What Is The Difference Between a Cookie And a Session In PHP

One important difference between a session and a cookie is that cookies get stored in a user’s browser, while sessions are stored on server instead of browser. This difference is enough to determine what cookie and session are best used for.

Sessions also allow web applications and data to store or retrieve much more information than cookies. However, cookies are used in PHP sessions because they enhance more security and functionality as well.

Cookies Store Data On The Browser While Sessions Use Server To Store All The Data

Another big difference between both of them is that, the sessions store all the data on server while cookies store it on the browser. You need to use a session identifier if you want to locate a user’s data on the session. And the session identifier is mostly located in the web browser of a user which is stored in a cookie. However the sensitive data like the user’s name or ID will always be stored on the server in order to keep them secure and safe.

Sessions Give Better Security Than Cookies

If cookies are better than sessions then what is the purpose of using a session? As we discussed above that sessions are more secure than cookies as they store the sensitive and relevant information on the server unlike cookies. Another reason is that, some users reject the cookies or either turn the off, in that case a session works without the cookie and can be beneficial to the user.

Cookies Do Not Need Extra Space But Sessions Do

PHP sessions need a directory to store all the information on PHP on the server. If your server is using a Windows or an earlier version of PHP, then the configuration of the server is required. A very important instruction which needs to be remembered while using sessions is that every page using a session needs to begin by enabling the session_start()function. This function allows the PHP to start a new session altogether or retrieve an existing one.

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