What is HTTP?

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is an application protocol.

Using hyperlinks embedded in hypertext the web developers are able to connect web pages. HTTP is a base of data communication for WWW (World Wide Web). HTTP was invented by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989.

HTTP acts as a request-response protocol in the client-server computing model. For instance, let us consider a browser as a client and an application running on a computer hosting a website as a server.

The client first initiates a HTTP request message to the server.The server then collects requested resources such as HTML files or any other contents and responses back to the client.If the requested resources are not found on the server it will send an error to the client.

Methods in HTTP

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol or HTTP allows two distinct methods for information retrieval. The two methods in HTTP are Persistent and Nonpersistent transmission.

Non Persistent Transmission

It requires a connection setup for each object which we want from the server.

  • Connection to server for web page

  • Webpage download

  • Connection closed

  • We again establish a connection for each object and get the objects downloaded.

Persistent Transmission

It requires connection setup once and each object can use that connection for information or object retrieval.

  • Connection to server for web page

  • Download the webpage

  • Connection closed

  • Then establish the connection again for objects or information once for retrieval.

  • At the end, close the connection for both.


Consider a Real-life example as given below −


When we are communicating over a walky-talky, If both talk together, then the communication will not be successful in either end. We maintain a rule like when one person speaks and others should not speak. This is what is meant by a protocol in networking.

HTTP is an "application layer" protocol for establishing communication between a web browser and a web server. This can transmit "hypermedia" files.

It works based on the "client-server" model. A client always requests a service and the server will service the client. In a similar way, a web browser places a request, and the web server serving the request. HTTP is a stateless, connectionless, and media-independent protocol.

There is also one another protocol called https where "s" stands for secured connection. All the money transactions must have "https" because we need to transfer and handle money online securely.