HTTP vs HTTPS – Difference Between Them

Key Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

  • HTTP lacks a security mechanism to encrypt the data, whereas HTTPS provides SSL or TLS Digital Certificate to secure the communication between server and client.
  • HTTP operates at the Application Layer, whereas HTTPS operates at Transport Layer.
  • HTTP by default operates on port 80, whereas HTTPS by default operates on port 443.
  • HTTP transfers data in plain text, while HTTPS transfers data in cipher text (encrypt text).
  • HTTP is fast as compared to HTTPS because HTTPS consumes computation power to encrypt the communication channel.

Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

What is HTTP?

Full form of HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP offers set of rules and standards which govern how any information can be transmitted on the World Wide Web. HTTP provides standard rules for web browsers & servers to communicate.

HTTP is an application layer network protocol which is built on top of TCP. HTTP uses Hypertext structured text which establishes the logical link between nodes containing text. It is also known as “stateless protocol” as each command is executed separately, without using reference of previous run command.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is highly advanced and secure version of HTTP. It uses the port no. 443 for Data Communication. It allows the secure transactions by encrypting the entire communication with SSL. It is a combination of SSL/TLS protocol and HTTP. It provides encrypted and secure identification of a network server.

HTTP also allows you to create a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser. It offers the bi-directional security of Data. This helps you to protect potentially sensitive information from being stolen.

In HTTPS protocol SSL transactions are negotiated with the help of key-based encryption algorithm. This key is generally either 40 or 128 bits in strength.

Advantages of HTTP

  • HTTP can be implemented with other protocol on the Internet, or on other networks
  • HTTP pages are stored on computer and internet caches, so it is quickly accessible
  • Platform independent which allows cross-platform porting
  • Does not need any Runtime support
  • Usable over Firewalls! Global applications are possible
  • Not Connection Oriented; so no network overhead to create and maintain session state and information

Advantages of HTTPS

  • In most cases, sites running over HTTPS will have a redirect in place. Therefore, even if you type in HTTP:// it will redirect to an https over a secured connection
  • It allows users to perform secure e-commerce transaction, such as online banking.
  • SSL technology protects any users and builds trust
  • An independent authority verifies the identity of the certificate owner. So each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner.

Next in this tutorial, we will learn about main HTTP and HTTPS difference.

Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

The below table demonstrates what is difference between HTTP and HTTPS:

Parameter HTTP HTTPS
Protocol It is hypertext transfer protocol. It is hypertext transfer protocol with secure.
Security It is less secure as the data can be vulnerable to hackers. It is designed to prevent hackers from accessing critical information. It is secure against such attacks.
Port It uses port 80 by default It was use port 443 by default.
Starts with HTTP URLs begin with http:// HTTPs URLs begin with https://
Used for It’s a good fit for websites designed for information consumption like blogs. If the website needs to collect the private information such as credit card number, then it is a more secure protocol.
Scrambling HTTP does not scramble the data to be transmitted. That’s why there is a higher chance that transmitted information is available to hackers. HTTPS scrambles the data before transmission. At the receiver end, it descrambles to recover the original data. Therefore, the transmitted information is secure which can’t be hacked.
Protocol It operates at TCP/IP level. HTTPS does not have any separate protocol. It operates using HTTP but uses encrypted TLS/SSL connection.
Domain Name Validation HTTP website do not need SSL. HTTPS requires SSL certificate.
Data encryption HTTP website doesn’t use encryption. HTTPS websites use data encryption.
Search Ranking HTTP does not improve search rankings. HTTPS helps to improve search ranking.
Speed Fast Slower than HTTP
Vulnerability Vulnerable to hackers It Is highly secure as the data is encrypted before it is seen across a network.

Limitations of HTTP

  • There is no privacy as anyone can see content
  • Data integrity is a big issue as someone can alter the content. That’s why HTTP protocol is an insecure method as no encryption methods are used.
  • Not clear who you are talking about. Anyone who intercepts the request can get the username and password.

Limitations of HTTPS

  • HTTPS protocol can’t stop stealing confidential information from the pages cached on the browser
  • SSL data can be encrypted only during transmission on the network. So it can’t clear the text in the browser memory
  • HTTPS can increase computational overhead as well as network overhead of the organization
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS Protocol
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS protocol

Types of SSL/TLS certificate used with HTTPS

Now in this HTTPS and HTTP difference tutorial, we will cover the types of SSL/TLS certificates used with HTTPS:

Domain Validation

Domain validation validates that the person who applies for a certificate is an owner of the domain name. This type of validation generally takes a few minutes up to a few hours.

Organization Validation

The Certification Authority not only validate the domain’s ownership but also owners identify. It means that an owner might be asked to provide the personal ID proof document to prove their identity.

Extended Validation

Extended validation is a topmost level of validation. It includes validation of domain ownership, owner identity as well as registration proof of business.