URI vs URL: What’s The Difference?

URI vs URL – A URI and a URL are two different things and they serve two different purposes.

A URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier, is a string of characters that is used to identify a resource, such as a web page, image, video, or document.

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is a string of characters that is used to locate a resource on the Internet.

What’s the Difference Between a URI and a URL?

If you’ve ever typed something in the address bar of your browser such as http://news.ycombinator.com/ and it brought you to www.news.ycombinator.com, that’s a URL.

If you’ve ever typed http://news.ycombinator.com/ in the address bar and it brought you to www.news.ycombinator.com, that’s a URI.

What Does a URI Do?

A URI doesn’t change your IP address, doesn’t track you, and doesn’t connect you to any information that’s not already available on the Internet.

Let’s look at some examples of what a URI might do:


– Your friend has created a website that contains this link. If you were to visit this link in your browser, it would go to a page on your friend’s website that has a link to your friend’s welcome message on a different page of their website.

A deeper explanation (let’s get technical)

The URL consists of three parts:

The domain name The part that specifies the resource URL prefix The path (or hash) of the resource

Let’s take an example of a URL as an example:


The domain name tells you what type of server is responsible for the website, which domain name to use, and possibly the location of that server.

The part that specifies the resource, in this case, a resource to be served from the server, is the path:


You can get this by asking the browser how to get to the resource in question. Usually, this is done by hitting F12, which displays the URL (for example http://example.com/foo/bar/baz).

The path tells you how to search for the resource using a list of search engines.

How can you tell the difference between URI vs URL?

Simply put, a URL is a URI, but not all URIs are URLs.

URIs are really designed to meet the needs of search engines. This means that each URI should clearly identify a specific resource on the web.

The problem is, while most people understand that a URL should be specific to the user’s specific computer, not every application understands that as well.

For example, if you’re looking for a product from Amazon.com, Amazon uses the URL http://amazon.com/product/item/i7vfkbr4 to identify the product, but not everyone understands that. If someone visits http://my123.zappos.com, Zappos uses the URL http://p2p3.zappos.com/ because it is located on the same network as their Amazon-owned servers, not because it contains the product that they are looking for.

Salvaging practical rules from all this

But, despite the different names, URI and URL are very similar. This means that it is really no surprise that the URI would be something that someone could use to retrieve the resource. And that is exactly what happened.

As you can see, when we go to an URL, we can navigate to a site. We can go to a web page, watch a video, or send an e-mail. That’s why a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is very important, even if it does need to be added in places such as LDAP or Active Directory.

A domain name is the name given to a domain in a directory on the Internet. An example of a domain name that is a part of the DNS system is example.com. If you are reading this, you are in a specific system that knows how to point to your computer on the Internet.

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URI vs URLSummary of the differences

URI vs URL: What is the difference?

Here are some highlights on the difference between a URI and URL:

A URI is a string of characters that identifies a resource on the Internet.

You can use a URI to identify any resource on the Internet using a URI encoding.

You can use a URL to identify a resource on the Internet using URL encoding. However, the URL you’re trying to find will need to be converted to a URI before it will be a valid URI.

The URL you’re trying to find is usually the one that contains the document that you’re trying to download. If you want to open a particular document you’ll need to type the URL, such as: http://example.

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