How HTTP works? - HTTP Tutorial

When the client wants to communicate with a server, either being the final server or an intermediate proxy, it performs the following steps:Client server chain

1. Open a TCP connection: The TCP connection will be used to send a request, or several, and receive an answer. The client may open a new connection, reuse an existing connection, or open several TCP connections to the servers.

2. Send an HTTP message: HTTP messages (before HTTP/2) are human-readable. With HTTP/2, these simple messages are encapsulated in frames, making them impossible to read directly, but the principle remains the same.

GET / HTTP/1.1Host: youtube.comAccept-Language: en

3. Read the response sent by the server:

HTTP/1.1 200 OKDate: Sat, 09 Oct 2010 14:28:02 GMTServer: ApacheLast-Modified: Tue, 01 Dec 2009 20:18:22 GMTETag: "51142bc1-7449-479b075b2891b"Accept-Ranges: bytesContent-Length: 29769Content-Type: text/html<!DOCTYPE html... (here comes the 29769 bytes of the requested web page)

4. Close or reuse the connection for further requests.


If HTTP pipelining is activated, several requests can be sent without waiting for the first response to be fully received. HTTP pipelining has proven difficult to implement in existing networks, where old pieces of software coexist with modern versions. HTTP pipelining has been superseded in HTTP/2 with more robust multiplexing requests within a frame.