What Is 'Http'? What Does 'Http' Do for Web Users?

Question: What Is 'Http'? What Does 'Http' Do for Web Users?

You see 'http://' and 'https://' in Web page addresses. What is http'? How does it affect me? About.com answers these questions here...

Answer: 'http' and 'https' are the names of two protocols (computer rules) that govern how an internet document gets transmitted to your screen. These programmatic rules work in the background in the same way a bank employs staff procedures to keep your money safe.

Http and https are 2 of many protocols that control how web pages and emails transmit.

A document's internet protocol is described by the the first several letters in your browser's address bar, ending in the three characters '://'. The most common protocol you will see is http:// for a regular hypertext page. The second most common protocol you will see is https://, for hypertext pages that are secured against hackers. Examples of internet computer protocols:

  • http Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • https Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured
  • TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
  • ftp File Transfer Protocol
  • IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol
  • POP Post Office Protocol
  • SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  • telnet Terminal Network protocol
  • UDP User Datagram Protocol
  • nntp Network News Transfer Protocol
  • MAC Media Access Control protocol
  • DNS Domain Name System protocol
  • DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

    How Do Computer Protocols Affect My Web Surfing?
    While computer protocols can be very cryptic and technical for programmers and administrators, protocols are really just FYI knowledge for most users. As long as you are aware of the 'http' and 'https' at the beginning of the address, and can type the correct address after the ://, then computer protocols should be nothing more than a curiousity of daily life.

    If you want to learn more about computer protocols, try Bradley Mitchell's technical articles here.


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