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Don't adjust your mind - it's reality that is malfunctioning

HttpWebRequest Class has poor performance

Affected Products

  • .NET Framework 1.0
  • .NET Framework 1.1


The HttpWebRequest class performs poorly when sending requests to a server which contain a body.


The HttpWebRequest class performs poorly when sending requests which contain body data to a server. When monitoring the network traffic the following behaviour is seen:
  • The client sends the header of the request to the server.
  • After 350ms the rest of the request is send to the server.


The HttpWebRequest class waits for a HTTP1.1/100-Continue message before sending the body of the request. Additionally, the class supports the Nagle algorithm, which prevents the sending of many small packets to the same target. Instead, the server waits approximately 200 milliseconds, if there are other packets to be send to the same target. It then combines these requests in one packet.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
A hotfix exists (QFE810814) for version 1.0 of the Framework in the languages english and german. The patch is localized for other languages on request. Since it is a quick fix engineering (QFE), it can only be obtained directly from Microsft Support (PSS).
For the .NET Framework 1.1, no patch is necessary, since the behaviour can be controlled programmatically:
HttpWebrequest webRequest = (HttpWebRequest) Webrequest.Create("http://myserver/myfile");
webRequest.ServicePoint.Expect100Continue = false;
webRequest.ServicePoint.UseNagleAlgorithm = false;

Other Information

Note that you must have installed service pack 2 for the .NET Framework 1.0 before applying the patch.
Additionally, some configuration entries must be made in the machine.config file:
  1. Create a new <settings> section within the <> section with the following content:
    <servicePointManager useNagleAlgorithm="false" />
    <servicePointManager expect100Continue="false" />
  2. In order for the .NET Framework to recognize this new section a settings sectionGroup handler needs to be added to the <configSections> portion of machine.config file:
    <sectionGroup name="" >
    <section name="settings" type="System.Net.Configuration.NetConfigurationHandler, System, Version=1.0.3300.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" />

Posted by Henning Krause on Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:36 PM, last modified on Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:32 PM
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