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Google Chrome will get an improved Brotli compression algorithm

Today, developers from Google announced a new feature which has already arrived to the Canary channel of the Chrome browser. A new compression algorithm, called "Brotli", was added to the browser. It will work with HTTPS connections and will be much more efficient than existing compression features in Google Chrome.

According to this announcement post, Brotli outperforms gzip for typical web assets (e.g. css, html, js) by 17–25 %.

The current compression algorithm used in Chrome is Zopfli. It was introduced 2 years ago and is now used widely in various tasks. Zopfli shows good results even with PNG compression.

The new Brotli algorithm outperforms Zopfli by 20-26%. The following comparison table and diagrams are available to show the benefits of Brotli:Brotli comparsion 21285 HTML documents in 93 languages compression test results:

Brotli comparsion 3
Canterbury test results:
Brotli comparsion table

Better compression means faster web page loads and more free space on mobile devices. It should save your traffic and battery.
Those who run Chrome Canary can test it right now by enabling it using flags.

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type or copy-paste the following text into the address bar:
    chrome://flags#enable-brotli

    This will open the flags page directly with the relevant setting.

  2. Click the Enable link.
  3. The link text will be changed from "Enable" to "Disable" and the Relaunch Now button will appear at the bottom. Click it to restart the browser.

Brotli is an open algorithm, so it can be used in other products. After a couple of months, Brotli will reach the stable branch of the browser. Google hopes to see other browsers to support Brotli in the near future.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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