How is QUIC a direct comparison to TLS 1.3 and TLS 1.2?

Cloudflare Radar → Adoption & Usage has a graph “TLS 1.2 vs TLS 1.3 vs QUIC”:

How are these three a direct comparison?

(Couldn’t edit the 1st post)

I recall that there was some discussion about adding QUIC to the TLS graph when we launched it. Let me see if I can find it…

Our local subject matter expert on QUIC noted that it is “subtly different” than TLS1.3, so that’s why we included it in that chart.


Thanks. When I posted I forgot that TLS only runs over TCP. While QUIC does UDP. So the differentiation kind of makes sense. But QUIC can do more than just TLS1.3, right? So maybe “QUIC w/TLS1.3” would be more accurate.

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Not sure of the answer to “But QUIC can do more than just TLS1.3, right?” but I will check with the folks that know ™ internally, and also talk to them about the “QUIC w/TLS1.3” suggestion. Thanks for the feedback!

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Hi @olavrb, thanks for the question.

As the Radar page points out, the chart is the “Distribution of secure traffic by protocol”. The direct comparison makes sense here because it is based on analysis of HTTP traffic. TLS 1.2, TLS 1.3, and QUIC share similar security characteristics but they are different, and that difference is what is notable.

Importantly, it isn’t correct to say “QUIC with TLS 1.3” because the QUIC protocol security is distinct enough from TLS 1.3 that it really is its own thing.

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