Difference Between AES and 3DES

AES and 3DES or triple-DES are both examples of symmetric block ciphers. These two are the current standards in data encryption. Though the use of 3DES has become very unpopular nowadays. Both have the same purpose and aims, but they are known to have many similarities.


The main difference between AES and 3DES is that AES is much faster than 3DES, and it is also more secure than 3DES. The encryption key lengths of AES are 128, 192, and 256 bits, but the encryption key length of 3DES is still limited to 56 bits.


As a standard symmetric encryption algorithm, AES comes after 3DES. So due to obvious reasons, AES is more advanced than 3DES. Its 128-bit keys provide ample strength. And these keys can be implemented in both software and hardware without any hassle.

In 3DES, the DES cipher has been re-used, as DES is implemented in it three times to each data block. 3DES is applicable for both software and hardware, but it is slow in software as DES was meant to be used in hardware only.

Comparison Table Between AES and 3DES

Parameters of ComparisonAES3DES
Full form The full form of AES is Advanced Encryption Standard.The full form of 3DES is Triple Data Encryption Standard.
Key length The encryption key length of AES is 128, 192, and 265 bits.The encryption key length of 3DES is 168 bits (k1, k2, and k3), 112 bits (k1 and k2).
Created by AES is created by Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen.3DES is created by IBM.
Developed in AES was developed in the year 2001.3DES was developed in the year1978.
SpeedAES works very fast, faster than 3DES.3DES is very slower than AES.
SecurityThe security offered by AES is excellent.3DES is not more secure than AES but it offers adequate security.
Block size The block size of AES is 128 bits.3DES has a block size of 64 bits.
Cryptanalysis resistanceIt is strong against differential, shrank differential linear interpolation and square attacks.It is vulnerable to a differential, and Brute Force attacker could be analyzed plaint text using differential cryptanalysis.

What is AES?

Developed by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen, AES or Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm is a symmetric key block cipher. Its encryption key length has options of 128, 192, and 256 bits, from which one can choose, and it has 128 bits sized blocks. It is very fast in speed, and it applies to both hardware and software with ease.

The design rationale for AES is open. AES is able to encrypt 128 bits of plaintext. It offers top-class security. When it comes to the structure, AES is based on a substitution-permutation network. This type of network has many substitution and permutation steps to create the encrypted block. And thus it is very secure.

Crypt-analytical attacks against AES did not happen yet. Biclique attack is more complicated than any other, but till now, it has been proven ineffective on AES. DES has a great contribution to data security, but so far, AES stands as the best and most advanced.

What is 3DES?

In cryptography, Triple DES or 3D, ES or TDES is a symmetric-key block cipher. Officially it is known as the Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA or Triple DEA). Triple DES is DES applied three times to the information that is being encrypted to each data block.

The encryption key length of 3DES is 168 bits (k1, k2, and k3), 112 bits (k1 and k2), and its block size is limited to 64 bits. Feistel network structure is used in DES. Before going through the encryption steps, this structure the block divides into two halves.

3DES is a slow process, and even in terms of security, it is not the best. Even though it uses DES three times, it stays a lot vulnerable in the security department. It has been proved to be unsuccessful against Brute Force attacks and also slows down the process substantially.

Main Differences Between AES and 3DES

  1. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, and 3DES stands for Triple Data Encryption Standard that is DES applied three times.
  2. AES is created by Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen in 2001, and 3DES was created by IBM in 1978.
  3. The key length encryption of AES is 128, 192, and 265 bits. Whereas the encryption key length of 3DES is 168 bits (k1, K2, and k3), 112 bits (k1 and k2). Also, the block size of AES is 128 bits. Whereas the Block size of 3DES is 64 bits.
  4. The speed of AES is very fast, but the speed of 3DES is very slow. Even when it comes to security, AES is a lot better than 3DES. Even though 3DES offers enough security, it is not as strong as AES.
  5. The cryptanalysis resistance of AES is strong against differential, linear differential interpolation, and also against square attacks. On the other hand, the cryptanalysis resistance of 3DES is vulnerable to a differential, and Brute Force attackers could be analyzed plaint text using differential cryptanalysis.


Data is the most precious thing in today’s date and time, and it is the most vulnerable as well. To protect it, humans choose and create different types of data encryption. Even though common people can not comprehend these technological terms, they care a lot about the privacy of their data. And to do so, the implication of cipher language is important.

Both AES and 3DES are symmetric block ciphers that are currently being used as standards in data encryption. Both of them have the same responsibilities and duties, but they are different from each other. They are not the same. Rather, they are competitors. In the last few years, both DES and 3DES have been replaced by AES. AES is the upgraded version in the field of encryption.


  1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1003.4085
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Noura_Aleisa/publication/283178410_A_comparison_of_the_3DES_and_AES_encryption_standards/links/56d365a408ae059e37612702/A-comparison-of-the-3DES-and-AES-encryption-standards.pdf
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