Quelle est la différence entre HTTP et HTTPS ?

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? – Minecraft Online Free

What do you mean, there are really two? Casual users don’t always notice it, but HTTP (or and HTTPS () are two possible options at the beginning of a URL that can distinguish a major difference between all the web pages you visit every day. Even if you don’t really care understand how it works, I bet this article will broaden your horizons. Consider it your first lesson if you would like to learn more about internet security.

Here is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, explained in a awesome infographic created by FirstSiteGuide. I will explain the main elements later.

HTTP: data is not encrypted

All URLs that begin with HTTP use a simple hypertext transfer protocol. Created in the early 1990s by Tim Berners-Lee, when the Internet was still in its infancy, it is thanks to this standard network protocol that browsers and servers can communicate by exchanging data.

HTTP is stateless, which means it allows connections to be created on demand. When you click on a link, a connection is requested and your web browser sends the request to the server which responds by opening the page. The faster the connection, the faster the data is displayed.

As an application layer protocol, HTTP’s sole purpose is to display requested information without worrying about how that information moves from place to place. Unfortunately, this means that HTTP can be intercepted and possibly hijacked, leaving information and its recipients (i.e. you) vulnerable.

HTTPS: encrypted connections

HTTPS is not the opposite of HTTP but rather its little cousin. Both are hypertext transfer protocols that allow web data to be displayed on your screen when you send a request. However, HTTPS is slightly different, more advanced, and much more secure.

Basically, the HTTPS protocol is an extension of HTTP. The “S” at the end stands for the initial of the word “Secure” and it works using Transport Layer Security (TLS), the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser.

Without the presence of HTTPS, all the data you enter on a site (eg username, password, credit card, RIB or any other information required in a form) will be sent in plain text format and will be, therefore, vulnerable to interception and eavesdropping. For this reason, you should always verify that a site is using HTTPS before entering any data.

In addition to encrypting data transmitted between a server and your browser, TLS also authenticates the server you are connecting to and protects transmitted data from tampering.

To help you understand the difference, imagine that HTTP in HTTPS is the equivalent of a destination, while SSL is the equivalent of a journey. The former is responsible for routing data to your screen, the latter manages how that data is moved. By joining forces, they allow data flows to be secure.

The pros and cons of HTTPS

As we have seen, HTTPS is the guarantor of cybersecurity. It is, without a doubt, a far superior network protocol solution to its larger cousin HTTP.

However, does HTTPS only have advantages? Or are there unavoidable drawbacks? Let’s see it together.

The benefits of HTTPS

The advantages in terms of security mentioned above, namely the authentication of the server, the encryption of data exchanges and their protection against alterations, are the obvious and main advantages of the HTTPS protocol. Website administrators want and need to protect the data of their visitors (HTTPS is even mandatory for sites that request payment information according to the standard PCI Data Security) while visitors want to know that their data is transmitted securely.

Another advantage of HTTPS is based on the growing public demand for the privacy and security of their data. Indeed, according to We Make Websites, 13% of shopping carts are abandoned due to payment security concerns. Visitors to a site want to know that they can trust it, especially when entering bank details. Using HTTPS allows you to strengthen this trust (by proving to your visitors that the information they enter will be encrypted).

HTTPS also helps you with your SEO strategy. In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS would now be considered an SEO factor. For many studies et unconfirmed experiences conducted by companies that have implemented HTTPS seem to correlate with improved SEO and site visibility.

Browsers are also joining the effort to enforce the use of HTTPS by modifying their interface so that sites not secured with HTTPS are penalized. Google has, for example, announcementat the beginning of the year, that from the month of July, Chrome would display all HTTP sites as insecure.


Chrome interface changes planned in Google’s original announcement in February 2018 (source)

If you go to an HTTP site in Chrome 66, you will see a message alerting you that the connection is not secure, by clicking on the “more information” icon in the address bar.


Example of an alert message on an HTTP site in Chrome 66 (thanks to badssl.com for allowing us to test an HTTP site)

Firefox has also announced that it will implement a similar alert system for HTTP sites. Imagine the impact of such a system on your brand, your marketing performance, your lead acquisition strategy and your sales! The only way to cope with these changes is to adopt HTTPS on your site.

What to remember before switching to HTTPS

Even though the process of switching from HTTP to HTTPS is a straight line, many people get confused, probably because of the many options available to them.

Basically, the process involves four steps:

  1. Obtain an SSL certificate from a certificate authority
  2. Install the certificate on your site’s hosting account
  3. Create the appropriate 301 redirects by modifying the .htaccess file in the root folder of your site by adding:
    1. RewriteEngine On
    2. RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    3. RewriteRule (.*) [R=301,L]
  4. Inform search engines that the addresses of your site have changed and that anyone who visits your site will now be automatically redirected to the HTTPS version.

If this still seems complicated to you, don’t worry, you haven’t exhausted all your options.

Many hosting providers offer SSL certificates in their range of services and take care of most of the installation process (the first three steps exactly). All you have to do is refer your site visitors to the new addresses. Only, beware, it could incur additional costs.

The future

Today, the Internet has more than four billion users, content consumers, customers and others. User demand (website visitors are more aware than ever of the importance of their data security), regulations (eg PCI DSS) and browser pressure (eg indicating that http sites are not not secure) put together are facts that prove that a transition from HTTP to HTTPS seems more and more necessary.

Note : this blog post was written by an external editor in order to vary the content offered to our readers. The opinions expressed by the author of this article are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GlobalSign.

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