Port Eighty Now Supports SPDY 3.1

Port Eighty Now Supports SPDY 3.1

We are pleased to annouce Port Eighty has deployed SPDY for all SSL websites running through our HTTP Accelerators!

google-spdy-protocolWhat is SPDY?

SPDY (pronounced “SPeeDY”) is a networking protocol developed by Google to reduce the web latency associated with HTTP and is now enabled by default on many of the latest modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Android Browser. No changes to website content are required, but it is important to note that SPDY can only be used for HTTPS traffic, so SSL is required. If you do not have a valid SSL certificate or your browser does not support SPDY then you will fall back to standard SSL.

With SPDY enabled you can provide a large percentage of your users with better response times, this holds great potential for mobile devices, for which latency is more of an issue More importantly, search engines like Google take into account the response times of a website in addition to the conversion rate and bounce rate—so SPDY can have a significant positive impact on your business!

Google claims with SPDY, web pages load up to 64 percent faster than HTTP alone. This is accomplished by adding a session layer between HTTP and SSL that supports concurrent, interleaved streams over a single TCP connection. Moving from HTTP to SPDY adds an encryption and compression overhead, which clearly requires more resources. It does however use fewer TCP connections.

Technical Details

  • SPDY allows client and server to compress request and response headers, which cuts down on bandwidth usage when the similar headers (e.g. cookies) are sent over and over for multiple requests.
  • SPDY allows multiple, simultaneously multiplexed requests over a single connection, saving on round trips between client and server, and preventing low-priority resources from blocking higher-priority requests.
  • SPDY allows the server to actively push resources to the client that it knows the client will need (e.g. JavaScript and CSS files) without waiting for the client to request them, allowing the server to make efficient use of unutilized bandwidth.

SPDY Performance on Mobile Networks

Google tested 77 commonly accessed domains, the below graph shows page load times for each of the 77 URLs using both HTTP and SPDY. In all but one case, SPDY is faster than HTTP, with an average page load time reduction of 23% across all pages. For one of the URLs (an article from huffingtonpost.com), the page loaded 6% slower on SPDY than HTTP.


How do I know SPDY is working?

There are a few ways you can check that everything is working. If you’re a Chrome user then you can install the SPDY indicator plugin, alternatively navigate to chrome://net-internals/#spdy – You can also head to SPDY Check to enter root domains or individual pages.