What is Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS Protocol

Before knowing the difference between these two protocols you should know how browser works. Here is a great illustration by Vladstudio that helps you to understand the functionality of browser.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a protocol used in networking. When you type any web address in your web browser, your browser acts as a client, and the computer having the requested information acts as a server. When client requests for any information from the server, it uses HTTP protocol to do so. The server responds back to the client after the request completes. The response comes in the form of web page which you see just after typing the web address and press “Enter”.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a combination of two different protocols. It is more secure way to access the web. It is combination of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) and SSL/TLS protocol. It is more secure way to sending request to server from a client, also the communication is purely encrypted which means no one can know what you are looking for. This kind of communication is used for accessing those websites where security is required. Banking websites, payment gateway, emails (Gmail offers HTTPS by default in Chrome browser), and corporate sector websites are some great examples where HTTPS protocols are used.

For HTTPS connection, public key trusted and signed certificate is required for the server. These certificate comes either free or it costs few dollars depends on the signing authority. There is one other method for distributing certificates. Site admin creates certificates and loads in the browser of users. Now when user requests information to the web server, his identity can be verified easily.

Here are some major differences between HTTP and HTTPS:

URL begins with “http://” URL begins with “https://”
It uses port 80 for communication It uses port 443 for communication
Unsecured Secured
Operates at Application Layer Operates at Transport Layer
No encryption Encryption is present
No certificates required Certificates required

31 Responses

  1. In this article the description is very clear and helpful. It describes everything clearly. I enjoyed the article very much. I also have read a article about this topic here “http://www.techyv.com/article/http-and-https-difference-and-similarities” which is very helpful also.

  2. what a marvelous way of explaining issues. Thanks you made it so easy to understand the differences between http & https

  3. Everthing is understood. Can any one clearly explain why a hacker cant access the same. Dont need answers like it uses HTTP(S) and port 443 and certificates. Just a quick and clear understanding on that.

  4. Sir,
    I use the latest version of mozilla firefox in my linux (Ubuntu 14.04) desktop pc at home …

    I would like to know how to access almost the all websites in ”https format” in mozilla firefox ???
    I am sorry, if my question is an utter blunder … Because, I am not at all a techie … I am just a beginner in this computer field … Can you please do answer my above question ???

    Email : kannansoorej2009@gmail.com

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