Cloudflare, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have all added support for the next major iteration of the HTTP protocol, HTTP/3.
Cloudflare announced that beginning today, customers will be able to turn on HTTP/3 support for their domains by enabling an option in their dashboards. Now when users visit a Cloudflare-hosted website using an HTTP/3-capable client, the connection will be automatically upgraded to the new protocol.
When it comes to browsers, the experimental version of Google Chrome, Chrome Canary added support for HTTP/3 earlier this month though to enable it, users will have to use a Chrome command-line flag. Mozilla also announced that it would roll out support the new protocol in an upcoming Firefox Nightly version later this fall.
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While neither Chrome Canary or Firefox Nightly are intended for average users, both of these experimental releases can be utilized by experienced users that want to test out HTTP/3 for themselves.
HTTP/3 is the next major version of the HTTP protocol which allows content to move from servers to clients. HTTP/3 differs from previous versions of HTTP because it uses the QUIC protocol instead of TCP and also includes built-in TLS support for encryption.
To create the QUIC protocol, Google engineers combined the reliability of TCP with the speed of UDP to create an entirely new protocol. QUIC stands for Quick UDP Internet Connections and the protocol takes the best features of TCP and UDP to build an even faster layer 4 transport protocol.
However, the big news here is that Cloudflare is making HTTP/3 generally available to its customers. The content delivery network (CDN) is a huge force on the web and is used to power around 10 percent of all internet sites.
By rolling out HTTP/3 support to all of its customers, Cloudflare is helping the new protocol gain adoption faster.
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