HTTP(S) Check Upgrade | HTTP(S) Monitoring Improvements from Uptime.com

Our bread and butter is checking for uptime, and we always recommend users begin their monitoring with the HTTP(S) check. We call it a basic check type, but its functionality is boosted when you start exploring optional parameters.

The Uptime.com HTTP(S) check can do a lot more than check for server status 200 OK. Our check is ideal for anything from your home page to a shopping cart, the output of a job, or an API endpoint; send strings and expect a response, pass tokens and HTTP Headers for authorization, or to send or specify how data should be received. Use Basic Auth, or fail on matched strings. With these extra steps, you learn more about what the server is doing and how it’s handling requests from end users.

If it’s publicly accessible, the HTTP(S) check can “see” and tell you if it’s alive.

New updates offer you even more. Let’s dive into the details.

HTTP(S) Powered by cURL

Here at Uptime.com, we use cURL frequently for research and testing. We confirm our findings with it, we explore data viewing websites as our checks see them, and we use it to diagnose troublesome outages.

Check out https://curl.se/ to get started with cURL

cURL is a tool most useful for transferring and reviewing data sent from servers over a variety of network protocols. Its bevvy of options allow end users to check server status, review TLS certificates, track requests in as much or as little detail as they like, and much more. It’s a powerful command-line tool that you likely use every day in your own work.

Our new check tool uses cURL libraries to bring some amazing new options, and more in-depth monitoring, to this “basic” check type.

HTTP/2 support

HTTP/2 protocol was developed primarily at Google, and its design was based on improving load latency in a web page. The standard is supported by most major browsers, and adoption is growing. The new HTTP(S) plugin is designed to work with websites that have HTTP/2 enabled.

To use HTTP/2, the server must utilize SSL/HTTPS, and the server needs to support HTTP/2. If you meet those criteria, Uptime.com is smart enough to know which to use. Simply create your check and enter the URL you want to monitor.

Tip: Be sure to use the Run Test button to ensure the check is up and running before deployment.

TLS 1.3 Support

TLS 1.3 is supported with this update, which is an improved standard for communicating securely across the internet. One-minute monitoring, combined with an SSL check, will provide greater context and detail for SSL errors. While HTTP(S) confirms no SSL errors in regular usage, the SSL check provides alerts based around certificate expiration.

# ./check_http_v2 -H expired.badssl.com -D -S

HTTP CRITICAL - Invalid HTTP response received from host on port 443: cURL returned 60 - SSL certificate problem: certificate has expired

# ./check_http_v2 -H wrong.host.badssl.com -D -S

HTTP CRITICAL - Invalid HTTP response received from host on port 443: cURL returned 51 - SSL: no alternative certificate subject name matches target host name 'wrong.host.badssl.com'

# ./check_http_v2 -H self-signed.badssl.com -D -S

HTTP CRITICAL - Invalid HTTP response received from host on port 443: cURL returned 60 - SSL certificate problem: self signed certificate

# ./check_http_v2 -H untrusted-root.badssl.com -D -S

HTTP CRITICAL - Invalid HTTP response received from host on port 443: cURL returned 60 - SSL certificate problem: self signed certificate in certificate chain

An example of the type of validation occurring during every check. 

The improved check also verifies the peer certificate and host using the System CAs. For those exercising more control over trusted certificates, this improvement allows better monitoring with fewer interruptions.

Improved redirect method

Uptime.com has improved redirect following, allowing the HTTP(S) check to monitor redirects efficiently. Following redirects is an important part of confirming connectivity, and whether the end user can reach the page, but the limit of redirects followed remains at 15.

 

Tip: Need to follow more redirects? Try a Transaction Check or an API check.

Better chunked content support

Chunked content is a mechanism built into HTTP/1.1, which sends content in a series of non-overlapping “chunks” independent to one another. Because cURL is more efficient at handling chunked content, the HTTP(S) check now better handles web pages that serve it.

Chunked content support works when this header is available:

`Transfer-Encoding: chunked`

At Uptime.com, our monitoring solution encourages you to be efficient.

More Validations Built into Every Check

Our HTTP(S) check just got a major power boost, enabling you to monitor more with every interval. More assurance your infrastructure is working as intended means better peace of mind. More detail about what has gone wrong – alongside our already fast and reliable alerting – means when it does go down you will be prepared.

 

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Richard Bashara is Uptime.com's lead content marketer, working on technical documentation, blog management, content editing and writing. His focus is on building engagement and community among Uptime.com users. Richard brings almost a decade of experience in technology, blogging, and project management to help Uptime.com remain the industry leading monitoring solution for both SMBs and enterprise brands. He resides in California, enjoys collecting and restoring arcade machines, and photography.

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