Instructions on how to distinguish between cookies and sessions

Differentiate between cookies and sessions

Cookies and sessions are two basic terms in the information technology industry. These are all tools that support data storage, making website design and creation simpler and more efficient.

So how to distinguish cookies and sessions? How are these tools related and how are they different? Join Mat Bao to learn about the difference between session and cookie in the following article.

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Differentiate between cookies and sessions

Differentiate between cookies and sessions

1. What is a session?

Session is a concept used in website programming with database connection, support for user login and logout functions. A session, or a session, is the amount of data stored in the database through connection actions.

Session stores the user's data when accessing the website

Session stores the user’s data when accessing the website

The saved session helps distinguish different browsers from the user side. Specifically, it will compare hits sent to the server system through different computers. To put it simply, session is a tool that stores user data when using a website.

2. How to use session

Usage is one of the bases for distinguish cookies and sessions. A session (session) begins when the client sends a request to the server. It persists throughout the web application, from page to page, and ends only when the user closes the application or the timeout expires. The value of a session will be stored in a file on the server.

For example, when a user logs in to the website with the registered username and password, a session is initialized in the server. This session is responsible for recording all user actions on the website, from the beginning to the end. Stored content is usually login information, number of products, goods added to cart, etc.

A cookie is a piece of text that is initialized and stored on the user’s computer browser. Cookies are initialized from the moment a user visits a website. It will remember login information such as name, password or other options set by the user. This information will be saved in the computer, used to identify user access.

What are cookies?

To distinguish cookies and sessions, people often rely on their usage. When a user visits a website that uses cookies, the web server of that website automatically sends a cookie to the user’s computer. The cookie then sends the user’s information back to the cookie creator. The server system uses the information contained in the cookie to identify the user in subsequent visits.

The information recorded by the cookie will not be disclosed to the outside, only the website containing the cookie has the right to view this information. Each cookie will have a predefined timeout by the programmer. The information stored in a cookie is temporary and is only stored for a short period of time.

Basically, both session and cookie have the function of storing user data. Therefore, many people often confuse these two concepts with each other. To distinguish cookies and sessionsit is usually based on the following criteria:

Criteria Session Cookies
Define Are files containing user information on the server Are files containing user information on the client side
Storage location Not saved in the browser Stored right on the user’s browser
Storage object Customer data is stored on the server The data is saved on the client’s (user) browser
Security capabilities Session data is stored on the server, so it is difficult to interfere or modify Cookie data is stored on the user’s device, so it is easy to be hacked and modified
Storage period The session ends when the user closes the browser Always stored in the browser until expired
Storage capacity Unlimited. The maximum memory limit a script can consume at the same time is 128MB by default Up to 4KB
Interdependence A session will depend on cookies A cookie is not dependent on session

After distinguish cookies and sessions, the next thing that you need to find out is the relationship between them. Because in fact, cookies and sessions still have special relationships with each other.

Cookies help distinguish sessions of different browsers. In simple terms, cookies are the basis for the server to know which session belongs to which user. To do this, each session that is initiated must have a cookie associated with it.

The relationship between cookies and sessions

The relationship between cookies and sessions

Each session will be assigned an ID used to retrieve stored values, which is unique. An initial session generates a cookie containing the corresponding session ID stored on the user’s computer and processes requests to the server. In case the client browser does not support cookies, the session ID will be displayed in the URL.

Understanding the concept, understanding the difference between cookies and sessions is the first step in website programming. Hope the above article has provided you with a lot of useful information, helping you distinguish cookies and sessions to apply in their work.

The image and content of the article are compiled by Mat Bao.

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By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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