Brotli Compression Algorithm Enabled on All Servers
August 8, 2016
For apps using HTTPS, page loads are now even faster. On all servers managed by ServerPilot, we've enabled the new Brotli compression algorithm developed by Google. Brotli is currently supported by Chrome and Firefox for HTTPS requests.
What is Brotli?
On average, data compressed with Brotli is 20 percent smaller than data compressed with gzip. For example, a 500 KB file that gzip would compress to 100 KB can instead be compressed to 80 KB by Brotli. Brotli achieves this improvement while maintaining the same fast compression and decompression speeds as gzip.
When Will Brotli Be Used?
Chrome and Firefox currently support Brotli. For both of these browsers, Brotli is only used for HTTPS requests, not for plain HTTP requests.
The reason only HTTPS is supported is because many network proxies around the world expect HTTP compression to always be gzip, so using other types of compression can cause websites to break. Since HTTPS requests are encrypted and proxies can't read or modify any of the content, it's safe to make changes to the compression algorithm used without any risk of breakage by buggy proxies.
How to See Brotli in Action
To check whether Brotli is being used, you can use the Network tab of Chrome's developer tools. With the Network tab open, reload the page.
Finally, look for the content-encoding header under the Response Headers section. If it's compressed with Brotli, it will show the following:
If it's not compressed with Brotli, it will instead show the following: