Android Version of Chrome May Get SPDY Proxy Speed Boost

Subject: General Tech | March 4, 2013 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged: web browser, mobile, chrome, Android

Chrome for Android will allegedly be getting a speed boost thanks to a new SPDY-assisted proxy service. If a recent patch is any indication, future versions of Chrome may adopt a proxy service similar to Opera Turbo, Amazon Silk, or BlackBerry Proxy. Google would take advantage of its SPDY protocol to compress and multiplex web sites. We requests would be sent through Google, where Google would take the HTTP/HTTPS pages, compress and otherwise optimize them, and send them to your Android smartphone.

 

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While on Wi-Fi or a wired connection, the performance merits of such proxy services are minimal at best (and at worst can actually slow down page loads). With that said, over a mobile network--especially if you are living in an area with (at best) 3G speeds, the new SPDY proxy service could make a huge difference in page load times. If my experiences using Opera and its Turbo proxy service over a 3G connection for the past month is any indication of the potential benefits of such a setup, some pages will load much faster, a few sites will actually load slower than browsing without the proxy, and the majority of websites will fall somewhere in between those two extremes, providing a slightly faster web browsing experience. Google may be taking things a step further by introducing its SPDY protocol to speed up the HTTP requests, which is an interesting tactic beyond the basic compression and/or caching that the existing alternatives employ.

Details on the hinted-at Google-run SPDY proxy service are scarce, but I hope that it holds true. There are some privacy considerations, but if you are just reading articles and have resigned yourself to the fact that Chrome/Google tracks you anyway (heh) it is a nice optional feature to have!

Source: Engadget
March 5, 2013 | 02:37 AM - Posted by ddd (not verified)

I know this news item is based on sources more or less knowledgeable, but it doesn't seem right. SPDY is a protocol that can accelerate connections by doing some things faster than HTTP; I have never seen anything suggesting that SPDY is a proxy, so it should be related in any way to Silk or other privacy obscure browsers. Chrome and Firefox support SPDY today.

Here's Steve Gibson's SN explanation of SPDY:
http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-343.pdf (page 9-10 of the transcript)

March 5, 2013 | 04:14 AM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

No, I think Google will be setting up a proxy like Opera Turbo, but from Google's servers to your computer, the sites will be delivered over the SPDY protocol instead of just compressing and passing along the sites over traditional http requests. You can some other benefits like multiplexing with SPDY iirc.

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