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Introducing HTTP/2 – The Faster Way To Browse The Internet

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Introducing HTTP/2 – The Faster Way To Browse The Internet

HTTP is the networking protocol which makes what you’re reading right now possible. It is the World Wide Web. Most contemporary sites use HTTP 1.1, but this dates back to 1999 when the internet was vastly different. Most people would agree things have moved on since then; modern internet users demand ultra-fast speeds, online safety, and a streamlined experience. HTTP/2 will help deliver this.

Initially titled HTTP/2.0, the name was soon changed to the snappier HTTP/2. More importantly, it’s a landmark event in the history of the internet. Based on SPDY (which is pronounced “speedy”, to avoid confusion) an open networking protocol developed by Google, HTTP working group the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have been developing the update.

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As the IETF explained, “HTTP/2 is a replacement for how HTTP is expressed ‘on the wire.’ It is not a ground-up rewrite of the protocol; HTTP methods, status codes and semantics are the same, and it should be possible to use the same APIs as HTTP/1.x.” This means HTTP/2 will effectively sweep away the cobwebs of the older version and introduce a speedier, and eventually more secure, online experience.

Advantages

There are two key improvements with HTTP/2 – a faster browsing speed and the push for improved online safety. Naturally the IETF have been vocal on the benefits of the new software. They stated, “The focus of the protocol is on performance; specifically, end-user perceived latency, network and server resource usage. One major goal is to allow the use of a single connection from browsers to a Web site.”

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HTTP/2 uses the same HTTP APIs many developers will be familiar with, along with a new batch of features. There are expectations it will be more cost effective to implement. As explained by TheNextWeb, “The Web community has often told developers to avoid adding too many HTTP requests to their pages, which led to optimization techniques like code inlining or concatenation to reduce the requests.” HTTP/2 includes a multiplexing feature which allow a vast array of requests to be delivered, meaning a page load won’t be blocked.

Web developer Mark Nottingham has expanded on the potential of HTTP/2. On his official blog he’s stated he expects cheaper requests, improved network and server friendliness, and cache pushing (saving a “trip between fetching HTML and linked stylesheets and CSS”). He did warn, however, all of this will take time to perfect. It’s a learning process for everyone.

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Comparison Between HTTP/2 and HTTP

HttpWatch performed a comparison test which showcases the differences in versions. The test discovered superior loading rates for webpages, as was the plan, although there are concerns safety may be compromised in the early days of the upgrade.

In their conclusion they stated, “HTTP/2 is likely to provide significant performance advantages compared to raw HTTPS and even SPDY. However the use of padding in response messages is an area of potential concern where there could be a trade-off between performance and security.”

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You can read the full details of their extensive comparison here.

Release Date and FAQs

The adoption speed will determine when you can enjoy the benefits of HTTP/2. Hosting services, search giants such as Google, and websites will need to implement HTTP/2 and will do so at different times. The big news is Google have announced their intention to use it in Chrome (their official browser) in 2016 – expect many others to follow in their footsteps.

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Whilst we await its arrival, web developers can a list of FAQs to discover more about HTTP/2.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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