While visiting any website, you must have noticed the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that contains the website name along with either HTTP or HTTPS, such as https://www.google.com/. But why some websites are opened with HTTP and some with HTTPS. So, the answer is security, which means the websites that are secured or encrypted with an SSL certificate, open with HTTPS, and websites without any encryption or SSL, open with HTTP. In this topic HTTP vs HTTPS, we will understand the basics of HTTP & HTTPS, and what is the difference between both of them.
What is HTTP?
- HTTP is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer protocol. It is a protocol that is used by clients and servers to enable a website to communicate with other websites.
- When we enter a domain name along with http://, it informs the browser to connect over the HTTP.
- It sends and receives data packets over the network using TCP(Transmission Control Protocol) on port 80.
- Typical communication between client and server is done by the cycle HTTP request and HTTP Response.
- HTTP request: The HTTP request is sent by the client(browser) to the webserver.
- HTTP response: The request is processed by the server and it sends back the response to the client that is known as the HTTP response.
- The HTTP request and response are in the form of simple text and can be read by anyone who is monitoring the session. It means what information is asked and receive from a website that uses HTTP can be known to any person, which can be a threat.
What is HTTPS?
- HTTPs is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it is an encrypted and advanced form of HTTP.
- As its name suggests it makes a secure connection between the Client and the webserver to avoid any threat.
- It also sends and receives data packets using the TCP protocol, but uses Port 443, with a secure connection using an SSL (TLS) certificate.
- When we enter https:// with a domain name in the address bar, it informs the browser to connect over HTTPS.
- When the data is transmitted over the network
- As it is secured, hence the HTTP request and response are also secure. Instead of plain text, it transmits the encrypted data that would be very difficult to understand and hack by hackers.
- TLS uses Public key encryption technology to encrypt the data, which requires two keys: Public Key & Private Key.
Why Use HTTPS?
There are various reasons that websites are switching from HTTP to HTTPS, which are given below:
- Trustworthy for visitors/users
When we visit any new website, and it shows “Not Secure” as shown in the below image. Most of the users think twice before continuing with it, as it may have threats and can be harmful to their information or system as well.
On the other hand, using a secure website with HTTPs connection makes trust between the users. The SSL certificate encrypts the transmitted data and also prevents any type of cyber-attacks.
2. Secure for both users and Owner of the website
As the HTTPS uses SSL/TLS connection that makes every transmission of data from client to server is secure. It does not only secure the Users information from any malicious parties but also makes the website safe for its owner.
3. SEO friendly
The websites that use https over http, are much SEO friendly. It is because the Google search engine prefers the https websites over http.
Difference Between HTTP and HTTPs
|Parameter for Comparison||HTTP||HTTPS|
|Stands for||It stands for Hypertext Transfer protocol.||It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.|
|Port Used for data transmission||It uses Port Number 80 for
|It uses Port number 443 with SSL for data transmission.|
|Prefix used||The URL starts with “http://”||The URL starts with “https://”|
|Security||The websites that are operated on http are not secured for any sensitive information such as bank details.||The websites that are operated on https are secured for any type of transaction.|
|Encryption||The data is not encrypted and remains in the form of plain text.||The data is encrypted and remains in encrypted form.|
|Best for||Http can be used for educational websites or blogs, where we don’t need to enter any person or crucial detail.||Https is best for all those websites that require any crucial or personal information from users. Such as Banking sites, eCommerce sites, etc.|
|Protocol||It uses TCP protocol.||It also uses TCP protocol along with SSL/TSL connection.|
|Search Ranking||It does not improve search ranking on Google or other search engines.||It improves search ranking on Google or other search engines.|
|Communication/page loading speed||It has a fast page loading speed as it does not require any encryption & decryption.||It has a slower page loading speed than Http, as the data is first encrypted and then decrypted.|
|OSI layer||It works on the Application Layer of the OSI model.||It works on the Network layer of the OSI model.|
After discussing all HTTP vs HTTPS, we can say, that to make a website with secure data transmission, go with HTTPS. On other hand, if a website is just to provide general information without taking any personal information of a user, then HTTP can be used.
But nowadays, HTTPS has become a standard protocol, and also affects the SEO and google ranking, so most websites either it is blogging or education, are moving towards the HTTPS.