How does HTTPS work?

HTTP is an acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is used to transfer data from one point to another using the World Wide Web.

The HTTP protocol was designed by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau in 1990. Its purpose was to connect a web browser and a web server so that the user could view web pages on their screens.

HTTP is different from other protocols because it does not require users to know or enter any information, such as an email address or password, in order to establish a connection between their computer and the server hosting the desired content.

  • When you visit a website in your browser, the client is your browser and the server is the web server that hosts its files. The server responds to client requests with data. For example, when you view an HTML page it will download all of its required components from the web server, including images.
  • When you want to send data over the internet, you use a connection. TCP slow start is the first stage of that. Currently, information is moved back and forth between the two parties through packets of data. These packets often require more than one transsession.
  • Slow start is a TCP feature designed to gradually increase the amount of data transferred per round trip. The initial packet size is 16kb and doubles on following round trips up to a maximum which varies but typically ends up being about 4MB.
  • Servers don’t know how much bandwidth your device can handle, and they need to find the limit. This way they won’t overwhelm you and keep sending larger packets until a limit is exceeded.
  • As data or request bodies move between the client and the server, it is done using clear or plain text. This is viewable by anyone or software watching the network traffic.
  • In general, this is not a pressing issue for content. However, more and more sessions today transport identifying data while seeming to have nothing to do with it. That’s precisely why every website should use TLS to encrypt HTTP connections.

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