4 January 2021

Difference between HTTP and SMTP

SMTP and HTTP are both standards at the network layer that enable the transfer of information among computers. HTTP is responsible for enabling communication between web browsers and servers, serving as the cornerstone for data exchange on the internet. On the other hand, SMTP is designed for email servers to interact with each other, being the predominant protocol for email communication. Hence, the purpose of this piece is to underscore the main differences between SMTP and HTTP, with the goal of improving understanding of this topic.

What is HTTP?

HTTP is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it serves as the foundation of the global web. It specifies the format of messages exchanged between web browsers and web servers, also outlining the expected behavior of a web browser in response to a specific request from another web browser.

Learn more about the Features of SMTP

What is SMTP?

SMTP, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is a type of protocol that facilitates the transmission of email messages over internet devices. It is responsible for handling outgoing mail and allows applications to send emails through the connected mail server via SMTP.

Difference between SMTP and HTTP:

  1. HTTP stand for hyper text transfer protocol, SMTP stand for simple mail transfer protocol.
  2. HTTP is mainly used for data and file  transfer, SMTP is used for mail service. 
  3. SMTP uses a persistent connection,  HTTP can use both a persistent and non-persistent connection.
  4. HTTP uses different methods of authentication such as basic, digest, and Oath, While SMTP uses base64 encoding for authentication. 
  5. HTTP uses port 80, SMTP uses port 25.

  6. HTTP places each object its own HTTP message, SMTP place all the objects into a single message.
  7. HTTP is a pull protocol, a client pulls the information available o a server by initiating a TCP connection. SMTP is a push protocol, the sending mail server pushes the data onto the receiving mail server by initiating a TCP connection.
  8. HTTP supports both plain text and encrypted communication(HTTPS), But in SMTP support both plain text and encrypted communication(SMTP or STARTTLS). 
  9.  HTTP supports session management and cookies to maintain state, On the other hand, SMTP doesn't support session management or cookies. 
  10. HTTP does not require data to be encoded in 7 bit ASCII, SMTP requires binary multimedia data to be encoded in 7 bit ASCII.
  11. HTTP does not require authentication for browsing web pages, On the other hand, SMTP requires authentication for sending emails. 
  12. HTTP transfer file between the web server and the web client. SMTP transfer emails via mail servers. 
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