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Difference Between Encryption and Encoding

  • Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2021

Encryption and  Encoding are the terms commonly interchanged and used incorrectly. There is a lot of difference between these two terms and it is very vital to know the differences. In this article, we will learn what is the difference between the two terms Encryption and Encoding.

1. Encryption :

It is a process used to convert simple readable data known as plain text to unreadable data known as ciphertext which can only be converted to plain text if the user knows the encryption key. It is used basically to keep our data safe. The main purpose of the encryption is to convert our data in such a form that it is garbage for the person who does not know the encryption key. It is used to prevent unauthorized aces. The reverse of encryption is decryption and it is used to get back the plain text from the ciphertext. For decryption, we must know the encryption key and the encryption algorithm. 

The encrypted data is just treated like other data. We can also use more than one encryption algorithm on the same data. The real-life examples are sending someone a secret message that only they should be able to read, or securely sending a password over the Internet. The goal is data confidentiality.



Example of Encryption Algorithm : AES, RSA, and Blowfish.

2. Encoding :

It is the process to transform data in such a format that it can be easily used by different types of systems. The algorithm used to encode the data is public ally available and it can be easily decoded in the readable form if the person knows the algorithm. It does not require any key to decode the information. The main purpose is data usability instead of confidentiality. The main aim of encoding is to transform the data so that it can be properly used by a different type of system. It is not used to protect the data as it is easy to reverse in comparison to encryption. 

This process is used to ensure the integrity and usability of data. The real-life examples are like binary data being sent over email or viewing special characters on a web page. The main goal is data usability.

Examples od Encoding Algorithm: ASCII, UNICODE, URL Encoding, Base64

Difference Between Encryption and Encoding :

BasisEncryptionEncoding
DefinitionIt is the process to encode data securely such that only the authorized user who knows the key or password is able to retrieve the original data for everyone else it is just garbage. It is the process of transforming data into such a format that it can be by a different type of system using publically available algorithms.
PurposeThe purpose of encryption is to transform data to keep it secret from others.The main purpose is the protection of the integrity of data.
Used for It is used to maintain data confidentiality.It is used to maintain data usability.
Reverse ProcessThe original data can be retrieved using decryption.The original data can be retrieved using decoding. The algorithm used to encode the data is publicly available.
Key requirementThe encryption key is required to decrypt the data and get the original data.The encryption key is not required to decrypt the data and get the original data.
SecureThe encrypted data is more secure.The encoded data is less secure. It can easily be decoded.
Example of Algorithm AES, RSA, and Blowfish.ASCII, UNICODE, URL encoding, Base64.
Real-life exampleSecurely sending a password over the internet.viewing special characters on the web page.

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