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Stateful vs Stateless: Understanding The Key Differences

You might have come across working with API products or have a basic understanding of what’s an API. Have you ever wondered how your information is stored or how the server response and request work? The protocols, or rules and regulations, that direct all data sent through the internet, govern the internet and all that is done on it. These protocols can be divided into two major categories, called stateless and stateful. We will go through some key differences between stateless vs stateful protocols.

What Is Stateful?

A stateful protocol has the capacity to remember and store the details of its interactions with the server it controls. When an end-user submits a request to the web server, it anticipates some sort of response. If it doesn’t receive one, it submits the request once more. A stateful application processes its queries on the same server. The most well-known aspect of stateful is that it retains the state of every session it manages, whether it’s a confirmation session or an end-user request session. We can include FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sessions and online banking, which includes stateful data services and transfers, as examples of stateful apps. 

What Are The Advantages Of Stateful Architecture?

  • By keeping an accurate record of the connection, this protocol produces better results for the end user. Since it preserves the record, it produces better performance. 
  • Premium users will have exclusive access to some website material, and state information that determines an API access code for them.
  • Stateful protocols are notable for the connection state they maintain.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Stateful Architecture?

  • The effectiveness of network storage has an impact on performance. This means it provides solutions during ongoing management.
  • The server architecture must incorporate memory for data storage.
  • Stateful applications require a complex server because it exerts a heavy strain on the operation of the whole program.

What Is Stateless?

When using an Internet protocol, a stateless service does not keep or use the state of earlier transactions as a reference point. Each request that comes back and forth between parties does not require earlier requests. This protocol makes the client and server requests and responses in the present state. Additionally, the current session’s status is neither kept nor passed over to the subsequent transaction.

Moreover, this protocol does not rely on requests that were made earlier; instead, it depends on the information sent at the time of each request. Examples include the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and User Datagram Protocol.

What Are The Advantages Of Stateless Architecture?

  • Every communication in this protocol is independent of all others and distinct from those that came before or after it.
  • Stateless protocols improve visibility because each request is a separate resource.
  • With stateless services and APIs, such as RESTful APIs, updates and version deployments are simple because the server has no impact. One of the major differences between SOAP vs REST APIs is that REST is naturally stateless, while SOAP can be stateful or stateless depending on how you design it. Many companies use REST APIs, and you might want to prepare yourself with these REST API interview questions.
  • On request, one can add or remove more instances of a program. Stateless protocols also remove the cost associated with setting up and using sessions.
  • Using the stateless protocol seems to make an application more palatable to use and more supportable. In a stateless protocol, each packet of information moves forward on its own, without the necessity for cross-references.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Stateless Architecture?

  • For stateless applications, it might be essential to take in additional data on demand, which would have the effect of necessitating the server’s explanation of the most recent information.
  • Stateless protocols do not retain information on a particular user session. Therefore, if repetitious details increase, network operations may suffer.
  • They lack inherent capability, since they do not save data about a specific end-user session. The end user may find this tedious, because they do not have sessions during which the information is not saved.
  • Due to the lack of state in stateless APIs, authentication problems can arise, necessitating the use of a broker to verify user identities. In this case, understanding what is an API key will be useful to authenticate users.

What Are The Key Differences Between Stateful And Stateless?

Stateful and stateless protocols have several similarities, one of such is the stateless and stateful firewall. Both of them use similar mechanisms to prevent malicious data packets from entering the network. However, the differences are worthy of noticing too. 

Following are the key differences between stateless and stateful protocols.


Stateless protocols, which rely less on their servers, don’t need sophisticated servers to run. The server design is fairly straightforward due to the structure of stateless protocols. The design is simple, since there is no stored data. 

In contrast, stateful protocol design keeps the practice of releasing the client device while transferring the majority of the burden to the server. As a result, stateful protocol servers need to be built with a major emphasis on complexity. Every detail should be in store on the server, which increases the design’s complexity and weight.


Exchanging data requires a two-way interface for computer programs.

The level of dependence on servers and client hardware, however, varies from protocol to protocol. In a stateless protocol, the client and the server are less dependent on one another and more independent. Sending requests reduces the server’s workload because they are self-contained.

In a stateful protocol, both the server and the client are totally dependent on one another. Before users can create a connection, the server must react to requests issued by clients. There needs to be resubmitting of the request if the client does not receive a response from the server. 

Transaction Handling

While this may be due to a number of factors, the protocol connecting the program also affects how quickly transactions happen. Some applications are just naturally faster than others.

In stateless apps, there is no session data stored on the server. It can also execute numerous sessions concurrently without requesting further information from a storage platform. This makes it possible for a stateless protocol to manage transactions somewhat more quickly.

However, stateful transactions happen by forcing the server to keep track of transactions for the duration of the session. Higher control over the information that is transferred across the network and passed thanks to this type of transaction processing. The transaction processing is, however, likewise slow.

Response Mechanism

The client sends a request to the server in a stateless architecture. The client does not check to see if the message has been present after it was sent. It does not await a response once it has been sent. 

A stateful protocol, on the other hand, expects a response in return for the request made; if no response is present from the other end, the request is made again.


Some protocols are simpler to implement compared to others when it involves the internet and the realm of data transmission. The general classifications of stateful and stateless protocols fall under the same umbrella. To ascertain the nature of the request, stateless protocols require less logical reasoning, storage, and queries. Stateless applications are consequently simpler to design and frequently demand less computer processing power.

Because stateful services require more computer processing power and storage space than stateless ones, stateful protocols differ from stateless protocols in this way. Stateful protocols are more logically complex and difficult to implement than stateless protocols.

Why Should You Use APILayer For Your Applications?

The distinction between stateful and stateless systems applies to more than networking protocols. Stateful resources include any server, application, architecture, or piece of IT infrastructure that keeps track of information about its current state. This poses a new challenge in deciding whether to use stateful or stateless APIs when developing websites. Therefore, an API product like APILayer would be valuable for anyone who’s wondering where to choose the best API for your next project. APILayer has close to 100 APIs in various categories, such as finance, currency, dev tools, and scraping. Using these APIs, you can scale your application without any hassle. All these APIs have free plans that you can use without a credit card.

Interested in using APILayer? Head over to the website and sign up for free!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is stateful?

A stateful protocol has the capacity to remember and store data and its interactions with the server it controls.

What is stateless?

Stateless is when there is no history of previous contacts, and when each interaction request is solely processed on the basis of the data it contains.

What is a stateless application?

A software program that does not store client information created during one session for use during another with that client.

What is a stateless server?

It implies that the server does not record the user’s identity or the actions they do on the page when they access any web resource.

Is HTTPS stateless or stateful?

HTTPS is a stateless protocol.

What does stateless mean in rest?

Every HTTP request occurs in total isolation due to statelessness.

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