What is HTTP/2 and why is it important?


The tech world has been abuzz over the long-awaited coming of HTTP/2, but what the hell is that and why is it so great? To lay it out as simply as possible, HTTP has been used for more than a 15 years as a mechanism for your browser to receive data from a server and turn that into what you see on your screen now. As you might have guessed, HTTP/2 is the successor to that protocol. Engadget was kind enough to explain things a bit more in-depth. 

Look at the address bar in your browser. See those letters at the front, “HTTP”? That stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the mechanism a browser uses to request information from a server and display webpages on your screen. A new version of the reliable and ubiquitous HTTP protocol was recently published as a draft by the organization in charge of creating standards for the internet, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This means that the old version, HTTP/1.1, in use since 1999, will eventually be replaced by a new one, dubbed HTTP/2. This update improves the way browsers and servers communicate, allowing for faster transfer of information while reducing the amount of raw horsepower needed. HTTP/1.1 has been in use since 1999, and while it’s performed admirably over the years, it’s starting to show its age. Websites nowadays include many different components besides your standard HTML, like design elements (CSS), client-side scripting (JavaScript), images, video and Flash animations.

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