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What is the Difference Between http and https?

Https, or secure http.
Http is not encrypted.
The http or https client, such as a web browser, establishes a connection to a server on a standard port.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http) is a system for transmitting and receiving information across the Internet. Http serves as a request and response procedure that all agents on the Internet follow so that information can be rapidly, easily, and accurately disseminated between servers, which hold information, and clients, who are trying to access it. Http is commonly used to access html pages, but other resources can be utilized as well through http. In many cases, clients may be exchanging confidential information with a server, which needs to be secured in order to prevent unauthorized access. For this reason, https, or secure http, was developed by Netscape corporation to allow authorization and secured transactions.

In many ways, https is identical to http, because it follows the same basic protocols. The http or https client, such as a Web browser, establishes a connection to a server on a standard port. When a server receives a request, it returns a status and a message, which may contain the requested information or indicate an error if part of the process malfunctioned. Both systems use the same Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme, so that resources can be universally identified. Use of https in a URI scheme rather than http indicates that an encrypted connection is desired.

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There are some primary differences between http and https, however, beginning with the default port, which is 80 for http and 443 for https. Https works by transmitting normal http interactions through an encrypted system, so that in theory, the information cannot be accessed by any party other than the client and end server. There are two common types of encryption layers: Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), both of which encode the data records being exchanged.

When using an https connection, the server responds to the initial connection by offering a list of encryption methods it supports. In response, the client selects a connection method, and the client and server exchange certificates to authenticate their identities. After this is done, both parties exchange the encrypted information after ensuring that both are using the same key, and the connection is closed. In order to host https connections, a server must have a public key certificate, which embeds key information with a verification of the key owner's identity. Most certificates are verified by a third party so that clients are assured that the key is secure.

Https is used in many situations, such as log-in pages for banking, forms, corporate log ons, and other applications in which data needs to be secure. However, if not implemented properly, https is not infallible, and therefore it is extremely important for end users to be wary about accepting questionable certificates and cautious with their personal information while using the Internet.

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Discuss this Article

anon195350
Post 171

To the point information. Useful and can be easily understood by a commoner.

anon186351
Post 170

Could you provide some more information related to protocols?

anon166036
Post 158

It's good and easily understandable

anon158623
Post 155

https is just secure for preventing unauthourized access. it works like a proxy server.

anon149497
Post 148

thanks for crystal clarification between the two http and https.

anon118810
Post 139

Many thanks. I'm a newbie and learned something new.

anon118076
Post 138

The best question I have not seen asked. Why?

Why would a company have both http:// and https:// The user is only told to go to the http://site. The owner or someone else knows about the https://site. Why? I am referring to websites that do request very private information! This has to be best question of the day! Why would a checked out clean site do this? Why?

anon116835
Post 136

thank you very much. it really cleared my basic doubts. Thanks once again. Nishank

anon114585
Post 134

wow! Awesome explanation man! well done. Dev, sys-admin.

anon110920
Post 132

it was really a nice concept to understand for new readers.

anon110456
Post 131

Detailing about http and https is very good. Even a layman like me can understand. Thank you. - Sateesh K.

anon108513
Post 130

How can we create an SSL certificate ourselves and how do we install our own SSL certificate?

anon105835
Post 128

nice post. it really help me know more, although basic, important information. thanks!

anon105339
Post 127

Nice article and it explains the basics of http and https. Keep it up.

anon104489
Post 126

It was good. thanks for your information.

anon104105
Post 125

can you please explain with some examples?

anon102670
Post 124

It's very helpful and one can easily get to know about http and https.

anon102669
Post 123

it's really easy to understand, and a better way to get to know the details.

anon101768
Post 122

very good article. keep it up

anon100100
Post 120

Very nice. It's a good article.

anon97774
Post 118

it was very good and easy to understand by a new reader as well.

anon96733
Post 117

great concept. it's too simple and easy to understand. Thanks.

anon96156
Post 115

good. gives basic information.

anon95908
Post 114

Good one, useful for me.

anon94338
Post 113

Good one.

anon93859
Post 112

it was good.

anon93151
Post 111

very good article and very much useful. Thanks for letting me know the difference between http and https.

anon93121
Post 110

thanks, your article is very simple and helpful.

anon92267
Post 107

Thanks. Your articles are short and easy to understand.

anon92002
Post 106

Good post.

anon90226
Post 105

good details in simple, user friendly language. Good work.

anon89272
Post 104

really worthwhile and simple way of presentation.

anon89157
Post 103

Thanks for clearing up the difference between http and https.

anon88629
Post 102

Thanks for this. I appreciate it.

anon88278
Post 101

This post impressed me. Good.

anon88130
Post 100

According to me, its a very good description about http and https.

anon88099
Post 99

Simply superb. Thanks for your info.

anon87870
Post 98

good work.

anon86869
Post 95

Great job dear. Is there any effect on SEO?

Thanks, sathish.

anon85410
Post 93

Really useful article. Thanks.

anon85332
Post 92

great explanation of the difference between http: and https: great job Leo!

anon83793
Post 91

Short and sweet without much getting deep into complexities of technical stuff.. Great efforts. -M.Aziz

anon83468
Post 90

I want to know functional/technical difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

anon83232
Post 88

nice post in simple words.

anon77315
Post 86

Thanks. Really, i was always confused on this, but when i read this pages then my confusion has been cleared. Really, thanks very much.

anon77299
Post 85

Very good reply and easy to understand.

anon76788
Post 84

very nice information that was really useful.

anon76767
Post 83

It is described in very simple language.Thanks a lot. Kailash S. (Cavinkare Pvt.Ltd. Haridwar)

anon76185
Post 82

Very easy to understand! --Subbu, Mumbai

anon75563
Post 81

thanks. it's really a useful article.

anon74992
Post 80

thank you very much. it really cleared my basic doubts. Thanks once again.

anon74793
Post 79

Great piece of info.

anon74536
Post 78
anon73970
Post 77

Excellent overview. I am a computer engineering student and I appreciate your work.

anon73948
Post 76

good info.

anon73561
Post 75

Nice article. Thanks. Prabu R.

anon72851
Post 73

Nice post. Allan J.

anon72645
Post 72

Nice article! Very much helpful for me. --gunasekhar

anon71312
Post 69

Good one. Small effort and good effect.

anon69944
Post 68

Really a nice article. (Dinesh the network King!)

anon69729
Post 67

Good. It's really a nice article giving a clear overview of the required content. Thank you.

anon68899
Post 66

can you post more on http and https?

anon68565
Post 65

Thanks for the post. May i know some examples where we can use "http" and "https"? -Manohar G

anon68338
Post 63

it's really nice and very simple to understand.

anon67502
Post 62

Information shared was very useful. Thank you.

-Manohar

anon65480
Post 60

This is really very nice and helpful to understand. Thanks.

anon65089
Post 59

Thanks for giving such a clear and precise differences.

anon64998
Post 58

something's bothering me for a while: if I have a form on http:// and action of the form is https:// are the submitted data on the form encrypted and safe? asking because it's "sent" from a not-secure page? any idea?

anon64879
Post 57

Short and to the point. Very informative.

anon64553
Post 56

it's clearly given what the difference is. thank you.

anon64051
Post 55

Good article.

anon62893
Post 54

It's good information to get clear idea about HTTP and HTTPS. --Magukutti.

anon62016
Post 53

a nice article for beginner. helps in understanding the basic difference between http and https.

anon61222
Post 52

pretty good info about http and https. thanks for the author who provided this.

anon60149
Post 51

Very good information is posted here. But we are looking for a detailed description.

anon57538
Post 49

HTTPS encrypts the values that is sent during the postbacks, all the viewstate data will be in encrypted format. where as HTTP doesn't encrypt the postback values and will be in string format. Options for configuring different security level will be done in IIS or web server. Client may or may not have certificates. it depends on the web server security configuration. Correct me if am wrong :) mv kotekar Thank you.

anon55522
Post 47

I am still confuses with this. Should I know the functional difference between this two?

Thanks in advance. --Arvind

anon54902
Post 46

I want to know the actual functional or technical working of both HTTP and HTTPS, as well as the functional differences between them.

anon54901
Post 45

It's a good article. Gives basic information about http and https.

anon54389
Post 43

Very nice article.

anon54125
Post 42

A sweet, short and complete picture of the topic

anon52981
Post 41

Https works in the transport layer and http in the presentation layer.

anon52432
Post 39

It's a good article, giving basic information about http adn https. Nice work.

anon52177
Post 38

It's a good article.

anon51502
Post 37

It's really a very good answers. i am able to sort out all my queries. thanks.

anon51061
Post 36

Really nice answer.

anon50715
Post 35

It's a good article. it cleared my questions.

Thank you.

anon48859
Post 32

really good article! by sarath

anon48629
Post 31

It's really nice information.

anon47761
Post 30

nice article. it may be helpful to new comers. thanks anilaluvala

anon47737
Post 29

Very informative to understand the basic difference, which will help even a layman to have a nice idea. Rajesh

anon47340
Post 28

Nice article. Informative.

anon44610
Post 27

good article.

anon44569
Post 26

What are the advantages of https?

anon43593
Post 25

good article, nicely posted.

anon43423
Post 24

great, it's really a great article. i was just looking for this kind of article about difference between http and https. thanks

anon43254
Post 23

A more elaborate description should be post terms a user can understand.

anon42403
Post 22

Good one. I really want to know about secure connections over the web!

anon41587
Post 20

good one. really helps

anon41310
Post 19

Useful information -- Aparna

anon40297
Post 18

It really helps.

anon39763
Post 17

Great article!

anon38004
Post 15

in which layer of Model it differ?means network layer or presentation layer?

anon37997
Post 14

i am getting an issue when posting to a HTTP URL...i am using a https connetion in my code...

should it give an error ???

anon37653
Post 13

if https is secured then why do we use http

anon35081
Post 12

How can we create Https in web browsers

anon34595
Post 11

Most of the webmails like gmail, yahoo etc.. use secured http(https) but why rediff mail is not using secured one? Does it mean it is not at all secured?

anon31538
Post 10

What are the advantages of https?

anon15931
Post 5

It's a good article.. Giving basic information about http & https..

praavin007
Post 4

I want to know the actual functional or technical working of both HTTP and HTTPS, as well as the functional differences between them.

anon5734
Post 3

I want to know functional/technical difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

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