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Difference between Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)

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SSL vs TLS : what are the differences

Those who are new to web development or website ownership need to understand the importance of SSL and TLS at a very early stage. The security of your website is of benefit to you no matter what the purpose is. Understanding SSL and TLS is crucial if you want to maintain customer data security or improve your search engine ranking.


To help you navigate this important area of website and server management, we discuss the difference between SSL and TLS in this article.


What is SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) ?


Security technology SSL is commonly used to safeguard server-to-browser transactions. The security of data that is sent from a browser to a webserver generally falls under this.


SSL Secure Encryption

Security Sockets Layer is the industry-standard technology for keeping internet connections secure and guarding sensitive data transferred between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and altering any transferred information, including personal information. Users should be able to trust websites with SSL certificates since the certificates safeguard their data, verify the ownership of the site, prevent attackers from creating fake versions, and verify the legitimacy of the site.


Here is an example :

The use of SSL to ensure that communication between a web browser and a web server is secure. In this example, a website’s address is changed from HTTP to HTTPS, where ‘S’ stands for “secure”.


Let’s take a look at how SSL works step by step:

1. Users connect to SSL-compatible services, for example, a website.


2. In exchange for its own public key, the user’s application requests the server’s  public key. By exchanging public keys, parties can encrypt

messages that can be read only by the other party.


3. User application encrypts a message sent by the user by using the public key of the server.


4. When the server receives the user’s message, it uses its private key to decrypt it. Back to the browser, messages are encrypted again using the public key generated by the user’s application.

Types of SSL certificate


SSL certificates come in different types with different levels of validation, There are six major types:


1. Extended Validation certificates (EV SSL).


2. Organization Validated certificates (OV SSL).


3. Domain Validated certificates (DV SSL).


4. Wildcard SSL certificates.


5. Multi-Domain SSL certificates (MDC).


6. Unified Communications Certificates (UCC).


What is TLS(Transport Layer Security) ?


TLS is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication over a computer network. Email, instant messaging, and voice over IP are all common applications in which this protocol is used, but its use as the Security layer in HTTPS remains the most visible.


Among various computer applications communicating over TLS, its primary goal is to ensure privacy and data security. TLS is an application layer protocol of the Internet made up of two layers: the TLS record and the TLS handshake.


The TLS protocol accomplishes three main components:


1. Encryption: The data being transferred from third parties is hidden.


2. Authentication: Verifies the identities of the parties exchanging information.


3. Integrity: Validates that the data has not been forged or altered in any way.


Differences between SSL and TLS

1. Handshake process

The hash calculation of SSL also includes the master secret and pad, whereas the hash calculation of TLS is based on the handshake message.

2. Authenticating messages

SSL message authentication ad-hoc attaches key details and application data, while the TLS version uses an HMAC hash-based message authentication code.

3. Record Protocol

Message Authentication Code (MAC) is used by SSL after encrypting each message, whereas HMAC – a hash-based message authentication code – is used by TLS after encryption.

4. Cipher suites

Cryptographic protocols such as SSL support Fortezza cipher suites. TLS does not provide support. As a result of TLS’ better standardization process, cipher suites like RC4, Triple DES, AES, IDEA, etc., are easier to define and implement.

5. Alert messages

SSL has the “No certificate” alert message. TLS protocol removes and replaces the alert message with several other alert messages. These are the common differences between an SSL and TLS certificate. The difference between them can be discerned only with experience.

That’s it


Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are both cryptographic protocols that provide secure communication over the internet. SSL and TLS-specific web traffic, email, and other online contacts. Here are some of the conveniences and disadvantages of SSL and TLS.


Advantages of SSL and TLS:

  1. Data Encryption: SSL and TLS encrypt data in transit, meaning that any data sent between a client and a server is encrypted and cannot be read by unauthorized third parties. This is particularly important for sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and personal information.
  2. Authentication: SSL and TLS provide authentication, ensuring that the client communicates with the intended server and is not an imposter. This is achieved through the use of digital certificates, which verify the identity of the server.
  3. Trust: SSL and TLS provide trust between the client and the server, which is crucial for e-commerce and other online transactions.
  4. Compliance: Many industries and regulations require SSL and TLS to protect sensitive data, such as the Payment Card Industry Data certainty Standard (PCI DSS) and the Health assurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  5. Widely Supported: SSL and TLS are widely supported by web browsers and servers, making them easy to implement and use.


Disadvantages of SSL and TLS:

  1. Performance: SSL and TLS can impact website performance, as the encryption and decryption of data require additional resources. This can result in slower website load times and increased server load.
  2. Cost: Implementing SSL and TLS can be costly, requiring purchasing and maintaining digital certificates.
  3. Security Vulnerabilities: SSL and TLS are designed to provide secure communication, but they are not foolproof and can be vulnerable to attacks. For example, the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL, a widespread implementation of SSL/TLS, allowed attackers to access sensitive information.
  4. Limited Protection: SSL and TLS only protect data in transit, which means that data stored on servers or client devices may still be vulnerable to attack.


SSL and TLS provide essential benefits for securing online communication and transactions. While they may have some disadvantages, such as performance impact and cost, the benefits of using SSL and TLS far outweigh the potential risks. Businesses must implement SSL and TLS to protect sensitive data and comply with industry regulations.


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SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are cryptographic protocols used to secure communication over the internet. They provide encryption, authentication, and integrity of data transferred between two endpoints.

SSL is an older protocol, while TLS is a newer version that has replaced SSL. The latest version of TLS is TLS 1.3, which is considered more secure than SSL. TLS is backward-compatible with SSL, meaning a TLS-enabled server can communicate with an SSL-enabled client.

Using cryptographic keys, SSL/TLS works by establishing a secure channel between two endpoints (e.g., a client and a server). When a client connects to a server, it initiates a handshake process that includes exchanging certificates, which are used to authenticate the identity of the server and the client.

TLS is considered more secure than SSL because it has addressed the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of SSL. TLS 1.3 has implemented more robust encryption algorithms, removed the weaker ones, and improved the essential exchange process. SSL is considered insecure and vulnerable to attacks, and its use is no longer recommended.

While SSL and TLS are related protocols and share some similarities, SSL and TLS cannot use them interchangeably. TLS is the newer, more secure protocol, and websites and servers are recommended to use TLS rather than SSL. However, TLS is backward-compatible with SSL, which means that a TLS-enabled server can communicate with an SSL-enabled client.

Yes, TLS 1.3 is the latest version of TLS and is considered the most secure. TLS 1.3 was published in 2018 and included many improvements over previous versions of TLS, including stronger encryption, improved key exchange, and reduced latency.

SSL/TLS is commonly used to secure communication between a client and a server, such as in web browsing, email, and file transfers. SSL/TLS is also used in VPNs (virtual private networks) to create a secure connection between a remote user and a corporate network.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol that uses SSL/TLS to secure communication between a client and a server. SSL is the protocol that provides security, while HTTPS is the protocol that uses SSL to provide security for web browsing.

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