HTTP vs. HTTPS

Difference beetween http:// and https://

HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol) is defined in RFC 2616 (request for comments). HTTP is a distributed, joint, hypermedia information system’s protocol at an application level. The negotiation part of data transfer is the main characteristic of HTTP. Web server communication and Domain name Service Communication are the classic examples of HTTP.

The one end acts as server while the other end acts as client in an application level end to end data communication. The IP address and the server port number should be known by the client in order to communicate with the server. Port number helps to know the service demanded by the client while IP address helps in reaching the server.

For example, web server acts as application software that runs on a hardware server and the user’s browser is the client. Web server application listens to port number 80 to accept HTTP connections. Thus, port 80 is said as HTTP port.

HTTPS is alike HTTP but the word ‘S’ means secure. The data is transmitted as it is in HTTP which is said as plain text. Here anyone can easily read it between the client and server. At the same time, in HTTPS there is no chance of a client and server reading the information.

Moreover, execution of TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Socket Layer) launches end to end encrypted tunnel for data transmission. Data communication between server and client is closed in encrypted tunnel and no one can read the communication.

Here, for example: client or the web browser communicates with web server at port no. 443.HTTPS is used in user login information in most banking applications.

In Summary:

  • Normal data is transmitted via HTTP while a closed data is transmitted via HTTPS.
  • Normal applications uses HTTP while banking and secure applications uses HTTPS.
  • Port 80 is used in HTTP whereas Port 443 is used in HTTPS.
  • RFC 2616defines HTTP and RFC 2817defines HTTPS.