HTTP

HTTP

Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol.” HTTP is the protocol used to transfer data over the web. It is part of the Internet protocol suite and defines commands and services used for transmitting webpage data.

HTTP uses a server-client model. A client, for example, may be a home computer, laptop, or mobile device. The HTTP server is typically a web host running web server software, such as Apache or IIS. When you access a website, your browser sends a request to the corresponding web server and it responds with an HTTP status code. If the URL is valid and the connection is granted, the server will send your browser the webpage and related files.

Some common HTTP status codes include:

  1. 200 – successful request (the webpage exists)
  2. 301 – moved permanently (often forwarded to a new URL)
  3. 401 – unauthorized request (authorization required)
  4. 403 – forbidden (access is not allowed to the page or directory)
  5. 500 – internal server error (often caused by an incorrect server configuration)

HTTP also defines commands such as GET and POST, which are used to handle form submissions on websites. The CONNECT command is used to facilitate a secure connection that is encrypted using SSL. Encrypted HTTP connections take place over HTTPS, an extension of HTTP designed for secure data transmissions.

NOTE: URLs that begin with “http://” are accessed over the standard hypertext transfer protocol and use port 80 by default. URLs that start with “https://” are accessed over a secure HTTPS connection and often use port 443.

 HTTPS 

 HTTPS  stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the protocol where encrypted HTTP data is transferred over a secure connection. By using secure connection such as Transport Layer Security or Secure Sockets Layer, the privacy and integrity of data are maintained and authentication of websites is also validated.


Description: HTTPS ensures data security over the network – mainly public networks like Wi-Fi. HTTP is not encrypted and is vulnerable to attackers who are eavesdropping and can gain access to website database and sensitive information. By virtue, HTTPS encryption is done bi-directionally, which means that the data is encrypted at both the client and server sides. Only the client can decode the information that comes from the server. So, HTTPS does encryption of data between a client and a server, which protects against eavesdropping, forging of information and tampering of data. But how do you ensure if you are seeing an HTTPS-enabled web page? Just check the address bar that carries the site name against different background colours with a lock icon at the left corner. However, this design can be different for different browsers. For example, consider going to a bank website, say hdfcbank.com. A non-secured HTTP will open up. But when we go to the login page, we can see an HTTPS in the address bar with some specific design. Implementation: HTTPS is mainly used by those websites which deal with monetary transactions or transfer user’s personal data which could be highly sensitive. Banking websites are common examples. In layman’s terms, HTTPS ensures that users watch websites that they want to watch. Data exchanged between the user and the website is not read, stolen or tampered with by a third party. But it can’t encrypt everything – it has some limitations too. For example, HTTPS can’t encrypt host addresses and port numbers.

What does the S mean at the end of https?

But using secure HTTP is especially important when using wireless in a public place. When you connect to a server using HTTPs, the “s” stands for secure. More specifically, your HTTP request is using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is a protocol used to secure communications between a client and server.

Advantages of HTTP:

  • HTTP can be implemented with other protocol on the Internet, or on other networks
  • HTTP pages are stored on computer and internet caches, so it is quickly accessible
  • Platform independent which allows cross-platform porting
  • Does not need any Runtime support
  • Usable over Firewalls! Global applications are possible
  • Not Connection Oriented; so no network overhead to create and maintain session state and information

Advantages of HTTPS

  • In most cases, sites running over HTTPS will have a redirect in place. Therefore, even if you type in HTTP:// it will redirect to an https over a secured connection
  • It allows users to perform secure e-commerce transaction, such as online banking.
  • SSL technology protects any users and builds trust
  • An independent authority verifies the identity of the certificate owner. So each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner.

Limitations of HTTP

  • There is no privacy as anyone can see content
  • Data integrity is a big issue as someone can alter the content. That’s why HTTP protocol is an insecure method as no encryption methods are used.
  • Not clear who you are talking about. Anyone who intercepts the request can get the username and password.

Limitations of HTTPS

  • HTTPS protocol can’t stop stealing confidential information from the pages cached on the browser
  • SSL data can be encrypted only during transmission on the network. So it can’t clear the text in the browser memory
  • HTTPS can increase computational overhead as well as network overhead of the organization

Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

Parameter HTTP HTTPS
Protocol It is hypertext transfer protocol. It is hypertext transfer protocol with secure.
Security It is less secure as the data can be vulnerable to hackers. It is designed to prevent hackers from accessing critical information. It is secure against such attacks.
Port It uses port 80 by default It was use port 443 by default.
Starts with HTTP URLs begin with http:// HTTPs URLs begin with https://
Used for It’s a good fit for websites designed for information consumption like blogs. If the website needs to collect the private information such as credit card number, then it is a more secure protocol.
Scrambling HTTP does not scramble the data to be transmitted. That’s why there is a higher chance that transmitted information is available to hackers. HTTPS scrambles the data before transmission. At the receiver end, it descrambles to recover the original data. Therefore, the transmitted information is secure which can’t be hacked.
Protocol It operates at TCP/IP level. HTTPS does not have any separate protocol. It operates using HTTP but uses encrypted TLS/SSL connection.
Domain Name Validation HTTP website do not need SSL. HTTPS requires SSL certificate.
Data encryption HTTP website doesn’t use encryption. HTTPS websites use data encryption.
Search Ranking HTTP does not improve search rankings. HTTPS helps to improve search ranking.
Speed Fast Slower than HTTP
Vulnerability Vulnerable to hackers It Is highly secure as the data is encrypted before it is seen across a network.
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