Edgier Edge pledge: TLS fledge no speed wedge, Redmond man said

Faster, stronger crypto comes to baked-in browser

Microsoft will speed up HTTPS encryption in its Edge browser with support for TLS 1.3 and performance extensions.

Edge engineer Christian Huitema says the changes which also include support for TCP FastOpen will be introduced into the Preview edition of Edge.

It means Redmond's new flagship browser will have the latest TLS protocol which closes off known vulnerabilities and strips out unnecessary functions while reducing implementation errors.

It is laggy, however, and so Microsoft has used the False Start extension to reduce TLS roundtrips and Fast Open to remove the need for future roundtrips by way of a client authentication cookie.

"Modern encryption itself is very fast, but requires negotiating keys to establish a connection before fetching page resources.

"[TLS 1.3 extensions] means delivering better performance and security in Microsoft Edge, using modern encryption on top of the continually improved TCP stack," Huitema says.

"We’re also going to continue to work with industry leaders and experts in the standards bodies to build an interoperable TLS 1.3 solution for the web."

Huitema demonstrates the criticality of the TLC 1.3 extensions in citing research that shows a mere 250ms delay is sufficient for users to throw up their hands and move to a different website.

The Internet Engineering Task Force is expected to publish TLS 1.3 ion coming months after it passes the standardisation process. ®


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