High Performance Browser Networking

"What every web developer should know about networking and web performance"

A great reference on browser networking, my go-to book on the topic. I read the third release (2015), which includes updates for HTTP/2.

The material covers everything I was hoping to get out of the book. It is split into four parts: low-level networking (TCP, UDP and TLS), wireless networks (WiFi and mobile networks), HTTP (versions 1.x and 2), and finally browser APIs (XHR, SSE, WebSocket, WebRTC). I found all chapters to hit the right depth of detail—except the one on WebRTC, which is quite exhaustive.

Note that despite its name this is not a book about general web development. It is about networking. It provides insights and knowledge to optimize the networking aspects of web applications, whether on desktop or mobile device, so that they yield the highest possible performance.

A nice addition is that the book can be read online at the associated website. This is helpful to quickly look something up and to share links to a specific section.

Here is the table of contents:

  • Part 1. Networking 101
    • 1. Primer on Latency and Bandwidth
    • 2. Building Blocks of TCP
    • 3. Building Blocks of UDP
    • 4. Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  • Part 2. Performance of Wireless Networks
    • 5. Introduction to Wireless Networks
    • 6. WiFi
    • 7. Mobile Networks
    • 8. Optimizing for Mobile Networks
  • Part 3. HTTP
    • 9. Brief History of HTTP
    • 10. Primer on Web Performance
    • 11. HTTP/1.X
    • 12. HTTP/2
    • 13. Optimizing Application Delivery
  • Part 3. Browser APIs and Protocols
    • 14. Primer on Browser Networking
    • 15. XMLHttpRequest
    • 16. Server-Sent Events (SSE)
    • 17. WebSocket
    • 18. WebRTC

More books in the bookshelf.