What is the difference between HTTPS and HTTP, and Which is Better?

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The concept of HTTPS vs. HTTP is not new at all. We have seen a considerable upsurge in the transformation to opt for an HTTPS site over the HTTP one. And the credits to this upsurge mainly go to the multitude of benefits that an HTTPS regales you with. It is a given that the Internet fuels both these terms. However, when you do not wish to give security a backseat, you must choose nothing short of perfection.

That is when this burning debate of the dual terms comes into play. Today, in this blog, we will walk you through the reasons that make HTTPS stronger and why that should be your number one choice in the tug of war between HTTPS vs. HTTP. Without any further ado, let us see what we can learn. Here is a glimpse of what we shall be delving into today.

Table of Contents

  • What is meant by HTTP, and how does it work? Is it not secure?
  • What is HTTPS, and how does it work to keep us safe?
  • Understanding the workings of SSL certificates.
  • Why is HTTPS important?
  • Is HTTPS Secure?
  • Is HTTPS Encrypted?
  • Highlighting the Differences Between HTTPS and HTTP.
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  • What is meant by HTTP, and how does it work? Is it not secure?

The term HTTP is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Before the birth of HTTPS, the whole world thrived on HTTP. This protocol primarily works on a customer-to-server model, just like most of the other internet protocols. Here, the web browser that initiates the HTTP request is the customer, and the webserver that reverts to that request is said to be the server.

Now, the question of whether it is secure or not has to be seen from multiple lenses. The second your data gets transmitted over the HTTP domain; it loses the encrypted connection. As HTTP protocol does not use encryption, your data shared is actually out in the open and accessed by a third party. Once your data is in the hands of an unknown user, your data can be manipulated or misused too, which is something you would never want to see. Would you?

  • What is HTTPS, and how does it work to keep us safe?
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HTTPS is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a kind of internet communication protocol that retains the safety of any data processed. You no longer have to worry about your card credentials, passwords, or private data being misused by a third-party. So, the HTTPS protocol uses a TSL, or Transport Layer Security, commonly called Secure Socket Layer, SSL, to safeguard your data.

So, how does HTTPS work and protects us? The web pages act as a customer, and the web server acts as a server. According to the request generated, the status of the response is validated. Then, this process carries out a series of messages that passes back and forth between the two. As this initiates a connection, data is transmitted between packets that ensure that the information does not leak out and cannot be read by anyone else.

  • Understanding the workings of SSL certificates   

#1 Step: An SSL Certificate’s pivotal job is to ensure encrypted communication between the browser and the server. In technical terms, this process is called a ‘handshake.’ As soon as the browser requests URL, the server transfers the version and type of encryption to the client.

#2 Step: When the client’s request has been received, it reverts by sending a duplicate of its SSL Certificate coupled with a public key. This being the second step in the process is said to be the ‘Client hello’ process.

#3 Step: Once the browser receives the data, it validates if it can be implicitly trusted or not. These certificates are controlled by a centralized troop of security organizations entitled to a list of trusted SSL certificates from the CAs (Certificate Authorities). If the server says the certificate is from the browser’s list, it has been verified.

#4 Step: As soon as the browser validates the trust factor, the server reverts with a signed acknowledgment. As and when the acknowledgment is received, the client and the server collaborate on an SSL encryption session. This is how the SSL certificates work and provides authenticity in a nutshell.

  • Why is HTTPS important?
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Security: The HTTPS sign is immensely vital for guarding security to your sites. Having an HTTPS site ensures that all the information transferred from and to your website is verified with utmost data integrity and is safe from the knuckles of a hacker.

Trust: Now that your data cannot be sniffed by any form of Cybercriminal acts, your customers see it as a stamp of trust. This enables your business to draw in more customers, thereby enhancing your sales rates and conversions.

SEO: The algorithm of Google has been specially designed to give preference to those sites that have been SSL certified or have the green padlock of an HTTPS domain. Using the right keywords and avoiding keyword stuffing will promote your page and help rank your page even better in the search engine.

  • Is HTTPS Secure?
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From a technical standpoint, yes! Although a professional hacker might develop ways to break into the system’s protocol, these methods are not easy and can lead to severe compromise from the hacker’s side. When SSL is encrypted into the HTTPS, specific secured encryption validates every byte of information that the HTTPS protocol transfers.

The thing with SSL is that it will decrypt the information only when it knows it has reached the intended destination. Aside from this, here, we will find an independent authority that verifies the individuality of the owner of the certificate. Therefore, every SSL certificate contains unique, trusted, and authenticated information about the owner, thereby adding to the secure quotient.

  • Is HTTPS Encrypted?

The HTTPS concept was designed as a text protocol whose primary function is to make the information protected from any eavesdropping or the clutches of the middle-men involved. 

Further, by deploying an SSL or TLS encryption, it prevents interception of any piece of data sent over the internet from being decrypted by a third party until and unless it has not reached the final destination, where it is supposed to arrive. Simply put, your connection is now end-to-end encrypted. End-to-end encryption will never decrypt a piece of information to the wrong hands.

  • Highlighting the Differences Between HTTPS and HTTP

  • HTTP has a scarcity in its security mechanism and does not encrypt the data information, whereas HTTPS is known for its encryption and data security norms.
  • While HTTPS provides an SSL or TLS certificate to safeguard the data, HTTP does not do so and takes a backseat in securing the information between the client and the server.
  • Also, HTTP operates at an Application Layer, but HTTPS operates at a Transport Layer.
  • HTTPS transmits its text over a ciphertext or in an encrypted text, but HTTP transmits the same in plain text with no encryption.
  • HTTPS transmit the data way slower than how HTTP does. That is mainly because HTTPS consumes computation power that aids in encrypting the communication medium.
  • HTTPS uses port number 43 for communication purposes, whereas HTTPS uses port number 80 to communicate.
  • HTTPS needs an SSL certificate to work, while the HTTP does not require any such certificates
  • HTTPS sites have a green padlock on the URL’s top, whereas the HTTP ones do not have any such symbol.
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That’s a Wrap 

To carry out an online e-commerce business that steers away from any cybercrime hurdles should be a priority on your list. All that a customer wants from you is a safe site where they can shop their hearts out. 

In such a case, when they do not take a backseat to share their confidential information – be it credit card credentials or passwords, you too should ensure that their trust should not be broken. That is when showing your customers with an HTTPS, or SSL certified stamp enhances their trust factor. 

Without these critically essential measures, a customer can always choose a competition of yours and may never revert to do business with you. In the end, it is the customer who is the queen of your business, and their satisfaction should be what matters to you. Hopefully, this blog would have thrown some light on the critically acclaimed topic of HTTPS vs. HTTP and why the former wins over the latter.

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