Understanding HTTP, HTTPS, UDP, TCP and TLS Protocols

We have heard a lot about the protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, UDP, TCP and TLS but are you really sure about the key differences among them? In this theoritical blog we are going to talk about these protocols and see how each one of them is different from the other.

When the two systems talk to each other, the communication happens over multiple layer. The essential layers involved in this process are the Network layer, Transport layer, and Application layer. Just like humans use languages to talk, computers use protocols to communicate. Among these protocols, HTTP, HTTPS, UDP, TCP, and TLS operate at different layers, each serving a distinct purpose.

The Network Layer(Layer 3):

The Network layer is responsible for transferring bits and bytes. It focuses on the efficient transmission of data across networks, addressing aspects like routing, addressing, and packet forwarding. It establishes the foundation for higher-level protocols to build upon.

The Transport Layer(Layer 4):

The Transport layer is responsible to ensure that the bits and bytes are transferred properly. It acts as a facilitator between the Network layer below and the Application layer above. It accomplishes this through mechanisms like error detection, acknowledgments, and flow control.

The Application Layer(Layer 7):

The Application layer resides at the top of the OSI model and represents the layer where applications operate. It encompasses a wide range of functionalities, such as making REST API calls, sending emails, and interacting with various services.

Each layer makes use of the layers beneath it.

Let's get started-

What are HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, operates at the Application layer and forms the basis of communication on the World Wide Web. It is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. It enables clients, such as web browsers, to request resources from servers and receive responses. However, HTTP lacks built-in security measures, making it susceptible to eavesdropping and data manipulation.

The Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) is an extension of HTTP that encrypts and decrypts web page content sent between a client and server. HTTPS utilises a combination of HTTP and TLS/SSL protocols to establish secure communication channels between clients and servers. It is designed to ensure that a connection is secure from eavesdropping, tampering and message forgery.

HTTP and HTTPS operate on top of a Transport Layer protocol (TCP or UDP) and are responsible for managing data communication. HTTP is unencrypted, whereas HTTPS is encrypted.

What are UDP and TCP?

User Datagram Protocol(UDP) is a connectionless, fast and simple protocol for sending data packets over the internet. UDP packets may be lost or received out of order, which can result in some loss of data quality or completeness, making it suitable for real-time applications like voice and video streaming or online gaming.

TCP, on the other hand, is a reliable, connection-oriented protocol responsible for ensuring data delivery. When data is sent via TCP, it creates a virtual connection to ensure that packets arrive in the correct order and completeness. TCP sets up a connection via a three-way handshake and uses sequencing to make sure that all data arrives accurately and in the correct order.

TCP and UDP are transport layer protocols responsible for data delivery between applications. TCP offers connection-oriented, reliable data delivery, ensuring packets are delivered in a certain order. UDP is fast and simple for data transfer and includes no such reliability measures.

What is TLS protocol?

TLS (Transport Layer Security) operates between the Transport layer (TCP) and the Application layer (HTTP/HTTPS). It encrypts data transmitted between a client and server. TLS also provides authentication and integrity checks, helping ensure that you are communicating with the intended party without data having been altered during transit, making it difficult for third parties to eavesdrop or manipulate communication.


Understanding the distinct roles and functionalities of HTTP, HTTPS, UDP, TCP, and TLS across different layers of communication is crucial for comprehending how data is transmitted and secured on the internet. These protocols work together to enable efficient and secure data exchange between systems, supporting a wide range of applications and services.

Thank you!

Happy Learning :)