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What is the Difference Between Http and Https?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon997064 — On Nov 11, 2016

Very helpful information. Very clearly and simply described.

By anon195350 — On Jul 11, 2011

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

By anon186351 — On Jun 14, 2011

Could you provide some more information related to protocols?

By anon166036 — On Apr 07, 2011

It's good and easily understandable

By anon158623 — On Mar 07, 2011

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

By anon149497 — On Feb 04, 2011

thanks for crystal clarification between the two http and https.

By anon118810 — On Oct 15, 2010

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

By anon118076 — On Oct 12, 2010

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?

By anon116835 — On Oct 08, 2010

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

By anon114585 — On Sep 29, 2010

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

By anon110920 — On Sep 14, 2010

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

By anon110456 — On Sep 12, 2010

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

By anon108513 — On Sep 03, 2010

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

By anon105835 — On Aug 23, 2010

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

By anon105339 — On Aug 20, 2010

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

By anon104489 — On Aug 17, 2010

It was good. thanks for your information.

By anon104105 — On Aug 15, 2010

can you please explain with some examples?

By anon102670 — On Aug 09, 2010

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

By anon102669 — On Aug 09, 2010

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

By anon101768 — On Aug 05, 2010

very good article. keep it up

By anon100100 — On Jul 28, 2010

Very nice. It's a good article.

By anon97774 — On Jul 21, 2010

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

By anon96733 — On Jul 16, 2010

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

By anon96156 — On Jul 14, 2010

good. gives basic information.

By anon95908 — On Jul 13, 2010

Good one, useful for me.

By anon94338 — On Jul 08, 2010

Good one.

By anon93859 — On Jul 06, 2010

it was good.

By anon93151 — On Jul 02, 2010

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

By anon93121 — On Jul 01, 2010

thanks, your article is very simple and helpful.

By anon92267 — On Jun 27, 2010

Thanks. Your articles are short and easy to understand.

By anon92002 — On Jun 25, 2010

Good post.

By anon90226 — On Jun 15, 2010

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

By anon89272 — On Jun 09, 2010

really worthwhile and simple way of presentation.

By anon89157 — On Jun 08, 2010

Thanks for clearing up the difference between http and https.

By anon88629 — On Jun 06, 2010

Thanks for this. I appreciate it.

By anon88278 — On Jun 03, 2010

This post impressed me. Good.

By anon88130 — On Jun 03, 2010

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

By anon88099 — On Jun 03, 2010

Simply superb. Thanks for your info.

By anon87870 — On Jun 02, 2010

good work.

By anon86869 — On May 27, 2010

Great job dear. Is there any effect on SEO?

Thanks, sathish.

By anon85410 — On May 20, 2010

Really useful article. Thanks.

By anon85332 — On May 19, 2010

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

By anon83793 — On May 12, 2010

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

By anon83468 — On May 11, 2010

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

By anon83232 — On May 10, 2010

nice post in simple words.

By anon77315 — On Apr 14, 2010

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

By anon77299 — On Apr 13, 2010

Very good reply and easy to understand.

By anon76788 — On Apr 12, 2010

very nice information that was really useful.

By anon76767 — On Apr 12, 2010

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

By anon76185 — On Apr 09, 2010

Very easy to understand! --Subbu, Mumbai

By anon75563 — On Apr 07, 2010

thanks. it's really a useful article.

By anon74992 — On Apr 05, 2010

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

By anon74793 — On Apr 04, 2010

Great piece of info.

By anon74536 — On Apr 02, 2010

Nice.

By anon73970 — On Mar 30, 2010

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

By anon73948 — On Mar 30, 2010

good info.

By anon73561 — On Mar 28, 2010

Nice article. Thanks. Prabu R.

By anon72851 — On Mar 24, 2010

Nice post. Allan J.

By anon72645 — On Mar 23, 2010

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

By anon71312 — On Mar 18, 2010

Good one. Small effort and good effect.

By anon69944 — On Mar 11, 2010

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

By anon69729 — On Mar 09, 2010

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

By anon68899 — On Mar 04, 2010

can you post more on http and https?

By anon68565 — On Mar 03, 2010

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

By anon68338 — On Mar 02, 2010

it's really nice and very simple to understand.

By anon67502 — On Feb 25, 2010

Information shared was very useful. Thank you.

-Manohar

By anon65480 — On Feb 13, 2010

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

By anon65089 — On Feb 11, 2010

Thanks for giving such a clear and precise differences.

By anon64998 — On Feb 10, 2010

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?

By anon64879 — On Feb 10, 2010

Short and to the point. Very informative.

By anon64553 — On Feb 08, 2010

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

By anon64051 — On Feb 04, 2010

Good article.

By anon62893 — On Jan 29, 2010

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

By anon62016 — On Jan 24, 2010

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

By anon61222 — On Jan 19, 2010

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

By anon60149 — On Jan 12, 2010

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

By anon57538 — On Dec 24, 2009

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.

By anon55522 — On Dec 08, 2009

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

Thanks in advance. --Arvind

By anon54902 — On Dec 03, 2009

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

By anon54901 — On Dec 03, 2009

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

By anon54389 — On Nov 30, 2009

Very nice article.

By anon54125 — On Nov 27, 2009

A sweet, short and complete picture of the topic

By anon52981 — On Nov 18, 2009

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

By anon52432 — On Nov 14, 2009

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

By anon52177 — On Nov 11, 2009

It's a good article.

By anon51502 — On Nov 06, 2009

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

By anon51061 — On Nov 03, 2009

Really nice answer.

By anon50715 — On Oct 31, 2009

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

Thank you.

By anon48859 — On Oct 15, 2009

really good article! by sarath

By anon48629 — On Oct 13, 2009

It's really nice information.

By anon47761 — On Oct 07, 2009

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

By anon47737 — On Oct 07, 2009

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

By anon47340 — On Oct 04, 2009

Nice article. Informative.

By anon44610 — On Sep 09, 2009

good article.

By anon44569 — On Sep 09, 2009

What are the advantages of https?

By anon43593 — On Aug 30, 2009

good article, nicely posted.

By anon43423 — On Aug 28, 2009

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

By anon43254 — On Aug 27, 2009

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

By anon42403 — On Aug 20, 2009

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

By anon41587 — On Aug 16, 2009

good one. really helps

By anon41310 — On Aug 14, 2009

Useful information -- Aparna

By anon40297 — On Aug 07, 2009

It really helps.

By anon39763 — On Aug 04, 2009

Great article!

By anon38004 — On Jul 23, 2009

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

By anon37997 — On Jul 23, 2009

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 ???

By anon37653 — On Jul 21, 2009

if https is secured then why do we use http

By anon35081 — On Jul 02, 2009

How can we create Https in web browsers

By anon34595 — On Jun 25, 2009

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?

By anon31538 — On May 07, 2009

What are the advantages of https?

By anon15931 — On Jul 25, 2008

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

By praavin007 — On Dec 05, 2007

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

By anon5734 — On Dec 05, 2007

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

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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