The question: Port 80 instead of 443? Why would you ever need to use both of them? was closed. A comment suggest to ask this question on other groups typically groups of system admins.

I agree this is rather a beginner question. But I am also convinced that this is a professional question relevant of the skillness of network engineers.

In my company, system admins aren't good at answering this question. They often fail in choosing the right protocol to use. The engineers who answer correctly to this kind of question are network engineers or engineers in charge of the operational security.

Then I suggest to keep this question open since many questions on the same topic will be legitimately closed on any other group. These questions will receive a suggestion to be posted on the specialists group which is here (Network Engineering) 😊. Just because it is a question about the appropriate network protocol to use.

  • 80 is the default port used for HTTP while 443 is default for HTTP with SSL, aka HTTPS. Note that SSL is deprecated and TLS1.2 is now in use for most HTTPS. In any case, the specific port can be different. For example, I connect to a REST api over HTTPS on port 55443. – Ronnie Royston Dec 9 '16 at 4:33
  • It's probably an appropriate question for: security.stackexchange.com – zevlag Feb 16 '17 at 22:17

The port number is not the protocol. In both cases in the question, the layer-4 protocol is TCP. The application-layer protocols in question (HTTP and HTTPS) are above OSI layer-4, and that means they are explicitly off-topic on Network Engineering. See What topics can I ask about here? for more information: in the Off-Topic section it says, "protocols above L4 in the OSI model (e.g. HTTP, FTP, etc)." Notice that it specifically lists HTTP as an example of a protocol not allowed.

The Network Engineering community decided to limit protocol support to layer 4 and below of the OSI model. Questions about TCP are on-topic, and are frequently asked and answered on Network Engineering, but protocols that ride on top of TCP are off-topic. A decision about when to use HTTP or HTTPS is really up to the application designer, not a network engineer.

If you need to consider this from a programming perspective, then you may want to ask it on Stack Overflow. From a server/network perspective, you may want to ask it on Server Fault for a business network, or on Super User for a personal network.

  • I feel that the comment you made to the OQ will expose the asking user to many failures and deceptions. – dan Nov 2 '16 at 9:31
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    I'm sorry, I don't understand your comment. – Ron Maupin Nov 2 '16 at 9:31
  • Please note: I didn't ask the question, I am not a beginner, and I rather tried to answer the OQ :). – dan Nov 2 '16 at 9:35
  • I wasn't saying that you asked the question, only that the question is off-topic for Network Engineering. I was answering your question here, on Network Engineering Meta. The community has decided which subjects are on-topic, and which subjects are off-topic. It is all explained in the help center. – Ron Maupin Nov 2 '16 at 9:41
  • Didn't you already explain this fully and correctly in your 1st comment to the OQ? – dan Nov 2 '16 at 9:45
  • I did, but you asked about it here, so I answered your question here. I assumed that you were not fully satisfied with, or did not understand the comment, so I went into more detail here. – Ron Maupin Nov 2 '16 at 9:47
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    I fully understood your 1st comment and procedure used. I am convinced it was slightly too harsh for the new comer who asked this question. – dan Nov 2 '16 at 9:50
  • The community has decided what is, or is not, on-topic here. I didn't express it harshly, and I tried to direct him to a better site, but an off-topic question is put On Hold to give the person asking time to edit it to make it on-topic if possible. If not, it will automatically close after a few days. – Ron Maupin Nov 2 '16 at 9:53

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