AES 256 vs TLS 1.2: Difference and Comparison

Data security is one of the goals of the Internet world to protect the user’s data since privacy over the internet could be unveiled by high-tech hackers effortlessly.

The data delivered from one user to another over the internet is a part of the application layer that consists of security layers that encrypt the data so only the recipient with a decryption key may access it.

This networking technology is boon to provide internet security.

AES 256 is a data encryption technique. While TLS 1.2 is Transport Layer Security that transports the data after encrypting it into the secure packets. Both are inventions in networking against the unknown party who tries to read sensitive information.

Key Takeaways

  1. AES-256 is an encryption algorithm that encrypts data using a 256-bit key, providing high security and protection against unauthorized access.
  2. TLS 1.2 is a cryptographic protocol that secures communication between devices over the internet, using various encryption algorithms, including AES-256, to ensure data confidentiality and integrity.
  3. TLS 1.2 improves upon previous protocol versions by offering stronger encryption, better performance, and enhanced security features, making it a preferred choice for secure data transmission.

AES 256 vs TLS 1.2

The difference between AES 256 and TLS 1.2 is that AES 256 is a technique to encrypt data in 256 bits. TLS 1.2 is a Transport Layer Security 1.2 protocol in networking that uses AES 256 (Advanced Encryption Standard) data encryption methods to encrypt the data while transferring it to the recipient.

AES 256 vs TLS 1.2

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AES 256 is one of the most secure methods for encrypting sensitive data sent over the internet. It is also known as Rijndael encryption that uses a 256-bit key size.

Hackers will have a hard time decrypting the information with 2^256 combinations since it will take a long time to crack these combinations.

TLS 1.2 is transport layer security’s upgraded technology that provides a layer of security to the users for sending and receiving data.

Applications such as Gmail, WhatsApp, and others use it to send secure emails, VOIP, messages, and other personal information over the internet. It is more advanced technology than SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAES 256TLS 1.2
Full NameAES 256 stands for Advanced Encryption Standard using the 256-bit key.TLS 1.2 stands for Transport Layer Security.

AES 256 is an encrypting technique.TLS 1.2 is a protocol for cryptography.
Key SizeThe key size of AES 256 is 256 bits.Depending on the algorithm, the key size of TLS 1.2 can be 128 bits, 192 bits, or 256 bits.
Developed byAES 256 was developed by Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen. TLS 1.2 was developed by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Used inAES 256 encryption technique is used in military and government-related tasks.In terms of emails, internet calls, and instant messaging, TLS 1.2 protects information.

What is AES 256?

AES 256 is an acronym for Advanced Encryption Standard, which encrypts data with a 256-bit key. AES was initially known as Rijndael since it was developed by Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen (Belgian Cryptographer).

It is an advanced technology, as the name suggests. So, the USA government adopted this technology as a replacement for the Data Encryption Standard (DES). It is for securing government and military information from being leaked.

It has been also approved by the USA’s security agency (National security agency) for managing secretive information. The symmetric key algorithm is used in this technique to provide security.

It means the same key is generated for encrypting and decrypting the information between the sender and the user. This technique is utilized by well-known companies such as Avira ( all antiviruses and VPNs) is encrypted with a 256-bit key.

Understanding the strength of keys,

If a key is 1bit, it signifies that two combinations are there to create a key.

So, from here, the key’s strength can be calculated using the formula 2^n, where n is the key’s size.

If the key size is 256 bit

So, n= 256,

it signifies that 2^ 256 combinations have to be created to crack this extremely complex encryption.

What is TLS 1.2?

TLS 1.2 is an acronym for Transport Layer Security 1.2. In 1999, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) invented TLS as the upgraded version of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to provide high-security cryptographic topologies to the world.

The main aim was to provide security between multiple communicating platforms. It works in the application layer (used for communication protocols).

Later TLS 1.2 was introduced in 2008 to provide more advanced security than TLS and is widely used worldwide.

When parties handshake (communicate with each other via messages or calls), security-related algorithms are followed under TLS1.2. To understand the process of TLS 1.2 handshake, suppose there is a client and a server.

A few steps are required to perform a handshake between server and client.

Client Hello will be the initial message sent by the client, followed by cipher suites and a random client-key. In response, the server delivers the server-hello along with an SSL certificate, public key, random server key, and cipher-suite.

After that, the client will verify the server’s SSL certificate for authenticity. Once the authentication is ensured, the client creates and sends a premaster key by encrypting it with the public key sent by the server.

Subsequently, the server decrypts the received premaster key with the private key. The client has a random client-key, random server-key, and premaster key. The same keys are with the server too.

So, both client and server form session keys, and then they send finished messages to each other to finish the handshake. This is how secured communication is supported by TLS 1.2.

Main Differences Between AES 256 and TLS 1.2

  1. The full-form of AES 256 is the Advanced Encryption Standard of 254 bits. On the other hand, the full-form of TLS 1.2 is the Transport Layer Standard of the 1.2 version.
  2. The algorithm followed in AES 256 is a symmetric key algorithm. However, TLS 1.2 uses AES techniques as an algorithm.
  3. AES 256 was invented by two South American professional cryptographers (Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen). On the other side, TLS 1.2 was created by the Internet Engineering Task Force.
  4. The key size in the AES 256 is 256 bit. On the contrary, key size in TLS 1.2 depends on the encryption algorithm used.
  5. AES 256 is a very secure and impossible to crack encryption method. However, the security of TLS 1.2 depends on the type of algorithm used.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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