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High Performance Browser Networking

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  490 ratings  ·  46 reviews
How prepared are you when it comes to building network-enabled applications? This book provides what every web developer should know about the network—from fundamental limitations that affect performance to major innovations for building even more powerful browser apps. By understanding what the browser can and cannot do, you’ll be able to make better design decisions and ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 2013 by O'Reilly
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4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  490 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Anton Antonov
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical
A must-read for every software developer. If you never cared about performance and speed down to the details, this book will change it.

Part I (Networking 101) is a good refresher for TCP/UDP but also a good intro to TLS. It helped me clear up some of the confusion I had for SSL and TLS. I was expecting greater overhead when using TLS but Ilya brought real data that made me realize I was wrong.

Part II (Performance of Wireless Networks) made me appreciate the book. To be honest, the rate at which
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book that allowed me to revisit everything from the basics of computer networking to building higher level applications. The in-depth yet approachable explanations of TCP and TLS were especially good.

My only complaint is that the subject matter covered seemed to be somewhat arbitrary -- a huge portion of the book was devoted to describing various types of wireless standards, but without really making it into that much depth on wireless communication. It was still quite interesting though -
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional overview of the landscape
Arun Mahendrakar
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book introduces readers to many technologies - old and new (ish). It doesn't go very deep into any one particular technology, it is a great book that can act as a refresher, crash-course reference.

It discusses on how to optimize website's performance. I also suggest High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites both by Steve Souders.

TCP, UDP, TLS, WiFi, and mobile networks sections / chapters have good amount of detail and some of it was new to me. The chapter on HTTP 2.0 was quite i
Swanand Pagnis
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good book. Exposes some of the complex networking concepts in a lucid manner. The modern networking chapters ( Mobile networks, HTTP 2.0, SSE, WebSockets, WebRTC ) are notably good. Independent books have been written on each chapter the author covers, so you can imagine each chapter as a condensed summary of the underlying concept. However, author does cover more than just a summary.

Overall, the book is very informative and left me wanting for more and in search of deeper mater
Konstantin Root
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that every front and back-end developer should read to understand low-level details of protocols that they use - if you already have knowledge in mentioned topics then it will be a good idea to refresh your knowledge.
Topics covered: TCP/UDP, HTTP 0.9-2.0/TLS/SPDY, XHR/SSE/WebSocket, WebRTC, Wireless networks (Wifi, GSM, CDMA).
I would give it 5+ if it also included information on QUIC protocol :)
Mark McGranaghan
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent overview of networking from the perspective of web and mobile clients, through the lens of application performance.

The information is timely, clearly presented, and very accessible. I especially appreciated the overviews of mobile networking and newer web protocols including HTTP 2.0 and WebRTC.

Highly recommended for anyone developing web or mobile clients or servers.
Michael Efimov
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well written and providing nice overview of current state and trends in browser and application networking, mostly long-distance. Good explanation of latency vs bandwidth, flow control and other inner workings. Disclaimer: I know the author.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
First part is pretty hardcore and left my head spinning, I liked the practical part better, some great stuff.
Simon Eskildsen
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Most comprehensive overview of web performance I've seen. Book talks about Internet connectivity; fiber speeds and how LTE works. Configuring your edge; TLS version, HTTP2, and TCP tuning, and, how to structure your assets for performance. It doesn't go into server-side response time, databases, and so on, since that's highly specific to your stack. It goes in depth with what's constant between web application. I'd consider this necessary reading for those who are working on web performance, to ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
10/5 stars. Not an exaggeration.

This is the best book on web development (in a very wide sense) I've read since "Tangled Web". As one of very few it doesn't stop at HTTP level, actually totally contrary - there's very little about HTTP here - it goes down through all the OSI layers & helps you to get truly familiar with optimization techniques you could apply that are aimed at TCP, UDP or even IP. I've done a lot of web development (as a developer & architect), but shamelessly I need to
Vlad Ardelean
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
A lot of information, very little repetition

For me this book gets 4.5 stars, though I decided to rate it 5.

The chapters that I liked the most are those on tcp, udp, mobile devices, http and webrtc.

I did not know much about those topics (other than common generic 5-10 sentences).

The chapter on http/2 was fine, but I think I knew more on that topic, so it didn't surprise me too much.

I think that this book could have deserved another 200 pages, and that http/2 could have been detailed a little mor
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect to get emotional over a book of internet protocols. And yet. It's honestly an inspiring read. As we moved through various protocols, I could feel the half-century of engineering that went into designing all these procedures and standards - millions of hours of work across thousands of people. It taught me a lot about different protocols, their tradeoffs and details. I learned a lot about high performance networking. But honestly, it just made me excited to be a network engineer. ...more
Dan Kalbasi
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: engineering
This book covers many networking APIs that browsers provide for us and we are using them without knowing the implementation details. The chapters cover the subjects in a very much detail. However, you should not expect this book teaches you how you can possibly implement the next Youtube with all streaming details! But it absolutely gives you the rough idea. And It explains how to manage and deal with various networking scenarios in the browser.
Harshil Lodhi
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good book on networking which covers the whole stack in less than 300 pages. Its not a very in depth book but it talks enough about all the practical aspects which are required for a software engineer who cares about performance.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Просто офигенная книга, к тому же еще и бесплатная. Такого подробного и детального анализа всех узких мест производительности надо еще и поискать. А тут еще в конце каждой главы есть краткий чек-лист с рекомендациями для настройки. Вещь.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: networking
This is a thorough, though arcane and broadly difficult to read, examination of the history and architecture of the internet. The bulk of the book has nothing to do with web development and will be of no use to a developer. It is badly marketed and not very well written, correct though it may be.
Szymon Kulec
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you hated all the networking stuff, you will love it after reading this book. It's from zero to hero guide how network works, including all the slow-start, last-mile-problem and more. Additionally, it covers HTTPS2 and shows how to embrace the dimension of app networking.
Jeffrey Ling
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book about optimizing network performance. Very accessible read even if you're not a networking expert. I learned a lot about networking fundamentals by reading through it.
Maria Ines
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read for web developers.
Cristi Minica
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good crash course on networking and high level performance optimizations in network applications. The author puts key concepts in wider perspective. Very good, would recommend to any web developer.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
An easy to digest and extremely useful read on protocols, latency, bandwidth and much else you need to know to deliver great user experiences
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exceptionally clear
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: incomplete
THE book to read about web performance.
The book covers the optimization across the web stack including TCP, TLS, HTTP1.x & 2 and even mobile, and WebRTC.
The author is the practitioner from Google and W3C WG.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Networked applications continue to grow and evolve. As engineers, it's important to know to some degree how applications and services communicate with each other.

High-Performance Browser Network gives you a tour of each floor of the network stack, providing the historical significance of each technology, the context behind why some competing technology appealed over others and the considerations to take when building network application.

The book opens with the building blocks of TCP & UDP
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a developer. I have only a middling amount of programming experience. My computer skills lie more on the Linux admin side of things. I still found this book to be fascinating. It's been years since I worked in the IT field, and I'm brushing up on my skills. this book was a great place to start with a quick refresher on protocols and networking. it never gets very deep into any one subject, which is fine. any of these subjects warrant at least a full book on their own merits. This was a f ...more
Dainius Jocas
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Browsers are doing a hard job to hide the complexities of the networking. This book is about those complexities.

I appreciate the style writing - pragmatic and straight to the point. Also, it seems that lot's of work was put to write the text - each part of the text seems to be in the right place. Moreover, diagrams, code examples, and illustrations makes the text easier to follow.

To sum up, great book on issues of modern networking.
Nov 16, 2013 added it
Basically just skimmed this. Lots of great information about network topology on mobile, all versions of the HTTP protocol, asynchronous protocols like WebSockets, and WebRTC. Not too applicable to what I'm doing day-to-day, as it mostly would impact people looking very deep in the network stack for performance wins. Still a great choice for anyone interested in an in-depth review of browser networking.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must-read book for every programmer dealing with networks, explains the issues of network performance and how details of various network protocols (from low-level to application protocols) are linked to this issues, affects them and what could be done on various levels to improve network performance. Nice explanation of wireless protocols and HTTP2.
Colin Jones
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know the title sounds like this is going to be all about browsers, but for me the huge thing was the lower-level protocol tips & evergreen optimization ideas. I expect if I was doing more client-side work day-to-day, I'd have gotten even more out of this, but it's still one of the best performance-oriented books I've read.
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Ilya Grigorik is a web performance engineer at Google, co-chair of the W3C Web Performance Working group, and author of High Performance Browser Networking (O'Reilly) book.
“Good developers know how things work. Great developers know why things work.” 2 likes
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