URI vs URL | What’s the Difference?

URI vs URL | What’s the Difference?

4 mins read642 Views Comment
clickHere
Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Mar 4, 2024 15:08 IST

The primary distinction between URI vs URL is that URI recognizes a resource and distinguishes it from other resources using a name, location, or both. URL, on the other hand, denotes a specific resource’s web address or location.

2022_10_Untitled-design-11.jpg

URL vs URI, The key distinction between these two is that a URI can be either a name by itself, such as shiksha.com, or a name combined with a protocol for how to get there, such as https://. On the other hand, a URL is always a name followed by a protocol, such as https://shiksha.com.

In this article, we will cover URI vs URL in great detail, but before we start with that, let’s quickly go through the list of topics listed under the table of contents (TOC) that we will cover in this article.

Table of Contents (TOC)

URI vs URL

For better understanding, let’s explore the difference between URI vs. URL in a tabular format:

Parameter URI URL
Full form Uniform Resource Identifier Uniform Resource Locator
Purpose To provide a technique to identify the item To describe the identity of an item
What is it? The superset of URL A type of URI
Used for Tag library files, JSTL files, XSTL files, etc. Searching web pages on the internet.
Contains the protocol specification No Yes
Comprises of Scheme, authority, path, query, etc. Protocol, domain, path, hash, etc.
Example shiksha.com https://www.shiksha.com

What is URI? 

A Uniform Resource Identifier, or URI, is a string of characters that identifies a web resource using its location, name, or both. A URI has two subsets: (Uniform Resource Locator) and URN (Uniform Resource Number). The URI can be used to describe both the URL and the URN. URI schemes include HTTP, FTP, HTTPs, Idap, etc.

A URI has a specific syntax that includes a scheme, authority, path, query, and fragment. For example, in 'https://www.example.com/page?search=query#section', 'https'is the scheme, 'www.example.com' is the authority, '/page' is the path, 'search=query' is the query, and 'section' is the fragment.

What is a URL?

In layman’s terms, a URL is an identifier that identifies a resource and tells you how to access it or where to find it. The URL is used to find the location or address of a web resource. A URL may begin with FTP:/ or HTTPS://, indicating that the resource can be found and accessed using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

URL includes additional components such as the protocol, domain, port, path, query parameters, and fragment identifier. Each component plays a specific role in locating the resource.

You can also explore POST vs PUT – What’s The Difference?

URI vs URL - Practical Application & Example

  • Web Browsing: When you enter a URL into your web browser, it directs you to a specific page on the internet. For example, entering https://www.shiksha.com takes you to the homepage of Shiksha.com.
  • Email Links: A mailto URI, such as mailto:support@shiksha.com, when clicked, opens your default email client to compose a message to the specified email address.

Key differences between URI and URL 

Some of the key differences between URI and URL are:

  • URL is only used to locate web pages, whereas URI is used to locate HTML, XML, and other files.
  • URI does not contain the protocol specification, whereas URL contains the protocol specification.
  • The primary goal of a URL is to obtain the location or address of a resource, whereas the primary goal of a URI is to locate a resource.
  • URL is a subset of URI that designates the location and mechanism for retrieving a resource, whereas URI is a superset of URL that identifies a resource.
  • URLs contain components such as protocol, domain, path, hash, query string, and so on, whereas URIs contain components such as scheme, authority, path, query, and so on.

You can also explore REST vs SOAP? What’s the Difference?

Conclusion

The primary goal of a URL is to obtain the location or address of a resource, whereas the primary goal of a URI is to locate a resource and distinguish it from other resources by using either name or location. You should also remember that while all URLs can be URIs, not all URIs can be URLs. Because a URI contains both URL and URN, it can represent either URL or URN, or both.

FAQs

In terms of URI vs URL, what is URI?

In regards to URI vs URL, a Uniform Resource Identifier, or URI, is a string of characters that identifies a web resource using its location, name, or both.

In terms of URI vs URL, what is a URL?

Regarding URI vs URL, a URL is a type of identifier that identifies a resource and tells you how to access it or where to find it. The URL is used to find the location or address of a web resource.

What is the main difference between URI vs URL?

The main difference between URI vs URL is that URI recognizes a resource and distinguishes it from other resources using a name, location, or both. URL, however, denotes a specific resource's web address or location.

In terms of URI vs URL, which one of these two contains the protocol specification?

Regarding URI vs URL, the URL contains the protocol specification.

In terms of URI vs URL, can all URIs be URLs?

Regarding URI vs URL, all URIs can't be URLs. All URLs can be URIs, and not all URIs can be URLs. Because a URI contains both URL and URN, it can represent either URL or URN, or both.

About the Author
author-image
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio