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What is https? And why does every site need it

  1. How are HTTP and HTTPS different?
  2. Why use HTTPS?
  3. When is an HTTPS certificate required?
  4. What does it take to switch a site to HTTPS?

Once upon a time, at the dawn of the Internet, there were many separate independent networks in the world. Each network used a different set of rules to exchange information between the computers of which it was composed.

A little later, groups of such rules began to be called data transfer protocols and network protocols. Networks grew and protocols were unified to conveniently connect more and more computers.

When the first pages of websites and documents in HTML format appeared, the transfer and processing of data from them began to be carried out using a small amount of protocol, which included HTTP. The network protocol standard, developed by Tim Berners-Lee in the early 1990s, allowed web browsers and servers to communicate quickly using query methods and URL link paths. Then hackers appeared – and with them new protections - HTTPS and SSL certificates.

How are HTTP and HTTPS different?

How are HTTP and HTTPS different?


What is HTTP?

The full form of HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP offers a set of rules and standards that define how any information can be transferred to the World Wide Web. At its core, HTTP is an application protocol and provides standard rules for interaction between three categories - web browsers (clients), servers, and proxies.

HTTP itself is built on top of the TCP suite of protocols. HTTP uses structured hypertext text, which establishes a logical link between nodes containing text. It is also known as "stateless protocol" because each command is executed separately, without referencing the previous run command.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This is a very advanced and secure version of HTTP. Port in use №. 443 for data transfer. This allows many secure transactions to be created by encrypting all communication with SSL. At its core, HTTPS is a combination of SSL / TLS and HTTP. It provides encrypted and secure identification of the network server.

HTTP also allows for a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser. It offers bi-directional data security. This will help you protect potentially confidential information from theft.

Why use HTTPS?

HTTP allows you to create a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser. It offers bi-directional data security that is no longer considered reliable enough in the 21st century. This will help you protect confidential or valuable information from common or fake theft and decryption, but such protection will not resist the professionals.

In HTTPS, SSL transactions are negotiated using a key-based encryption algorithm. These are keys that use the principle of prime factorization - they are usually 64 or 128 bits. Some transactions can be carried out with enhanced security and 256 or 512 bit keys – or even 2048 bits.

Thus, the HTTPS security level meets any harsh requirements. – for example, passwords for personal bank accounts or accounts.

Benefits of HTTP:

  • HTTP can be implemented with a different protocol on the Internet or other networks.

  • HTTP pages are stored in computer and internet caches, so they are quickly accessible.

  • Platform independent, the protocol allows cross-platform porting

  • Does not require runtime support

  • Can be used through firewalls! It is possible to use global applications

  • The protocol is not connection oriented, hence there is no network overhead of creating and maintaining session state and the continuous transfer of information.

Benefits of HTTPS:

  • In most cases, sites running over HTTPS will have a redirect. Hence, even if you enter HTTP://, it will be redirected to https over a secure connection.

  • The protocol allows users to perform secure e-commerce transactions such as online banking.

  • SSL technology protects any user and increases the trust in the resource.

  • An independent body verifies the identity of the certificate holder. Thus, each SSL certificate contains unique authenticated information about the owner of the certificate.

HTTP Limitations:

  • No privacy as everyone can see the content

  • Data integrity is a big issue as someone might change the content. This is why the HTTP protocol is an insecure method, as it does not use strong encryption methods.

  • Anyone who intercepts the request can get the username and password.

HTTPS Limitations:

  • HTTPS cannot stop stealing sensitive information from pages cached in the browser

  • SSL data can only be encrypted during transmission over the network. So it cannot protect text in browser memory

  • HTTPS can increase the computing and network overhead of the client.

When is an HTTPS certificate required?

An SSL certificate encrypts data that travels from the user's computer to the target resource and back. Every time a user enters information on your site, SSL ensures that they can safely navigate from their browser to your web server.

What does this mean for resource owners? Websites communicate with their customers to exchange information so that people can safely purchase goods or services over the Internet. Adding an SSL certificate creates a secure connection for these types of activities. The most important thing to understand about SSL is that everything that needs to be secured on the network must be under the SSL certificate's protective umbrella.

You can go to great lengths to improve the security of your site, but without SSL, it probably won't be enough. A website can work online without an SSL certificate, but you have to ask yourself if you want to risk being hacked every second? I think no.

Once it was enough to rely solely on basic antivirus and firewall software to protect your business and home computer. This is not the case now - today's users are bombarded with malware. Ensuring customer trust and confidence in security in the 21st century is implemented precisely with an SSL certificate.

You can get a certificate from a specialized provider, or by contacting the technical support of your hosting. Various types of certificates cost from 20 $ up to 200 $ and may differ in the level of encryption and the code used.

What does it take to switch a site to HTTPS?

At first glance, switching from http to https is pretty straightforward:

  • Purchase an SSL certificate,

  • Install SSL certificate on your website hosting account,

  • Make sure all website links are changed from http to https so they don't get broken after switching the https switch.

  • Configure 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS.

When redirecting, search engines are notified when your site's addresses have changed, and anyone who bookmarks a page on your site is automatically redirected to the https address after clicking the toggle.

At first glance, everything is simple. However, with the sheer number of options offered by SSL certificate providers and packages offered by hosting companies, this simple process can become very confusing.

The situation is also not helped by the fact that switching a site from http to https requires more technology than most small businesses prefer. They usually require the services of a web administrator to connect correctly.

But still you should remember – HTTPS protocol and SSL certificate for business website as important as a license for private business. The correct use of SSL certificates will help protect your customers, gain their trust and, as a result, get more profit and dynamic development of the Internet resource.



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