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Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Definition - What does Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) mean?

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-layer protocol used primarily on the World Wide Web. HTTP uses a client-server model where the web browser is the client and communicates with the webserver that hosts the website. The browser uses HTTP, which is carried over TCP/IP to communicate to the server and retrieve Web content for the user.

HTTP is a widely used protocol and has been rapidly adopted over the Internet because of its simplicity. It is a stateless and connectionless protocol.

Techopedia explains Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Although HTTP's simplicity is its greatest strength it is also its main drawback. As a result, the HyperText Transfer Protocol - Next Generation (HTTP-NG) project has emerged as an attempt to replace HTTP. HTTP-NG promises to deliver a much higher performance and additional features to support efficient commercial applications in addition to simplifying HTTP's security and authentication features. Some of HTTP-NG's goals have already been implemented in HTTP/1.1, which incorporates performance, security and other feature improvements to its original version HTTP/1.0.

A basic HTTP request involves the following steps:

  1. A connection to the HTTP server is opened.
  2. A request is sent to the server.
  3. Some processing is done by the server.
  4. A response from the server is sent back.
  5. The connection is closed.

There are two versions of HTTP, version HTTP/1.0 and the latest version HTTP/1.1. The change made in the revision was mainly in the connection for each request and response transaction. In its former version, a separate connection was needed. In the later version, the connection can be reused multiple times.

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