HTTP is the abbreviation of Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the basics of the Internet we are using all over the world, the World Wide Web. HTTP uses hypertext links to open or load a webpage. In other words, it is an application layer protocol we use to transfer data between linked devices and operates on top of other layers of the network protocol stack. Generally, a normal stream across HTTP includes a customer computer that requests the server, in reply the server responds by sending a message.
On the other hand, HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the securer version of HTTP. As we have discussed, HTTP is the standard protocol for communication between a server and a user. HTTPS is different from HTTP because it uses encryption for this process. It is extremely important when it comes to the transfer of sensitive data like banking details or other personal details.
A website that requires login credentials, must use HTTPS for its website. In recent times, Google is marking websites that are not using HTTPS as unsafe. A website with HTTPS will have a green padlock at the address bar as a sign of security. All major browsers are recommending HTTPS over HTTP. In this article, we will discuss HTTP VS. HTTPS.
What is an HTTP request? What is an HTTP response?
When a user communicates with a web resource through its browser, it generates an HTTP request as a result. For example, a user clicks on a link, its browser will send multiple requests of “HTTP GET” to access the data that appears on the particular page. If you search in Google for HTTP, it will show you the related results, but when you click on the particular link, your browser will send a series of requests to show the data on the page. These requests can go to two places, a source server or a proxy server. After receiving the request, the server will send its response.
How does TLS/SSL encrypt HTTP requests and responses in HTTPS?
TLS uses the most advanced technology of encoding which is called public-key encryption. In this technology, we use two different keys of encoding and decoding. One key is called public and the other one is called private. The public key is for users that we shear through the SSL certificate of the server.
Whenever a user establishes a connection with the server by using the public and private key, they agree on a third key, which is a session key for encrypting further correspondence between them. After that, we encrypt all HTTP requests and their responses with the session key. So that no one can intercept their communications. If someone tries to access the communications, he will see only a random string of characters but not the plaintext.
How does HTTPS help authenticate web servers?
In the IT field authentication means verification of a person or device and what they claim to be. In HTTP, there is no way you can verify someone’s identity. It is based on trust only. The designers of HTTP didn’t feel it necessary to verify the identity. They decide to completely trust all the servers. They had other things on priority than security at the time. But nowadays on the Internet, verification is key.
A private key is the identity card of a server, it verifies the identity of the server. When a user tries to establish a connection with a source server, possession of the private key that matches with the public key in a website’s SSL certificate confirms that the server is the genuine host of the website. This minimizes or helps tackle several cyber attacks that are possible in the absence of any authentication process. The following are some of these attacks
- On-path attacks
- DNS hijacking
- BGP hijacking
- Domain spoofing
Why is HTTPS important? What happens if a website doesn’t have HTTPS?
HTTPS is very important for privacy when someone is using the internet. It prevents hackers from accessing the information of users of a website. If we are sharing our data on HTTP, the data is converted into packets that are very easy to access by using free software. it makes your information vulnerable over the Internet, especially on public networks. All the communication we do over HTTP is transferred in plain text that is quite an easy target for hackers.
But in the case of HTTPS, all the transmission is encrypted. If someone managed to access the data, he won’t be able to read it due to encryption. For example,
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If a website is not using HTTPS, it is very easy for ISPs or other entities to add content to the website without even asking the website owner. It is a form of advertisement that ISPs use to generate more revenue for themselves. You will be surprised to know that ISPs did not even bother to share the revenue or controls of these advertisements with the website owners. But, by using HTTPS, you can get rid of this issue because it does not allow anyone to do these types of things without the private key.
How is HTTPS different from HTTP?
Technically, HTTPS is also HTTP but with a security feature. HTTPS just uses the encryption technology that makes it different and secure as compared to HTTP. In HTTPS, whenever a user opens a webpage, the webpage sends its SSL certificate that has the public key. The public key is a basic thing to start a secure session. After that, the server and the user go through the SSL/TLS handshaking process. It is a comprehensive debate of HTTP VS. HTTPS.
HTTP VS. HTTPS
In this paragraph, we will discuss HTTP VS. HTTPS. We will only mention the advantages of HTTPS and the disadvantages of HTTP.
Advantages of HTTPS
- Data security during transmission
- Protection against different types of cyber attacks
- Make your website trustworthy
- Eliminate all the security warnings
- Improves your SEO ranking
- Helps you increase your revenue
Disadvantages of HTTP
- The integrity of data at stake
- No privacy of the personal data
- Unavailability of the Server
- Administrative overhead problem