HTTP Request Header

What Does HTTP Request Header Mean?

An HTTP request header is a component of a network packet sent by a browser or client to the server to request for a specific page or data on the Web server. It is used in Web communications or Internet browsing to transport user requests to the corresponding website’s Web server.


Techopedia Explains HTTP Request Header

An HTTP request header primarily enables a user in accessing a website. Each time a user website or webpage in a browser, an HTTP request header is generated by the browser and is sent to the website / Web server. Typically, the information within the HTTP request header is in form of plain text record of data/page request made by the user. Some of the information within an HTTP request header includes:

  • Source IP address and port number
  • Requested URI (data or web page)
  • Host (Destination website or web server)
  • Type of data the browser will accept in return (text, html, xml etc)
  • User’s browser type (Mozilla, Chrome, IE) so that the Web server can send compatible data

In response, the Web server/host sends back an HTTP response header containing the requested data.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.