URL, URI, and URN are related concepts in web and data addressing, but they have distinct meanings and purposes:


1. URL (Uniform Resource Locator):

  • A URL is a specific type of URI that identifies a resource's location and how to access it.
  • It includes the resource's protocol (e.g., HTTP, FTP), domain or IP address, port (if applicable), and path.
    • "https" is the protocol,
    • "www.example.com" is the domain,
    • "8080" is the port, and "/products/index.html" is the path.


2. URI (Uniform Resource Identifier):

  • A URI is a broader term that encompasses both URLs and URNs.
  • It is a string of characters used to identify a resource, and it can be a locator (URL) or a name (URN).
  • URIs are used for identifying resources on the web and are the basis for building hypertext links.

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)

3. URN (Uniform Resource Name):

  • A URN is a type of URI that is used to identify resources by name in a specific namespace.
  • Unlike URLs, URNs do not specify how to locate the resource, only what the resource is.
  • URNs are intended to be persistent and independent of the resource's location or availability.
  • A common example of a URN is the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), which uniquely identifies books.
URN (Uniform Resource Name)

In summary, 

a URL is a type of URI that specifies how to access a resource by providing its location. 

URIs encompass both URLs and URNs, with URLs being a subset of URIs that define resource location and access. 

URNs are a specific type of URI used to identify resources by name within a particular namespace, focusing on persistence and resource naming rather than their location or access methods.

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