WinHTTP vs. WinINet

With a few exceptions, WinINet is a superset of WinHTTP. When selecting between the two, you should use WinINet, unless you plan to run within a service or service-like process that requires impersonation and session isolation.

Comparison of features

FeatureWinINetWinHTTP

Credential Cache

Allows all built-in applications in Windows Internet Explorer to get credentials automatically. It also allows an application running outside of Internet Explorer to prompt/specify the credentials for the server only once. From then on the requests are automatic.

yes

no

Credential Prompting

Provides an API that allows the calling code to prompt the user for credentials.

yes

no

FTP

yes

no

Autodial/RAS Support

This is legacy functionality. Use Remote Access instead.

yes

no

Zones

Automatic integration with Internet Explorer security zones.

yes

no

IDNA Support

Integrated support for the IDNA RFC/Punycode.

yes

no

Cookie Jar APIs

Persistent and non-persistent cookies are supported. Any application or script can use this to see the same cookies as the browser.

yes

no

Protected Mode IE Support

yes

no

Decompression Support

Support for gzip and deflate compression scheme.

yes

no

Chunked Upload Support

Client code must perform the chunking.

no

yes

SOCKS v4 Support

Does not include v4a or v5.

yes

no

Bidirectional Send and Receive

no

no

Overlapped I/O

no

no

File scheme support

Useful for proxy scripts with a file scheme.

yes

no

InternetOpenUrl

Simplified code to open a URL.

yes

no

Services Support

Can be run from a service or a service account.

no

yes

Session Isolation

Separate sessions do not impact each other.

no

yes

Impersonation

Supports being called while the thread is impersonating a different user.

no

yes

 

Related topics

WinINet
WinHTTP

 

 

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