http vs https

HTTP vs HTTPS: The Secure Choice for Your Website

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
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The internet has rules for channels. They transfer data between a web server and a client (usually, a web browser). These rules are critical for safe and proper communication. Two basic protocols are commonly used. They are: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). It is important to understand that both may seem similar in some ways. But, they do have differences. These could affect the security and speed of the website.

What's the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

The table summarizes the key differences between HTTP and HTTPS. It covers many things. They include: protocol, security, encryption, and port numbers. Also, SSL/TLS certificates, speed, and data security. And, SEO benefits and URL identification.

Feature HTTP HTTPS
Protocol
Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
Security
Not secure, data is transmitted in plain text
Secure, data is encrypted using SSL/TLS protocols
Encryption
Does not use encryption
Encrypts all communication using SSL/TLS
Port Number
Uses port 80
Uses port 443
SSL/TLS Certificate
Not required
Requires SSL/TLS certificate for encryption
Speed
Faster speed compared to HTTPS
Slower speed due to encryption
Data Security
Vulnerable to interception
Prevents theft of sensitive information
SEO Benefits
Offers SEO advantages
Does not provide SEO benefits
URL Identification
Starts with "http://"
Starts with "https://"

How does HTTP protocol work?

HTTP is an application layer that runs on the seven layer OSI model, powered with TCP/IP as the underlying layer. It identifies different types of the client and server request and response that is in frequently exchange. For instance, if a user wants to access a webpage, their web browser uses an HTTP GET request. The web server of the website then sends back the needed data.

Data interchange between the client and the server occur behind the scene and is imperative for the overall functionality of the world wide web.

How does HTTPS protocol work?

HTTPS can be described as a protocol similar to HTTP with the added benefit of having an encrypted layer in its architecture. Encryption is done by employing SSL/TLS protocols which ensures that the data is encoded and cannot be easily intercepted as it passes through client and server. This Helps in encryption of data Which makes them unusable to any third party even if they are intercepted in the process.

The process of establishing a secure HTTPS connection involves the following steps:

  1. The HTTP client (often a web browser) starts up an HTTP connection, initiates an SSL connection with the server and requests for an https page.
  2. The server transmits its companion SSL/TLS certificate to the client, which comprises the server’s public key.
  3. The client authenticates the certificate then proceeds to encode with the help of the public key a session key.
  4. Through Key Exchange Protocol, the client encrypt the session key send it to the server.
  5. The server then uses his/her private key to decrypt the session key for further use in communication.
  6. After the authentication process is complete, the client and the server agree on a Session Key which is used to encrypt and decrypt all the messages exchanged during that particular session.

Benefits of using HTTPS Over HTTP on a website

Benefits of using HTTPS Over HTTP on a website
  1. Enhanced security: As it has been noticed, the usage of HTTPS helps prevent several threats which include man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdropping, and data alteration due to the implementation of secure communication between a client and a server.
  2. Improved user trust: If your website has sensitive information or you let users create accounts on your site, it is critical to implement HTTPS since it helps build trust with the users due to the assurance that their information is safe from prying eyes when they are submitting their login details, credit card information, and the likes.
  3. Better search engine rankings: Blogging websites like WordPress and browsers like GoogleChrome also prefer websites with https before the web address on their search lists.

4. Compliance with industry standards: Various fields, including the e-commerce sector and financial services, must implement HTTPS to meet the legal requirements for security and for safeguarding consumers’ information.

Conclusion

Thanks to technology and software, it is becoming easier for hackers to break into websites. They do this to steal important information held by the websites. Switching from HTTP to HTTPS means that your website is protected, people can trust you, and you are matching all the modern requirements. 

Should I use HTTP or HTTPS?

Use HTTPS to ensure the security of your website and protect your users’ data.

Why HTTP changed to HTTPS?

HTTP changed to HTTPS. It added security and encryption. It protects data sent between the client and the server.

Can a website use both http and https?

Yes, a website can use both HTTP and HTTPS. However, it is recommended to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS to ensure that all communication is secure.

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Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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