HTTP vs HTTPS: Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS


You may have seen http:// or https:// before a domain name in a browser's URL bar while surfing the Internet. And, you might be wondering - what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS (HTTP vs HTTPS) in general?

In this article, we have discussed the major differences that will give you a better understanding of HTTP vs HTTPS. Before discussing the differences, let's understand exactly what HTTP and HTTPS are:

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

HTTP is a networking protocol used for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for World Wide Web (WWW); it means that it transfers the data (i.e., text, images, audio, video, etc.) on WWW.

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)

HTTPS is an encrypted version of HTTP. It is not actually the opposite of HTTP. Instead, it is an improved version of HTTP. HTTPS uses a combination of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This establishes a secure encrypted connection between the host server and the browser.

Note: Previously, HTTPS was only used by sites that have an online payment option. This was helpful in securing the credit/debit card details. However, in 2014, Google recommended sites to use HTTPS to achieve better search engine rankings. And after that, most sites switched to HTTPS. Nowadays, many websites prefer HTTPS.

HTTP vs HTTPS: Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

In general, HTTP and HTTPS are protocols. Using these protocols, a particular web site's information is exchanged between the host server and the web browser. The main difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that HTTPS is a lot more secure than HTTP.

Now, let's explore the difference between HTTP and HTTPS (HTTP vs HTTPS) more deeply:

It stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol’. It stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure’. An additional 'S' has been added to the abbreviation to specify 'security'.
Data over HTTP is not secure. Data is vulnerable to hackers and cyber attackers. Data over HTTPS is secure. It is designed to prevent hackers from accessing your critical information.
The default port number is 80, for communication. Here, the default port number is 443.
In URLs, http:// is used before the domain name. In URLs, https:// is used before the domain name.
HTTP works at the application layer. HTTPS works at the transport layer.
It operates at TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)/ IP (Internet Protocol) level. It does not have a separate protocol. It runs over HTTP but uses TLS/SSL encrypted connection.
HTTP websites do not require any kind of certificate. HTTPS websites require SSL certificates.
No encryption is present in HTTP websites. Encryption is present on HTTPS websites.
In HTTP, website speed is fast. In HTTPS, website speed is slower due to redirects and data encryption. However, you can create accelerated mobile pages (AMP) with HTTPS that will boost website speed for smartphones and tablet users.
HTTP does not help in search engine optimization. HTTPS helps in search engine optimization.
It is more suitable for websites designed for information consumption, such as a personal blog. It is a good fit for websites that collect critical data such as credit /debit card details, personal information, etc.


We have covered almost everything to explain the difference between HTTP and HTTPS (HTTP vs HTTPS) and we hope that you can now easily find out if a website is running over HTTP or HTTPS. 

If you are planning to launch a new website, it is better to use HTTPS. If you already have a site with HTTP, you can easily switch to HTTPS. Make sure that you follow the proper guidelines to avoid the mistakes of migration that most people make. This will provide you with a base level of website security and will also boost your search engine ranking.

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