Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

Have you ever seen http:// or https:// in a browser's address bar while surfing a website? In a nutshell, both of these are protocols that allow a web server and a web browser to communicate about a certain website. But, what are the features that distinguish these two? Well, the most important difference between "http" and "https" is that "https" is far more secure than "http". Read through this article to find out more about "http" and "https" and how exactly they are different from each other.

The protocol used to send hypertext over the Web is called the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The most popular protocol for data transport over the Web is "http" since it is straightforward, yet the data (i.e., hypertext) transferred via "http" isn't as secure as we would like. In fact, hyper-text transferred over "http" is sent as plain text, making it reasonably simple for anyone to read if data is intercepted between the browser and server.

What is HTTP?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol is what HTTP stands for. On the World Wide Web, HTTP provides a set of guidelines and standards that control how any information may be delivered. HTTP establishes uniform communication standards for web browsers and servers.

Built on top of TCP, HTTP is an application layer network protocol. The logical connection between text nodes is made through HTTP, which uses hypertext structured text. As each command is executed independently without requiring a reference to a prior ran command, it is also referred to as a "stateless protocol."

Advantages of HTTP

  • On the Internet or other networks, HTTP can be used in conjunction with other protocols.

  • HTTP pages are fast accessible since they are cached in computer and internet caches.

  • Cross-platform porting is made possible by platform independence.

  • Doesn't require Runtime assistance

  • Useful despite Firewalls! Applications could be used globally.

  • There is no network overhead to build and maintain session state and information because it is not connection-oriented.

Limitations of HTTP

  • Since anybody may access content, there is no privacy.

  • Data integrity is a serious problem since the content can be changed. HTTP is insecure as there are no encryption techniques utilized.

What is HTTPS?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is known as HTTPS. It is a very sophisticated and safe version of HTTP. The port number 443 is used for data communication. By using SSL to encrypt the entire transmission, it enables secure transactions. It combines HTTP and the SSL/TLS protocol. It offers a network server's identification in an encrypted and safe manner.

Additionally, HTTP enables the establishment of a safe, encrypted connection between the server and the browser. It provides data security in both directions. This aids in preventing the theft of potentially sensitive information.

With the aid of a key-based encryption method, SSL transactions are negotiated via the HTTPS protocol. This key typically has a strength of 40 or 128 bits.

Why Was HTTPS Developed?

Imagine going "online" to sites like Amazon or Flipkart. You may have observed that the address bar on these online shopping sites changes to use "https" as soon as we hit the Checkout button. This is done to ensure the security of any following data transfer, such as a financial transaction. And for this reason, "https" was developed so that a secure session could be established between the Server and the Browser initially.

"https" was created by combining http with cryptographic protocols like SSL and/or TLS. Additionally, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is utilized to ensure this security in "https" since public keys may be used by a variety of web browsers whereas private keys can only be used by the web server of that specific website. These public keys are distributed using Certificates that the browser manages. These certificates can be verified in your browser's settings.

Advantages of HTTPS

  • Sites using HTTPS will typically have a redirect in place. As a result, even if you enter HTTP://, the page will switch to https over a secure connection.

  • It enables consumers to conduct safe online transactions like banking.

  • Any user is protected by SSL technology, which fosters confidence.

  • The identity of the certificate owner is confirmed by an impartial body. Therefore, the certificate owner's information is unique and authenticated in each SSL certificate.

Limitations of HTTPS

  • SSL data can only be encrypted during network transmission; the HTTPS protocol is unable to prevent information theft from cached web pages. Thus, it is unable to delete any text from the browser's memory.

  • The organization's network and processing overhead may both increase due to HTTPS.

Differences between HTTP and HTTPS

The following table highlights the major differences between HTTP and HTTPS −

Parameter HTTP HTTPS
URL URLs in HTTP start with "http://" URLs start with "https://"
Port For communication, HTTP utilized port number 80. HTTPS uses port 443.
Security HTTP is thought to be unsecure. HTTPS is regarded as a secure protocol.
OSI Layer HTTP operates at the Application Layer. HTTPS operates at the Transport Layer.
Encryption There is no encryption in HTTP. HTTPS encrypts the data.
SSL certificates HTTP requires no certificates. It requires SSL certificates.
Speed HTTP is quicker than HTTPS. HTTPS is comparatively slower.
Search rankings HTTP does not increase search rankings. HTTPS increases search rankings.


To conclude, the most important point that one should keep in mind that HTTPS is a secure protocol than HTTP. HTTPS uses encryption, SSL certificates, and data hashtags for secured data transmission, whereas HTTP does not.