Differentiate between HTTP and HTTPS

Jessica Mishra
Last Updated: May 13, 2022

Introduction:

We may have seen websites starting with 'http:// ' or 'https://.' HTTP and HTTPS both are protocols used for the exchange of are protocols used to exchange. These might appear similar, but they are very different from each other.
 

In this blog, we will discuss the properties of HTTP and HTTPS. We will look at key differences between HTTP and HTTPS. Lastly, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

HTTP:

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It provides standard rules and regulations for the transmission of information on the World Wide Web. Web browsers request data from servers using HTTP, and in return, servers send a response using HTTP.

 

To get more detailed information on HTTP, check out the blog What is HTTP?

HTTPS:

HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. So, we can say that HTTPS is an encrypted (more secure) version of HTTP.

You might have noticed that when we are shopping on a website or making a hotel reservation when we go to the checkout page, the link changes from 'http:// ' to 'https://.' This ensures that our transaction is secure.
 

In short, we can say that:

HTTPS = HTTP + Cryptographic Protocols

Encryption in HTTPS:

HTTPS uses SSL( Secure Sockets Layer) protocol or TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol to ensure security. 

  1. Both use an asymmetric key algorithm, so they have a public key and a private key. 
  2. The clients have the public key, and the private key is kept with the server.
  3. HTTPS encrypts all the data being exchanged so that any outside source cannot steal information. The encrypted text is known as cipher.
  4. Both the parties decrypt the information using the keys. 

Key Points of Differences:

ParameterHTTPHTTPS
Full-Form  HyperText Transfer ProtocolHypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
Starts withhttp:// in address barhttps:// in address bar
 Port NumberTransmits data to Port Number 80Transmit data to Port Number 443
SecurityIt is unsecured as information is transmitted in plain text.It is secured as all the information transmitted is encrypted.
UsageMainly used for websites that provide information.Used primarily for websites that involve any transaction or any other sensitive information
Domain Name ValidationIt does not require an SSL certificate Requires SSL certificate
Protocol LayerApplication layer protocolTransfer layer protocol
SpeedPage Loading speed is relatively fasterPage loading speed is slower
SEOSearch engines do not prefer it.Search engines prefer it.
Developed By.Sir Timothy John invented it.Netscape Corporation invented it.

Advantages of HTTP

  1. HTTP pages can be stored in computer and internet caches, which makes it faster.
  2. It can be implemented with any other protocol on the internet. It does not need any kind of runtime support.
  3. Global applications are possible as it is usable over firewalls.
  4. Memory and CPU usage is low.
  5.  It is platform-independent; hence it allows cross-platform porting.

Disadvantages of HTTP

  1. There is no privacy whatsoever.
  2. The server is unavailable even after all the data has been transmitted to the client as the client does not take measures to close the connection.

Advantages of HTTPS

  1. It is secure and ensures privacy.
  2. An independent authority verifies the identity of the certificate owner. Hence each SSL certificate has authenticated and verified information.
  3. Search engines prefer it because of its security.

Disadvantages of HTTPS

  1. It can be slow as it requires an additional SSL handshake.
  2. Due to frequent encrypting and decrypting of data, there is a considerable computing overhead. 
  3. It is costly as websites need to have an SSL certificate. It should also be renewed regularly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is encryption?

Ans-> Encryption is the process of encoding the data to make it secure. Users can access encrypted data using encryption keys. HTTPS is the protocol with encryption out of HTTP and HTTPS.

 

2. What is asymmetrical encryption?

Ans-> When the public key and private key are different, then it is asymmetrical encryption. When they are the same, it is known as symmetric encryption.

 

3. Which is better, SSL or TLS?

Ans->  TLS is the successor of SSL and better than it. As TLS is more secure and faster.
 

4. Why is HTTP faster than HTTPS?

Ans-> HTTP is generally faster due to its simplicity as in HTTPS; we have an additional step of SSL handshake that makes the process a little more complicated. Both HTTP and HTTPS have their own advantages and disadvantages.

 

5. Can we use HTTP in cellular phones?

Ans-> Cellular phones generally prefer HTTPS to HTTP as HTTP is not optimized for cellular phones. Some applications like Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) use HTTPS to create mobile-optimized content. 

Key Takeaways:

In this blog, we discussed the differences between HTTP and HTTPS. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both HTTP and HTTPS.

Readers start your web development journey now with Intro to HTMLIntro to CSS, and JavaScript Introduction.

 

If you are preparing for your next web development interview, check out the blogs, 25 CSS Interview Questions, and 30 JavaScript interview questions.

 

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