What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Which one is more secure? - Doctor Tech


5 June 2018

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Which one is more secure?

While surfing the Internet you must have come across letters like HTTP and HTTPS in the browser's address bar, that is pre-fixed on a website's URL every time you land on a web page.
Or maybe you have noticed the small padlock icon which is green in color on the address bar at times, mainly on the web pages on which you are entering your password or a username or doing an online transaction.

In case you have witnessed this little padlock icon followed by the word Secure or HTTPS preceding website's URL, it means that you are sending or entering information over a secure and encrypted connection over the internet.

Difference between http and https

In today's digitally connected world where millions of transactions happen every single second on various websites, and cybercriminals present all across the internet, making the web secure for the users is a top priority for most nations. And to achieve this certain protocols are laid down for securing users data from being stolen or misused on the internet.

HTTP and HTTPS are one such protocol, indeed the most important ones. These are protocols set, using which information of a particular website is exchanged between the Web Browser and Web Server or is used to receive and transmit information from the server. HTTP is considered obsolete and less secure protocol for exchanging information on the web, whereas HTTPS is a secure and encrypted protocol.

How does internet work? 

Keeping it brief and simple, let us see how things/web pages on the internet usually work and how do the requested web page opens up. It all begins with the user entering the desired URL in the address bar of the browser. So now the entered URL acts as a request that is sent by the Client i.e. the user browser who wants to access the website, to a place where the data for the requested web page is stored i.e. the Server. Once the data or URL is sent to the server, the request is responded in either of two ways, you will either get the information and web page will open up in your browser or You will be shown an error that request cannot be completed.

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Let us take a close look at HTTP and HTTPS and hence figure out major differences between them;

HTTP ( Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)

HTTP an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is an application layer protocol. In simple terms, HTTP is a system for transmitting and receiving information from the server.
HTTP is a protocol that is used to transfer the Hypertext over the web.

The Hypertext/Data exchanged over HTTP is in a plain text form which can be read and retrieved by anyone who is intercepting this exchange of data between the Web Browser and Web Server i.e. the information that you are viewing and sending can easily be stolen. 

HTTP turns out to be even more dangerous and vulnerable to cybercrime if you are exchanging your financial details or let say any personal detail on any website's checkout page, and in case the website is not operating on a secure and encrypted protocol your personal data can easily be stolen and misused.

This flaw of HTTP made it useless for sending confidential information over the net and due to which people started avoiding the use of internet and it's websites due to vulnerability to cyber theft. This resulted in a decline of internet traffic.

To counter this problem Netscape Corporation came up with HTTP Secure (HTTPS) that made the whole internet secure and encrypted that is difficult to intercept.

To sum up HTTP, the following conclusion can be made;

  • If a website is working on HTTP, it's URL will begin with "http://"
  • HTTP works on Application Layer
  • HTTP does not require any security certificates to operate
  • HTTP is an insecure protocol and is vulnerable to cyber crimes
  • HTTP does not encrypt any of the data exchange over it
  • HTTP uses port 80 for communication
  • HTTP does not provide a ranking boost

HTTPS ( Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)

HTTPS an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure that is a Secure and encrypted form of HTTP. HTTPS functions on a similar concept as of HTTP but with enhanced security features.
HTTPS does not act as its own application layer protocol but uses separate protocols namely SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer ) and TLS ( Transport Layer Security ). The main job of SSL and TLS is to ensure that the information being transmitted travels through a safe tunnel to its destination without being interpreted.

SSL also makes it a priority to encrypt the data or information before sending it out which makes it almost impossible for a cybercriminal to crack down the true meaning of the data being transferred.

HTTPS makes the session between the browser and the server secure by adding cryptographic protocols like SSL and TLS. For enhancing the security of HTTPS Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is also used because Public keys are used by several web browsers.

Today almost every web browser and website embody HTTPS for a more secure internet browsing experience for their users. Users can exchange information without worrying about being spied by a third party. 

Out of numerous benefits of incorporating HTTPS in your website, one is being in the good books of Google as Google identifies SSL certification as one of the best ways to keep away the eavesdroppers from domains. And thus improves your page ranking automatically. Google ranks the websites using HTTPS higher than the one not using it.

Moreover, Web sites running on HTTPS have less load time as compared to the ones running on HTTP because these sites have already been certified secure over time by the search engines and are not tunneled to the user anymore.

To sum up HTTPS, the following conclusion can be made;

  • If a website is working on HTTPS, it's URL will begin with "https://"
  • HTTPS works on Transport Layer
  • HTTPS requires SSL Certification to operate
  • HTTPS is a secure protocol
  • HTTPS encrypts the data exchange over it
  • HTTPS uses port 443 for communication
  • HTTPS provides a ranking boost


Though HTTP and HTTPS both are not concerned about how the information travels from the transmitter to the receiver, HTTPS makes sure the sent data is encrypted and cannot be decoded. 
It goes without saying that HTTPS is far more secure, reliable and advance Protocol that makes the internet more secure for the users surfing and exchanging information on it. HTTPS encrypts the data and sends the data in a secure tunnel to the receiver. Stealing or intercepting the data over HTTPS is not an easy task to achieve. That being said, having an SSL encryption certificate does not make you totally safe from cyber thieves as the encryption and security all happen within a browser and everything apart from it can still be breached and is considered unsafe.

Let me know what you guys think about it....?

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