Of course you've probably heard this story before...
Over the years we've seen no limit of specialized hardware, software or other gadgetry promising to defeat the laws of physics and speed up your Internet connection above and beyond
its basic capabilities. From the "Juice Boosted" scam
to Earthlink's latest absurd acceleration ploy
, by and large these are all snake oil. Even well-intentioned ideas to deploy new, faster protocols 99.4% of the time wind up being little more than blistering hype
. With that in mind, Google today issued a post over at the Chrome blog
claiming they were working on a new protocol they insist could double the speed of everyday browsing:
So far we have only tested SPDY in lab conditions. The initial results are very encouraging: when we download the top 25 websites over simulated home network connections, we see a significant improvement in performance - pages loaded up to 55% faster. There is still a lot of work we need to do to evaluate the performance of SPDY in real-world conditions. However, we believe that we have reached the stage where our small team could benefit from the active participation, feedback and assistance of the web community.
Of course "simulated home network connections" and "lab conditions" are no substitute for the real world, which is why Google is reaching out to the broader community
to help test the new protocol, which integrates concepts such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression. Those interested can take a closer look at the protocol's white paper
for some added technical specifics. From a quick read this isn't so much about replacing HTTP as it is about mutating it into something more efficient, and Google certainly is no idiot at content transfer efficiency.
Again though, -- we've seen these kinds of promises so many times -- be it compression, new protocols, or variations of existing protocols, that we're just kind of innately skeptical until we see real world application. As with any innovation, you might want to wait until Google has a working product before doling out your kisses. Certainly Google's Chrome browser will get lots and lots of added attention from the media from this announcement, so at least that's something substantive.