What is HTTP?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It allows communication between different systems (client and server) through transmitting and receiving information. It is the most widely used protocol to transfer data from a web server to a browser in order to allow users to view web pages. HTTP offers a set of rules and standards which directs how should information be transmitted on the World Wide Web. There are two main kinds of HTTP messages: requests and responses.

HTTP uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), to send and receive data packets over the web. It uses port 80. HTTP uses Hypertext structured text which establishes the logical link between nodes containing text. It is also known as “stateless protocol” as each command is executed separately, without using the reference of the previous run command. 

Key Points of HTTP

  1. It can be integrated with other protocols or networks over the Internet.
  2. It does not need any Runtime support.
  3. It is usable over Firewalls.
  4. The HTTP protocol is an insecure method as no encryption methods are used thus make anyone see and modify the data.
  5. It does not need network overhead to create and maintain session state and information.


What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a highly advanced and secure version of HTTP. It provides encrypted and secure identification of a network server. HTTPS also uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to send and receive data packets. It uses port 443, within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security (TLS).

It is a combination of SSL/TLS protocol and HTTP. It uses SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, which helps in creating a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser, thereby protecting potentially sensitive information from being stolen as it is transferred between the server and the browser. This bi-directional security of data helps in protecting potentially sensitive information from being stolen. The SSL transactions are negotiated with the help of a key-based encryption algorithm where the key is generally 40 or 128 bits in strength.

Key Points of HTTPS

  1. The connection between client and browser is encrypted using SSL.
  2. HTTPS will have a redirect in place. This ensures if user type in HTTP:// it redirects to an https over a secured connection.
  3. HTTPS protocol can’t stop stealing confidential information from the pages cached on the browser.
  4. It doesn’t clear the text in the browser memory.
  5. It verifies the identity of the certificate owner.
  6. It increases the network overhead of the organization.


SSL/TLS certificate validation levels

Before issuing an SSL certificate to an organization, certificate authority (CA) verifies the organization to prove that it actually owns and operates the domain. This is what’s known as SSL certificate validation. There are different levels of validation:

Domain Validation SSL Certificates: It is the least firm level of validation. It validates the person/organization who is applying for the certificate is actually the owner of the domain. This level of validation is the cheapest and usually a good option for small portfolio sites, blogs, etc. 

Organization Validation SSL Certificates: It validates the organization’s identity basically name and address along with the domain ownership. This makes it more trustworthy for users than Domain Validation certificates.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates: It involves a full background check of the organization basically the registration proof of business, address of the organization, etc. This SSL certificate is most trustworthy than the other two. This is expensive and the highest level of validation.

The main difference between HTTP and HTTPS



Hyper-text exchanged using HTTP protocol pass as a plain text which means that anyone between the browser and server can read it relatively easily if one intercepts this exchange of data. This is the reason why the data exchanged using HTTP isn’t as secure.

HTTPS transmits the data packets with a security(public) key using an encrypted connection. The public key is then decrypted on the recipient side. The public key is deployed on the server, and included in an SSL(Secure sockets Layer) certificate. The certificates are cryptographically signed by a Certificate Authority (CA), and each browser has a list of CAs which it implicitly trusts.


Parameter HTTP HTTPS
Protocol It uses Hypertext transfer protocol with TCP/IP It uses Hypertext transfer protocol with TLS/SSL connection
Port The default port is 80 The default port is 443
Security It is less secure due to the absence of an SSL certificate SSL certificates make it more secure
URL format It starts with “http://”  It starts with “https://” 
Data Encryption It doesn’t use data encryption Data is encrypted and send over the internet
Speed It is Fast Slower as compared to HTTP
Domain validation It requires an SSL certificate It doesn’t require an SSL certificate