Difference between Cache and Cookie

Key Difference: Cache and cookie are two forms by which information is stored on the computer. This information is stored on the client’s machine to improve the performance of web pages. They both differ in many aspects; primarily in types of information stored by them. Cache stores information regarding the website. On the other hand, Cache stores information about the user which is accessed by the websites.

Cache is a temporary storage that stores elements of a web page, especially those which might be required later. It could be any element like a graphic file, script file, etc. The information is automatically downloaded at the browser’s cache on the loading of a web page. It helps in faster rendering of the same page next time. It saves the time of the user as well as of the network. One can also change the size of the cache. However, this change would depend upon the particular browser.

Cookie is also used to store information. It is also known as HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie. It is basically a small file which a web server sends to the PC. It happens automatically when someone browses certain web sites. These cookies help in the identification of the user. For example, a login detail gets stored in a cookie. Next time when the same user visits the same website, re-entering the information of log-in details is not required. This information is in the form of a string comprising of letters and numbers. It is helpful in session management and tracking.

It is important to mention that cache and cookie can be used to retrieve important information by someone who gets access to someone else’s computer. Therefore, many people delete or remove them from the system.

Comparison between Cache and Cookie:

 

Cache

Cookie

Definition

Cache is a temporary storage that stores the web page element, especially those which might be required later. It could be any element like a graphic file, script file, etc.

A cookie is also used to store information. It is basically a small file which a web server sends to the PC. It happens automatically when someone browses certain web sites.

Purpose

Cache helps in the faster rendering of a web page.

These cookies help in the identification of the user.

Removal

Needs to be manually removed.

Generally, it gets removed after some time.

Example Audio, video file User preferences gets stores

Image Courtesy: nrel.gov, help.aol.com

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