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Chocolate chip? Oatmeal? Telling the difference between cookies

Which are the main differences between a domain cookie and a host cookie?

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Domain cookies are cookies set by a Web application that do not consider the host (www.example.com) when performing a function, but rather the domain name (example.com). A host cookie is specific to a particular host, so all the functions that use that cookie will be bound to it. The advantage of using domain cookies in your Web applications is when you have a load balanced or clustered web environment. In these environments, you typically will have a number of the exact same systems (www1, www2, www3, etc) running the exact same application. If each application had to use host cookies, you would have to change the code setting the cookie on each mirrored system, thereby diminishing the value of a clustered environment. With domain cookies, you can simply set the cookie to the domain and more easily manage updates and user cookies.

This was first published in September 2003

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