Google’s SPDY Protocol Makes Web Faster With Multiplexed Streams, Request Prioritization and HTTP Header Compression

Written By Sam on 13 November 2009

Google has announced its early stage research project “SPDY” pronounced as “Speedy“, a new updated application-layer protocol for the web, which augments HTTP. Incorporating features like multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression, the new protocol will tend to minimize latency and speed up the Web experience for users.

Google clearly declared that SPDY is not a replacement for HTTP and it will use HTTP methods and headers, however it will override the parts of the protocols that manages data transfer formats and connections. HTTP is not very much efficient at transferring a large number of small files that is exactly required by requests made by the today’s websites. Google’s SPDY will make use of a single SSL-encrypted session between a browser and a client, and then compresses all the request/response overhead thus making everything faster than what HTTP currently allows. SPDY also includes real server push and a “server hint” feature.


Google’s SPDY white paper shows a speed increase of up to 50 percent upon experimenting with a download of 25 websites by the Google researchers in the lab environment. The white paper also states that the project’s goals are to minimize deployment complexity and to avoid the need for website owners to make changes to their sites in order to implement SPDY. Though the aspects of SPDY are not yet clear, it will certainly be an advantage to the Chrome browser and Chrome OS. For a much speedy and minimized latency web surfing we all must wait until Google unleashes the project.

Basic improvement of SPDY over HTTP

Multiplexed requests: Multiple requests can be issued concurrently with out any limit over a single SPDY connection. As the requests are interleaved on a single channel, the efficiency of TCP is much higher.

Prioritized requests: Clients can request prioritization of certain resources to be delivered first, which avoids problem of congesting the network channel with non-critical resources when a high-priority request is pending.

Compressed headers: Compressing the headers saves a significant amount of latency and bandwidth compared to HTTP.

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