) generates a request that is sent to the website (server). The server than processes the request, and allows you to access the website’s data. Your browser (Firefox, Chrome or IE) generates this request on the client’s behalf.
HTTP commands are what make it possible for you to serve the World Wide Web. These commands are stateless, which means that each commands acts by itself, without the need of a set of instructions. The errors you receive (like Error 404, or 502) when you can’t access a website are called HTTP codes.
HTTP/2 was designed as a significant improvement over the former existing protocol i.e. HTTP 1.1 while still allowing older websites to run smoothly. It improved the page load speed considerably, by decreasing latency.
Simply put, with the advent of HTTP/2, the old internet didn’t simply stop working. It meant, that the newer websites, that were designed with HTTP/2 protocols in mind, had access to newer, much better tools.
HTTP/3 or HTTP over QUIC is the new successor in line. The QUIC in the name means Quick UDP Internet Connections. It’s a newer transport layer of Internet Protocols that allows faster data transfer over the internet. It was initially developed by Google, and is now commonly used thanks to the advent of HTTP/3.
Thanks to the advancement in the transportation layer of the internet, HTTP/3 will enjoy much faster speeds and better connectivity. These advancements are a response to the fact that the internet is choking with data. Faster data transportation is not just a luxury anymore; it’s a necessity.
HTTP/3 is faster than HTTP/2. But why is it faster? The answer is simply the transportation protocol of the internet. HTTP/2 uses Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to transfer the date from one place on the internet to another. TCP dictates that a connection is set up before a client and a server can start trading data. The problem with this is due to a single point of connection, bottlenecking of data resulting in lost packets of data.
Now, HTTP/3 uses UDP or QUIC, a special type of UDP. Unlike TCP, the UDP protocol doesn’t establish a connection before starting the data transfer. This makes it much faster, but a lot less reliable than TCP. QUIC is relatively better than conventional UDP, providing better safety of data and a backbone to HTTP/3.
HTTP/3 is the future. As it was with previous migration from TTP 1.1 to HTTP/2, there might be some hitches, but soon the former protocol dependant data will not be able to keep up.
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