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SMTP vs. HTTP

Educative Answers Team

SMTP and HTTP are both network layer protocols that are used to transfer information between hosts. SMTP is used to transfer emails between mail servers, while HTTP is used to transfer data from a web server to a web client.

Let’s take a look at the significant differences between SMTP and HTTP.

SMTP

  • It is a push protocol, i.e., the sending mail server pushes the data onto the receiving mail server by initiating a TCP connection.​

  • SMTP uses a persistent connection.

  • By default, SMTP uses port 25.

  • It requires binary multimedia data to be encoded in 7-bit ASCII.

  • It places all the objects into a single message.

HTTP

  • It is a pull protocol, i.e., a client pulls the information available on a server by initiating a TCP connection.

  • HTTP can use both a persistent and non-persistent connection.

  • By default, HTTP uses port 80.

  • It does not require binary multimedia data to be encoded in 7-bit ASCII.

  • It places each object in its own HTTP message.

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