Amazon Silk is a web browser developed by Amazon for Kindle Fire and Fire Phone. It uses a split architecture where some of the processing is performed on Amazon's servers to improve webpage loading performance. It is based on the open source Chromium project that uses the Blink engine.
|Initial release||November 15, 2011|
|Operating system||Fire OS|
|Available in||English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese|
For each webpage, Silk decides which browser subsystems (networking, HTML or page rendering) to run locally on the device and which to run remotely on its own Amazon EC2 servers.
Silk uses Google's SPDY protocol to speed up loading of web pages. Silk gives SPDY performance improvements for non-SPDY optimized websites if the pages are sent through Amazon's servers. Some early reviewers found that cloud-based acceleration did not necessarily improve page loading speed, most notably on faster connections or for simpler web pages.
Some privacy organizations raised concerns with how Amazon passes Silk traffic via its servers, effectively operating as an Internet service provider for those using the browser. The Silk browser includes the option to turn off Amazon server-side processing. On July 26, 2016 it was reported that Silk prevents access to Google over HTTPS, but that bug has since been fixed.
Amazon says "a thread of silk is an invisible yet incredibly strong connection between two different things", and thus calls the browser Amazon Silk as it is the connection between Kindle Fire and Amazon's EC2 servers.
- "Amazon's Silk Browser May Not Be Smooth When It Comes to Privacy". PCWorld. September 28, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- "Amazon Silk is hiring: Software Development Engineers - SPDY". Aws.amazon.com. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- "Amazon Silk: Assisted Web Browsing (Sort Of) : The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed". Tomshardware.com. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- "Amazon's Silk Browser Acceleration Tested: Less Bandwidth Consumed, But Slower Performance". AnandTech. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Gregg Keizer (September 29, 2011), "Amazon's Silk browser raises privacy, security eyebrows", computerworld.com, Computerworld, pp. 1–2
- Thomas Claburn (September 29, 2011), "Amazon Silk Browser Prompts Privacy Worries", informationweek.com, InformationWeek
- Stephen Shankland (September 29, 2011), "Amazon Silk: One step forward, two steps back", news.cnet.com, CNET
- "Advisory: Amazon’s Silk Browser on the Kindle Didn’t Use SSL for Google Search". Nightwatch Cybersecurity. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
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