SSL/TLS Certificates

HTTP vs HTTPS: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? If not, you’re not alone. Many web developers know they must secure their website with HTTPS, but why? In this blog, we’ll cover what HTTP is, the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, and how they’re used today to protect websites across the Internet.

Website security

Before we get into the differences, let’s first talk about website security. Anytime you visit a website, you send information to that site’s server. This information can include things like your IP address, what browser you’re using, and what pages on the site you’re visiting. This information is sent in plain text, meaning anyone monitoring your traffic can see it.

If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, this information can be intercepted by someone else on the network. This is why using a secure connection is essential when sending sensitive information, like credit card numbers or passwords.

What is HTTP?

Every link you click that starts with HTTP uses a basic protocol known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP or “protocol”). HTTP is a network protocol standard that defines how messages are formatted and transmitted and what actions web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

Whenever you enter a URL into your web browser, your computer sends a request to the server that hosts the website you’re trying to visit. That server sends back a response, usually the website’s HTML code. This communication between your computer and the server happens over port 80 for unsecured connections (i.e., without using SSL protocol).

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (or simply put, “protocol”). The S in HTTPS stands for “secure.” When a website is encrypted with TLS (or SSL), it uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). 

Basically, it’s HTTP with encryption. It is used to secure communication over a computer network and is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS encrypts and decrypts user page requests and the pages returned by the web server.

This protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and the confidentiality of data sent between the browser and the website. HTTPS connections use port 443 by default.

Differences Between HTTP vs HTTPS

The most significant difference between the two protocols is that HTTPS is encrypted and secured using digital certificates, while HTML is not. When you visit a website using HTTPS, your connection to that site is encrypted. Any information you send or receive on that site is also encrypted.

Another difference between the protocols is that HTTPS uses port 443, while HTML uses port 80. Port 443 is the standard port for secured Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). Port 80 is the default port for unsecured Hypertext Transfer Protocol (or “protocol”).

What do they do for website security?

HTTPS is more secure than HTTP because it uses encryption to protect information as it is being sent between clients and servers. When an organization enables HTTPS, any information you transmit, like passwords or credit card numbers, will be difficult for anyone to intercept.

HTTP does not use encryption, which means that any information you send can be intercepted by someone else on the network. This is why using a secure connection is essential when sending sensitive information.

SSL certificates

To enable HTTPS on a website, it  must have a valid SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. This certificate is used to encrypt information as it is being sent between your computer and the server. An SSL certificate contains a public key and a private key. The public key encrypts information, while the private key decrypts it.

SSL Certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs). A CA is an organization that verifies the identity of a website and then gives a certificate to that site. When you visit a website, your browser checks to see if the site’s SSL Certificate is valid. You will see a green padlock in the address bar if it is. If it is not, you will see a warning message.

TLS certificates

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is similarly a security protocol that is used to encrypt information as it is being sent over the Internet. TLS is an improved version of the security protocol to replace SSL, which has been deprecated. TLS uses more robust encryption algorithms and provides better security than SSL., although the two terms are often used interchangeably.

What are the different types of SSL/TLS certificates?

There are three main types of SSL/TLS Certificates:

  • Domain Validated Certificates (DV)
  • Organization Validated Certificates (OV)
  • Extended Validation Certificates (EV)

Domain Validated Certificates are the most basic type of SSL/TLS Certificate. They are typically the quickest and easiest to obtain.

Organization Validated Certificates offer more assurance than DV Certificates. They take longer to get because the CA must verify the organization’s identity.

Extended Validation Certificates offer the highest level of assurance. They are typically used by large organizations or businesses that handle sensitive information.

Why are SSL/TLS certificates important?

SSL/TLS certificates are essential because they help to keep your information safe as it is being sent over the Internet. They use a process called secure encryption to protect your data. SSL/TLS certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs). When you visit a website, your browser checks to see if the site’s SSL/TLScCertificate is valid. You will see a green padlock in the address bar if it is. Only entering sensitive information on websites with valid SSL/TLS certificates is essential. This will help to keep your info safe from hackers and identity thieves.

While SSL/TLS certificates are not required for all websites, they are recommended for any site that collects or transmits sensitive information. This includes e-commerce sites, social media sites, and any site that requires a login. If you are unsure whether or not your website needs an SSL/TLS certificate, contact your web hosting provider or an IT professional for assistance.

How HTTPS enables web encryption

Web encryption is the process of encrypting information as it is being sent between a web server and a web browser. SSL/TLS Certificates use this process to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, and personal information.

SSL/TLS Certificates use a process called secure encryption to protect information as it is being sent over the Internet. Secure encryption is a form of data security that uses mathematical algorithms to encrypt and decrypt data.

Secure encryption protects credit card numbers, passwords, and personal information. When this information is encrypted, it is turned into a code that the intended recipient can only decrypt. This makes it difficult for anyone to intercept and read the information.

Wrapping up

Understanding the difference between HTTP vs HTTPS is beneficial not only for your company or business but also to protect your customers’ and clients’ information. HTTPS encrypts and decrypts user page requests and the pages returned by the Web server. This protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and the confidentiality of data sent between the browser and the website. 

Hopefully, after reading this guide, you are well on your way to a secure connection using HTTPS and better understanding HTTP vs. HTTPS.

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