Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

In practical uses, HTTP is the protocol that allows text, graphics, multimedia, and other material to be downloaded from an HTTP server (commonly called a Web server). HTTP defines which actions clients can request and how servers should answer those requests. HTTP uses TCP as a transport protocol, making it a connection-oriented protocol. However, it can also use UDP for certain functions.

HTTP uses a uniform resource locator (URL) to determine which page should be downloaded from the remote server. The URL contains the type of request (for example, http://), the name of the server being contacted (for example,, and optionally the page being requested (for example, /support). The result is the syntax that Internet-savvy people are familiar with: HTTP functions at the application layer of the OSI model.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

Normal HTTP requests are sent in clear text, and for some Internet transactions such as online banking or e-commerce, this poses a significant security problem. The solution for such applications is to use the HTTPS protocol. HTTPS uses a security technology known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts the information sent between the client and the host. You can tell when you are accessing a page with HTTPS because the URL will have an HTTPS:// address as opposed to 'plain' HTTP, which uses an address of HTTP://. An example of an HTTPS URL address is

Like HTTP, HTTPS uses the TCP transport protocol and operates at the application layer of the OSI model.