When you type a web address into the search bar of a web browser, you notice that the address has either HTTP or HTTPS before it. While the visible differences are subtle, the two aspects are quite different from one another. Here, we deal with the main differences between HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) and HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) and which one you should go for to have the best Web experience.
The hypertext transfer protocol can be entered into a browser as http/: followed by the web address. HTTP uses port 80 of the transmission control protocol (TCP) to send and receive data over the web. Essentially, the HTTP allows the user to communicate with the websites they intend to visit. It uses the TCP to initiate a link between the client and the server for the client to view the content on a website.
Advantages of using http
- Ease of identification. HTTP did away with the previously slow methods of processing requests during web browsing. This allowed for fast browsing speeds.
- Level of specialization. With the capability to process all Web elements at once, http speeds up the browsing experience.
- High level of flexibility. HTTP allowed for the use of various types of apps that required plug-ins such as flash players and pdf readers that previous protocols did not put to use. This allows for a high level of compatibility with all types of web pages and their content.
- The level of security afforded by the use of http made it the best type of Internet protocol ever. It upped the level of security by limiting the level of exposure one had online.
- Easy to program. Because http is coded in plain text, it is very easy to create websites with this protocol.
The hypertext transfer protocol secure is a big improvement over http. It is from the same creators of http that https comes from. Https is oftentimes simply called http over SSL or http over TLS the last of which are secure connections. To use this version of the protocol, one is needed to type in https:/ then the web address. However, some sites that prefer using https over http will automatically redirect you to their https formats when you type in http. The secure part of the HTTP means that the web connection is made over a securely encrypted channel for security purposes.
Advantages of using https
- Https uses a secure channel by employing the use of a public key from one end of the web traffic to the other. In this way, the chances of the web session being hacked are significantly reduced. The public key used is embed in an SSL certificate which is issued by a given CA (certificate authority). Whenever you see a little green padlock before the https address, know that it’s the sign of trust your browser has for the website in question. You can see that in most official website such as Microsoft.com and others.
- It is friendly to search engines. Modern marketing requires that a website is easily found by those searching it using search engines. Search engine optimization is easier and more fruitful on https than http.
These are advantages https has over http. The summary of the differences is;
- HTTPS is more secure than http.
- The http operates at the layer of the applications while https operates at the transport level.
- While http uses port 80, https uses port 430.
- The validation of the domain is a must for https while http does not need that. For that reason, https is by far more secure the HTTP as it sieves out the bad domains.
- Also, https requires an SSL or TLS certificate to approve browsing. Either of them has to come with the signature of a valid Certificate Authority. These are the ways in which https secures the data as one browses. On the other hand, http does not use either of them meaning one is more exposed when using http. Data encryption is today more of a necessity rather than an option and that is why people are going towards using https.
The main differences between HTTP and HTTPS come down to the ‘s’ part of the latter; security. The level of security provided by https has transitioned into inclusion of other capabilities such as performance, speed and compatibility with many services on the web. The transition to https is thus an inevitable event for web users.