This blog discusses the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.
If you are new to web development, this is a thought that will definitely bother you. At first, you might not even feel the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. But, as you go further down the rabbit hole, you will learn many surprising things.
HTTP and HTTPS are both data communication systems for the World Wide Web. However, the difference between them is not simply a letter. But what exactly is the difference, then, you may ask?
In this blog, we will dive deep into the technical subject for our audience. Don’t worry if you do not have the technical skills; this blog is for a general audience.
We will start by telling you what HTTP is and what some of its features are. Then, we will look at the other side of the coin. We will discuss the intricacies of HTTPS and what makes it different.
In the end, we will see the difference between HTTP and HTTPS to build clarity for our readers. Let’s begin!
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What is HTTP?
As mentioned before, HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is a data communication system.
In simpler words, HTTP is a protocol that is used to transmit hypertext over the internet. It is a mode of communication between a user and the server.
When a person makes a search query using Google or any search engine, it transmits the information to the server. This information is responded to with a list of the results that the user is looking for.
It is important to mention that each request is discrete, containing no information about previous inquiries.
In brief, HTTP is a plain text that communicates the demand of a user to the server.
Are HTTP Websites Safe?
Websites that use the HTTP system are not considered to be safe.
This is because the HTTP system is in plain text and not encrypted. This makes it vulnerable and prone to data theft.
Therefore, websites that are built on HTTP should not ask for any confidential information. The problem can be further worsened by attacks such as a middleman and data tampering.
Hence, if you are planning to operate a website for your business, do not rely on HTTP websites as a mode of communication.
Uses of HTTP Websites
HTTP is not that secure; therefore, it is only used for functions that do not require security. These include the following:
- Retrieving web pages from web servers.
- Downloading files from the internet.
- Submitting forms and sending data to web servers
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS is also a communication system, but it is the secure version of HTTP. In HTTP, the communication is in simple text, whereas in HTTPS, it is encrypted. This is the main difference between HTTP and HTTPS.
So instead of simply communicating information between a server and a user, it does something different. It uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for encryption.
Due to the fact that HTTP is very easily interceptable, users need something more secure when sharing confidential information.
Are HTTPS Websites More Secure?
Yes, this is why there is a big difference between HTTP and HTTPS. HTTPS websites have SLL or TLS to hide communication that is being made with a server.
In addition, HTTPS authenticates the identity of a web server. It ensures that the user is communicating with the server that they intend to use.
That’s not all HTTPS also protects integrity by making sure that no unauthorised users can modify anything during transmission.
Uses of HTTPS Websites
As HTTPS is more secure, it is mainly used for different purposes as compared to HTTP. Here are some uses of HTTPS:
- Processing online payments.
- Sending and receiving sensitive data, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
- Accessing secure web applications.
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The Bottom Line
So let’s review what we have discussed about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS in this blog.
HTTP and HTTPS are both communication protocols. They make communication possible between a user and a server.
When you make a search inquiry, these systems are used to ensure that you are getting the right information.
However, the difference between HTTP and HTTPS emerges due to security. HTTP is plain text, which makes it easy to intercept.
Any communication made using HTTP is prone to web attacks, leading to data theft. This is where HTTPS helps.
HTTPS uses TSL and SSL to layer the information that is being transmitted. This makes the information impossible to modify and hack.
Therefore, HTTP is used when simpler data is transmitted such as a simple inquiry. However, for confidential transmissions, HTTPS is used to ensure that the data isn’t leaked.
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