Difference Between Symmetric Key and Public Key Encryption

Cryptography is the study of withholding details and it is commonly used while communicating over an unsecure medium like the internet, where information needs to be guarded from a number of third parties. Present day cryptography concentrates on developing cryptographic algorithms that have the ability to encrypt data in order to make it difficult to decode by a rival because of the computational complexity. As a result, it could not be broken practically. Understand that encryption uses an algorithm known as a cipher to encrypt data and it can be decoded just with the help of a special key. Encrypted data is called ciphertext and the method of getting the original information from the ciphertext is called decryption. Popular encryption methods are Symmetric Key and Public Key Encryption.

Symmetric Key cryptography includes encryption methods where the sender and the receiver use the exact key to encode the data. It is important to note that in Public key encryption, two varying but related keys are used to encrypt information. A major difference between both is that the symmetric key uses the same private and secret key for decryption whereas public key encryption makes use of both a public and private key. Parties need to be aware of the key in symmetric key encryption. On the other hand, there is no need for that in public key encryption. Just any of the keys is known by the two groups in public key encryption as this excludes the need to provide your private key.


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    Symmetric Key Encryption

    It is also called secret key, shared key, single key, one key or private key encryption. Be aware of the fact that both keys can be the same or related as there is an easy transformation needed to go between them. In reality, a secret is known to two or more parties that use it for the maintenance of a private link in communication. Advanced Encryption Standard or AES is a well known algorithm which has an association with the family of symmetric key encryption algorithms.

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    Public Key Encryption

    It decrypts data with the help of the recipient’s public key and it cannot be encrypted with the exception of a matching private key. In plain words, you require a key to lock and another key to decrypt the cypertext. It is vital to know that one key cannot be used instead of the other. It has two purposes depending upon the key published.

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