With the sheer number of digital attacks that are constantly happening each day, from hackers trying to steal credit card information, to fears of NSA wiretapping, security has been the forefront of many technology companies’ list of ‘things to do’.
One area that has received a lot of attention due to attacks such as firesheep is the issue of HTTPS encryption. Normally relegated to login pages and banks, we are now seeing it becoming the de facto standard on many sites. Notably Google and Facebook have shifted to always using HTTPS connections, which prevents 3rd parties from snooping on your connection to these specific sites.
However, with each new security feature comes a cost. HTTPS can in some cases significantly increase the workload of a server as it establishes connections with the thousands of users that may frequent any particular site. The result being that the user experiences slower loading times.
To counteract this, Google has introduced SPDY, which is a modification of the HTTP standard with the stated goal of speeding up web connections. It does this through implementing different types of compression, allowing multiple simultaneous requests, and allowing the server to push resources to the client before the client requests them.
Enter HTTP vs HTTPS. This site is a working demonstration of the SPDY protocol when used with an HTTPS connection. The standard HTTP connection is using HTTP requests without SPDY and you can check out the speed difference by changing connections. The clear winner is SPDY. Check the site out here https://www.httpvshttps.com/.