RSA vs DSA: Difference and Comparison

Technology has increased and updated a lot in a few years, and everything is online or on computers. Communication or storing data everything is digital on computers.

When it comes to storing data, the most common problem that arises is the security of the data. We all know the frauds and breaches that occur while transferring or storing data that could lead to loss. Even it causes the rise in cybercrime.

To increase the security of these, several systems have been developed. RSA and DSA are examples of such systems. To fully understand them, the first thing is to know how both of them are different.

Key Takeaways

  1. RSA uses prime factorization, while DSA uses the discrete logarithm problem to generate keys and sign messages.
  2. RSA can be used for encryption and digital signatures, while DSA can only be used for digital signatures.
  3. RSA keys are longer than DSA keys to achieve the same level of security.


RSA is a public key cryptographic algorithm used for encryption and digital signatures based on the factorization of large prime numbers and is widely adopted and supported. DSA is based on the discrete logarithm problem and is primarily used for digital signatures and key exchange in the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) context.


Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, popularly known as RSA, is a system used for securing data transmission developed in 1977.

It is a public-key cryptosystem. Its name was derived from the surname of its developers. It is the oldest cryptosystem used for secure data transmission and is also known as public-key cryptography.

Digital Signature Algorithm is the public key encryption algorithm used for generating the digital/electronic signature and verifying it.

It was developed after the RSA in 1991 and is considered to be best for decryption and signing in. The person who is transmitting the data can only make the signature.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRSADSA
MeaningCryptosystem algorithmDigital signature algorithm
Used forSecuring data transmissionVerification of digital signature
Developed in19771991
Usesmathematical conceptdiscrete logarithm and modular exponentiation
Best suited forVerification and encryptionDecryption and signing in

What is RSA?

It is a type of asymmetric cryptography algorithm which means it uses two keys, public and private, for working. It is used for both encryption and decryption of data.

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Private is kept secure or private, while the public key is given to the public, which is used for the encryption of data. It is used for both encryption and decryption of data.

The message can be cracked by using the private key only. Therefore it is very important not to share the private key with anyone as it can leak the data.

Advantages of RSA:

  1. RSA has proven to be stronger than any other algorithm used for a similar purpose.
  2. It has overcome the main limitation of the symmetric algorithm of authenticity and confidentiality.
  3. It is the most trusted algorithm.
  4. Unlike DSA, it can do decryption too.

Disadvantages of RSA:

The computation process is a time-consuming and lengthy one.

Therefore it is concluded that RSA is the best algorithm so far as it has fewer disadvantages and several advantages. It is used worldwide for encryption and decryption of data, as no third party without the private key will be able to decrypt it.


What is DSA?

Several algorithms were made to make the digital signature, as it is very important to make sure that the data is transmitted securely. These algorithms follow a similar method of private keys.

Therefore DSA was developed, which is used to create the digital signature. It cannot be used for encryption like RSA but only for generating and verifying the digital signature. Public or private keys are the basis for the signature generated with DSA.

The private key is the one with the person who generates the signature, and the public key is the one with the person who encrypts it. Private is very vital as it can be used for generating the same signature as yours.

Advantages of DSA:

  1. It has very strong strength levels.
  2. It also has small digital signature standards.
  3. The speed of signature computation is very less.
  4. It does not require a large space as compared to others.
  5. It does not include any charges and can be used for free.
Also Read:  RC4 vs AES: Difference and Comparison

Disadvantages of DSA:

  1. The authentication process is very time-consuming as verification takes a lot of time.
  2. The authentication of data can be done in DSA. It cannot be encrypted.
  3. DSA is dependent on SHA1. Therefore, any limitation or problem of this is the problem reflected in DSA.

Main Differences Between RSA and DSA

  1. Both RSA and DSA have separate uses. RSA is used to secure the data transmission, while DSA has the use of digital signature and also verification of it.
  2. DSA was developed later in 1991 by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology than RSA, which was developed earlier in 1977 by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman.
  3. Both of them use different concepts of working. DSA uses discrete logarithms and modular exponentiation, while RSA uses the mathematical concept of two large prime factorizations.
  4. RSA is best suited when it comes to encryption and verification, while DSA is for signing and decryption.
  5. Both of them various benefits over each other, as RSA is slower in a key generation when compared to DSA, which is a lot faster for this, but when it comes to encryption, it’s totally opposite, RSA is faster than DSA in the encryption process.
  6. Last but not least, DSA, being best suited for decryption, is faster in the process than the RSA.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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21 thoughts on “RSA vs DSA: Difference and Comparison”

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