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Uniform Resource Locator.

A URL provides a standard way to address any resource on the internet.

URLs are expressed as a text string of the form:


Where protocol is any valid protocol, such as http, ftp, gopher etc.

One example of a URL that most people are now familiar with is the web address of each site and page.

See also: URI, URN.

URLs are defined by RFC1738 and RFC1808.

Whilst the HTTP specification does not limit the length of a URL, most browsers do have a limiting maximum size. Whilst this limit is far in excess of most browsing requests, current limits are:

Browser / Server Limit Source
Internet Explorer (browser) 2083 characters Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 208427
Netscape (browser) No limit  
Apache (web server) 8190 characters (default) www.jetools.com/content/resources/whitepapers/HTTP_GET_Requests.pdf
IIS 6.0 (web server) 16KB  

For more information see: