ECT HTTP Header: Syntax, Directive, Examples

The ECT HTTP Header Client hint request header field indicates the effective connection type: slow-2g, 2g, 3g, 4g. Based on the time between the browser requesting a page and the effective type of the connection, effective connection type (ECT) refers to the measured network performance, returning a cellular connection type, such as 3G, even if the actual connection is tethered broadband or WiFi. There is only one value using the ECT HTTP Header. The value using the ECT HTTP Header is the “value”. An example of an ECT HTTP Header is written below. 

Accept-CH: ECT
ECT: 4g

The ECT HTTP Header Request Header is seen above. In the article, the ECT HTTP Header Syntax, Directives, and Uses examples will be processed. 

What is ECT HTTP Header?

The ECT HTTP Header hint request header field shows the effective connection type, which is one of the following: slow-2g, 2g, 3g, or 4g (fourth generation).

What is the Syntax of the ECT HTTP Header?

The ECT HTTP Header has only one value in its syntax. The syntax using the ECT HTTP Header is written below. 

ECT: <value>

What is the Directive of ECT HTTP Header?

The ECT HTTP Header only contains one directive. The value reflects the sort of connection that is effective. This is one of the following options: slow-2g, 2g, 3g, or 4g. An example directive for using the From HTTP Header is given below. 

ECT: 3g
ECT: slow-2g
ECT: 3g
ECT: 4g

How to use ECT HTTP Header?

Fast-2g, 2g, 3g, and 4g are all indicated by the ECT HTTP Header Client hint request header field in the request header of the request. The value represents the “network profile” that best matches the latency and bandwidth of the connection, rather than the actual mechanisms that were utilized to move the data over the network. For example, 2g will be used to represent a slow wifi connection with high latency and low bandwidth, whereas 4g could be used to represent a fast fiber-based broadband network with high latency and high bandwidth. It picks which information to provide to a client depending on the general characteristics of the network when a server receives a hint. Examples include sending reduced copies of photos and other resources via less competent connections. It is possible to utilize the value as a starting point for identifying what information should be delivered, which can then be refined further using information contained in the RTT and Downlink hints.

Examples of ECT HTTP Header Use

The following is an example of how to use the ECT HTTP Header. 

For instance, if a server wishes to accept the ECT HTTP Header, it must first opt-in by delivering the Accept-CH response header containing ECT HTTP Header.

Accept-CH: ECT

The client may then return an ECT HTTP Header on subsequent requests.

ECT: 3g

What is the Specification Document for ECT HTTP Header?

The following is the specification document of the ECT HTTP Header.

  • Network Information API Article discusses the ECT HTTP Header and its applications. Additionally, the page discusses the ECT HTTP Header’s definition and usage.

What are the types of ECT HTTP Header?

The ECT HTTP Header Types are listed below.

  1. The ECT HTTP Header Client hint is a request header that specifies the connection type that is currently in use.
  2. The ECT HTTP Header Client Hint is an extra response header that contains information about the response, such as its location or the server that provided it.

What are the similar HTTP Headers to the ECT HTTP Header?

There are other similar HTTP to the ECT HTTP Header. The examples are listed below. 

  • Downlink HTTP Header: The Downlink HTTP Header is similar to the ECT HTTP Header. The Downlink HTTP Header Client Hint request-header field contains the approximate bandwidth of the client’s connection to the server, expressed in megabits per second (Mbps). It is similar to the ECT HTTP Header, another request header type. 
  • RTT HTTP Header: The RTT HTTP Header is similar to the ECT HTTP Header. The RTT HTTP Header Client Hints returns the application layer’s approximate round trip time in milliseconds. Unlike transmission layer RTT, the RTT HTTP Header hint includes server processing time.
  • Save-Data HTTP Header: The Save-Data HTTP Header is similar to the ECT HTTP Header. It is a hint request header field is a request header type. The RTT HTTP Header Client Hints property returns the approximate round trip time, in milliseconds, at the application layer. In contrast to the transport layer RTT HTTP Header, the RTT HTTP Header hint includes server processing time. 
  • Accept-CH HTTP Header: The Accept-CH HTTP Header is similar to the ECT HTTP Header. A server may set the Accept-CH HTTP Header to indicate which client hint headers a client should include in subsequent requests. As with the ECT HTTP Header, which is likewise set by the server.
  • NetworkInformation.effectiveType: The NetworkInformation.effectiveType is similar to the ECT HTTP Header. The NetworkInformation.effectiveType interface’s read-only effective type property returns the connection’s effective type, which is one of slow-2g’, ‘2g’, ‘3g’, or ‘4g’. As with the ECT HTTP Header, this field indicates the effective connection type: slow-2g, 2g, 3g, or 4g.
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