HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) are both protocols used for communication between a client (usually a web browser) and a web server. However, they differ in terms of security and data encryption. Here are the main differences between HTTP and HTTPS:

  1. Security:
    • HTTP: HTTP is not secure as it transmits data in plaintext, making it vulnerable to interception and eavesdropping by malicious actors. Any data sent over HTTP, such as login credentials, credit card information, or personal details, can be easily intercepted and read by unauthorized parties.
    • HTTPS: HTTPS provides a secure communication channel through the use of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption. It encrypts data during transmission, making it much more difficult for attackers to intercept and decipher the information.
  2. Data Encryption:
    • HTTP: Data sent over HTTP is not encrypted, and it is transmitted in clear text. This lack of encryption leaves data susceptible to interception and tampering.
    • HTTPS: HTTPS encrypts data before sending it over the internet, ensuring that even if intercepted, the data remains unreadable to unauthorized individuals.
  3. URL Prefix:
  4. Port Number:
    • HTTP: The default port for HTTP is port 80.
    • HTTPS: The default port for HTTPS is port 443.
  5. Certificate Verification:
    • HTTP: HTTP does not require or use SSL certificates for verification.
    • HTTPS: HTTPS relies on SSL certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) to verify the authenticity of the website. When a user connects to a website over HTTPS, their browser checks the SSL certificate to ensure the site’s identity and validity.
  6. Trust Indicators:
    • HTTP: Browsers do not display any trust indicators for websites using HTTP.
    • HTTPS: Websites using HTTPS display a padlock icon or a similar trust indicator in the browser’s address bar. This visual cue reassures users that their connection is secure and the website is authenticated.
  7. SEO Implications:
    • HTTP: Search engines are increasingly prioritizing HTTPS-enabled websites in search results, so using HTTP may have a negative impact on SEO rankings.
    • HTTPS: HTTPS is considered a ranking factor in search engine algorithms, potentially improving a website’s SEO performance.

Due to the significant security benefits of HTTPS, many websites have migrated from HTTP to HTTPS to ensure the privacy and integrity of their users’ data. As a best practice, it is recommended to use HTTPS for all websites, especially those handling sensitive information, such as login credentials or payment details.