Encryption vs Hashing: Difference and Comparison

The two essential, as well as critical, and vital activities in a computer network are hashing and encryption. Each of these methods transforms raw information into a digital representation.

When you hash a user input, you get a hash value, and when you encrypt it, you get a cryptographically decoded hash, i.e. the decoded message.

Although every one of those approaches transfers data into multiple formats, their translation mechanisms and application areas differ slightly. And the purpose of this article is to help you grasp the distinctions and applications of each of these new tools.

Key Takeaways

  1. Encryption transforms data into a coded format to protect it, while hashing generates a fixed-length output from data to ensure its integrity.
  2. Encrypted data can be decrypted using a key, whereas hashed data cannot be reverse-engineered to reveal the original input.
  3. Encryption is suitable for securing sensitive data in transit while hashing is commonly used for storing passwords and verifying data authenticity.

Encryption vs Hashing

The difference between encryption and hashing is that encrypting is the method of changing a regular accessible message called plaintext into a trash text or otherwise not readable text is known as ‘ciphertext.’ Whereas hashing is the act of transforming the content into a secret key using a hashing algorithm, the actual data cannot be recovered in any way from the hashed key.

Encryption vs Hashing

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Encryption protects vital and confidential information such as usernames, credentials, bank cards, and financial information from hackers. Plain text refers to data that has not been encrypted, whereas ciphertext refers to data that has been encrypted.

Hackers can read clear language, which they can use for harmful reasons. If the intruders are successful in acquiring this data, the ciphertext is a jumbled message that they will not be able to understand.

The encryption technique adds a solid line of defence for securing your data from phishers and hackers, especially when you browse through insecure networks.

Hashing, on the other hand, is an encryption technique for converting data into text that can’t be opened without a code or a key. In reality, the statement is irrevocable, and the actual document cannot be recovered.

As a result, it’s a one-way procedure. The same scrambling technique is performed on the actual message and then matched to the hashed text for resemblance to verify whether the initial data is the same as the hashed text.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEncryptionHashing
DefinitionIt’s the technique of securely encoding data ensuring that only the authorised user with the key or passcode can get the actual information; everybody else gets rubbish.It is a method of converting data to a smaller fixed value termed as the key, which is then used to symbolize the original data.
SecurityIt is less secure and easier to decode.It is more secure and very difficult to decode because the key itself is the only way to unlock the hashed text.
Purpose Encryption transforms data in order to keep it hidden from others.For indexing and retrieving items from the main database securely.
File Creation TechniqueIt generates a new key for every input and information individually.In most cases, it seeks to produce a different key for every piece of data provided to the hashing algorithm, but on rare circumstances, it may create the same key, which is referred to as a collision.
ExamplesRSA, AES and BlowfishMD5, SHA256

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the technique of encrypting textual content and other data so that only the authorized party with the decryptor may access it. It will keep thieves from gaining access to your personal information.

In current network technologies, this was the most efficient method of establishing data protection.

The receiver must have a passphrase or a protection key to decode encrypted communication. The clear text refers to data that has not been encoded, whereas cypher text refers to data that’s been encrypted.

There are several types of cryptosystems, the most prevalent of which are asymmetrical cryptography (also known as public-key cryptography), symmetric encryption, and hybrid cryptography.

A cypher is an algorithm utilized, and a code is required to unlock the information. The Caesar Shift, which uses a basic key, is one of the most basic encryption methods.

One of the most widely used encryption technologies is RSA.

This approach employs symmetric key cryptography to allow data to be sent between the sender and recipient. This communication can only be decrypted by someone who has the right public/private key.

Cryptography is a two-way communication system. At the receiver’s end, data that was encoded at the sender’s end is deciphered.

Encryption’s primary objective is to prevent leaks from an unauthorized individual who wishes to read or obtain material from communication that was not meant for him. Encryption improves security when delivering communications over the Internet or any other network.


What is Hashing?

Hashing is the technique of employing a hashing algorithm to convert large amounts of data together into stationary results. A hash function, hash algorithm, digest, verification, or simply hash is a fixed-length number.

Hashing is used in two primary aspects of cyber system applications: First, to determine the authenticity of a file or communication array during internet transport.

Secondly, a hash table. Yet another application of hashing.

A hash matrix is a table in which the related hash function is the column index, and the actual data is the value. Hashing is a one-way encryption scheme in which a hash function cannot be decoded to reveal the underlying plain text.

Hashing is a method of encrypting data that is transferred among the parties involved. PINs are safe even if a privacy compromise occurs since credentials are turned into hash values.

By identifying all alterations and then changing to a hashed output, hashing is being used to authenticate the integrity of the material. Cryptography is a technique of encoding data to protect data secrecy and safety.

To reversibly convert encrypted material to clear text, it takes a secret key. In a nutshell, cryptography is a two-way mechanism that encrypts and decrypts data, whereas hashing is a one-way process that converts plain text into a unique irrevocable sequence.


Main Differences Between Encryption and Hashing

  1. Encryption automatically detects to transform a text into a format that can be decrypted using a key to reveal the initial letter. There is no way to recover a hashed message once it has been transformed.
  2. Encryption is a two-way operation, whereas hashing is a one-way operation.
  3. The encryption technique is less secure than hashing technique.
  4. The sender can obtain the original text at the recipient’s end with cryptography, which is not feasible with hashing. You’ll have to use a brute-force approach to obtain the message back.
  5. Examples of encryption are RSA, AES, and Blowfish, whereas examples of hashing include MD5, SHA256, etc.
Difference Between Encryption and Hashing
  1. https://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/definition/hashing
  2. https://www.kaspersky.co.in/resource-center/definitions/encryption

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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