DEV Community

Cover image for A Beginner’s Guide to HTTP & HTTPS

Posted on


A Beginner’s Guide to HTTP & HTTPS

Probably everyone, at least who are attached to the field of Web Development in some way, have definitely heard the two very famous terms, HTTP and HTTPS.

Today, we are going to take a look at the different aspects of these topics. But let’s first start our journey with the Request-Response Cycle.

Request-Response Cycle:

The whole Ecosystem of Internet has its pivot in this well-known phenomenon of Request-Response Cycle.

Maybe a lot of new terms for a beginner, but once read thoroughly, it makes the life of a beginner Web Developer much easy.

Formally, it is defined as the flow of information between clients(Spread across the world) and the server(centralised in case of Web2.0 but decentralised in case of Web3.0).

Let’s take an example to understand it more clearly.

Whenever we type any URL in the search bar and then press Enter Key, the typed URL is sent to DNS Server of your ISP(Internet Service Provider) which then maps the URL to the corresponding IP Address. Once the IP Address is fetched, a Request to the Server is made for the necessary details and it sends us back the Data or Webpage as a Response.

In short, it is the whole phenomenon of initiating a Web Request for getting the necessary Response from the Backend Server.

Request-Response Cycle

Web Protocols:

Web Protocols are basically the set of rules that governs features, some of which are listed below :

  • Will the connection be kept alive after a certain action or a period of time?

  • Whether the flow of data is Unidirectional or not?

  • Whether the whole Data flow be realtime or not?

Some most commonly used Web Protocols are:

  1. HTTP

  2. HTTPS

  3. WS (Used in Handling Web Sockets)

  4. SSH (Used in connecting to a Remote shell)


As per MDN Docs,

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a web protocol for transmitting hypermedia documents, such as HTML. It was designed for communication between web browsers and web servers, but it can also be used for other purposes. HTTP follows a classical client-server model, with a client opening a connection to make a request, then waiting until it receives a response.

HTTPS is basically an extension of HTTP that adds an extra layer of security by encrypting the data being transferred between a web server and a browser.

When a user connects to a website using HTTPS, their connection to the website is encrypted using SSL(Secure Sockets layer) or TLS(Transport layer Security). This makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card information, or personal data.



SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and its successor, TLS (Transport Layer Security), are protocols for establishing authenticated and encrypted links between networked computers.

In order to establish an SSL connection, a website must first obtain an SSL Certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA). This certificate is used to authenticate the identity of the website, and to prove that the website’s domain name belongs to the organization that requested the certificate.

Once a website has an SSL certificate, it can configure its web server to use SSL for all connections to the website. When a user connects to the website using HTTPS, their browser will verify the SSL certificate and establish an SSL connection.


Location of HTTP/HTPPS in the Network Model:

As per the OSI Model of Networking, The HTTP/HTTPS Protocols are both located in the Application layer.

Top comments (0)

16 Libraries You Should Know as a React Developer

Being a modern React developer is not about knowing just React itself. To stay competitive, it is highly recommended to explore the whole ecosystem. This article contains some of the most useful React component libraries to speed up your developer workflow.