What is HTTP: Definition and Working

This article is designed to help people learn the basics of HTTP along with the topics such as what is HTTP, working of HTTP, and the advantages of HTTP.

What is HTTP

What is HTTP?

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) 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.

In other words, HTTP establishes communication between different systems to transfer the hypertext from client-end to the server-end. It basically allows the transmission of data from a web server to a web browser in order to display web pages to the users.

HTTP is also known as a ‘stateless system' because each command is executed separately, without using the reference of the previous run command.

How does HTTP work?

HTTP works in the request and response cycles of the client requesting the web page. Suppose you want to access any webpage from the server using your web browser. You enter http:// in the browser's URL bar before the domain, which tells the browser to connect over HTTP. The HTTP GET request is generated by the browser and sent across the Internet.


As soon as the original server receives the HTTP request, it generates an HTTP response back to the user's browser. If the connection is successfully established with the response code HTTP/1.1 200 OK, a webpage will be provided on a browser. If there is a problem with the HTTP request or response, you will have a status code on your browser so that you can better troubleshoot the issue.

HTTP is considered a less secure connection. It is because HTTP requests are sent to the host server in plain text, whatever the user has entered into the text fields of the web page. This is risky in cases where the user enters important information such as credit card details or any other personal details. Hackers or anyone who is monitoring a session can easily read text data sent or received over HTTP.
What is HTTP - How does http work

Advantages of HTTP

It can be implemented with other protocols on the Internet or other networks.

Web pages are stored as a cache in computers and the Internet, making it easily and quickly accessible.

It is platform-independent, thus, supports cross-platform porting.

It does not require runtime support.

It is usable on firewalls, increasing the potential for global applications.

It is not connection-oriented, therefore, there will be no network overhead when creating and maintaining session state and information.


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