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HTTPS, SSL, and TLS: How are they different from each other?

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  • HTTPS is the ‘Secured’ version of HTTP which stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’.
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) was created by Netscape Communications Corporation in 1994.

These above-mentioned three protocols are used between browsers and web servers for the safe exchange of data but the main difference lies in their functionalities. Let’s take a dive into what each one of them stands for and how they differ.

HTTPS

  • HTTPS is the ‘Secured’ version of HTTP which stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’.
  • It is used by different browsers and web servers to communicate and exchange information.
  • In other words, the exchanged data is encrypted with SSL/TLS; hence called HTTPS.
  • HTTPS-based websites are less vulnerable to cybercrimes. For example: If your online site is not secured with HTTPS, then bad actors can intercept the content of the website and then easily create the exact replica of the payment page to capture your credit card numbers and other personal details.
  • By default, HTTP uses port 80 and HTTPS uses port 443.

SSL

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) was created by Netscape Communications Corporation in 1994.
  • It was designed to create a secure internet communication via the Web.
  • It is a standard protocol that encrypts communication between the browser and the server, thus allowing easy and safe transfer of sensitive information like social security numbers, credit card details and login credentials.
  • It utilizes two types of keys: (1) Public keys - that are known to everyone; (2) Private keys - that is known only to the person receiving the message.

TLS

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) - a renamed version of SSL 3.1 - came into existence in 1999.
  • TLS 1.3, released in March 2018, is the latest version of TLS.
  • It is a protocol that allows communication between the internet and client-server applications. It forms a secure communication via the Web for email, data transfer and faxing.
  • TLS has two distinct layers: TLS Record Protocol and TLS Handshake Protocol.
  • TLS Record Protocol establishes a secure connection with encryption methods like data encryption standard. On the other hand, the TLS Handshake Protocol allows authentication for servers and clients together.
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