Microsoft Edge, found exclusively on Windows 10, is a speedy browser, outclassing many of its rivals. But thanks to an experimental feature it could be up to 40% faster in some scenarios.
The feature in question is called TCP Fast Open, and if both the browser and the server at the other end support it, users might notice significant speed improvements when surfing the web. Mobile versions of Chrome support the feature on Android, but Microsoft introduced TCP Fast Open last month for the desktop. The feature showed up in one of the Insider Preview builds that rolled out, but so far it has been disabled by default.
TCP Fast Open allows the client to start sending data to the server much faster than before, because the client no longer waits for a full handshake to occur. That means that the client browser, in this case Edge, can shave hundreds of milliseconds off loading times. While that may not sound like much, it does add up and can make a big difference on high-latency connections.
As mentioned above, TCP Fast Open is only available in Insider Preview builds of Microsoft Edge, and it’s turned off by default. So here’s how to turn it on:
- Open the Edge browser
- Go to the three dot pane and click on Settings
- At the bottom of the page check that you have EdgeHTML 14.14361 or higher
- Click on the address bar and type about:flags and hit Enter
- Click on Enable TCP Fast Open under Networking
- Restart Edge
It’s important to note that you may not see any speed improvements on some pages. If the receiving server doesn’t support TCP Fast Open or doesn’t recognize the data your client is sending, it’ll simply default to the regular method for sending data.
For those of you not on Insider builds, don’t fret. Microsoft is determined to bring TCP Fast Open to everyone and improve loading speeds further once the TLS 1.3 protocol gets finalized this summer.