Difference Between Watermarking and Steganography

In the digital world, protecting our work and copyrights is very important. So, that others won’t take and use our work as their own. For this, people use a technique called Watermarking so that their work will belong to them. Sometimes, we need to hide the information from others. In that case, people will go for a technique called Steganography which is very useful in hiding the information. 

Watermarking vs Steganography

The main difference between Watermarking and Steganography is that watermarking is used for holding copyrights for their work both in the images and in the text. Steganography is used for hiding information in the form of secret communication. Having watermarks will be good for promoting your brand. Steganography will help you to not attract any messages themselves. 

Watermarking and Steganography

A watermark is an identifying image that will overlay the document. They are very light; they will not interfere with the text. In PDFs watermark will exist like a stamp. You can add a confidential watermark on all pages for any sensitive information. Digital watermarks are used to show the authenticity of the owner’s work. Digital watermarking will be divided into two types such as visible watermark and invisible watermark. 

Steganography is the process of hiding the existing communication. The main purpose of steganography is to keep the information and communication security. The data will not be visible at any point in time in steganography. It will not alter the structure of the data. It will offer more security to the data if needed. It will be very discreet where you can use it to send information. 

Comparison Table Between Watermarking and Steganography

Parameters of ComparisonWatermarkingSteganography
UseIt is used for copyright management and content protection.It is used for secret communication.
TypesIt is divided into visible and invisible watermarking.It is not divided into types as it is typically invisible.
Derived fromGerman wordGreek word
AdvantagesIt helps to promote your photography brand which generates more traffic.Messages will not attract attention to themselves.
DisadvantagesIt is a time-consuming process.It will be very difficult to hide any tiny information.

What is Watermarking?

It is used for protecting confidential information and also for indicating the validity of a legal document. To prevent any banknote from counterfeiting, you will watermark it. You can see the watermark on the paper only when you hold the paper in front of a light. Since the watermark will be light in color, you have to see it in the reflection of the light. Nowadays, watermarks are made digitally with the help of an option in the Microsoft word document. 

Watermarks can be often seen in a banknote to make it look legal. This is one of the best examples of watermarking. Watermarking is also used in images so that the original image will not be used. If they try to use that image, then the watermark will remain in them. In media, it is for digital hiding information in the carrier signal.

It is named a watermark because it resembles a damp spot on the paper. Fancy writing papers also contain watermarks in them to show that is their brand. Every e-commerce website should hold a watermark. There are 5 advantages of using them. Adding a watermark to your images will protect them from copy control. It will keep the uniqueness of your work. It can automatically scale the watermark image. It will keep the original image. It is good for massive import and export.

What is Steganography?

It is a technique used for hiding secret data with an ordinary message to avoid detection. It is also called the art of hiding messages. It is used for changing useless data in regular computer files with some invisible information. This hidden information could be either plain text or even images. It serves a good purpose for cryptography. It will not encrypt any data. Instead, it will simply hide it from the user. Steganography is divided into 5 types.

The five types are text steganography, video steganography, network steganography, image steganography, and audio steganography. In-text steganography will use it for hiding information in the text files. For that, it uses 3 techniques such as format-based method, linguistic method, and random and statistical generation. Audio steganography is used for embedding the secret message into the audio signal

Video steganography is used for hiding the data in video format. Network steganography is for embedding the data in the network control protocols. Image steganography is used for hiding information using images. For steganography, there are certain tools needed to be performed to achieve the best result. Steganography is easy to use. All you need to just open the software and upload the file that you want to hide, and it will complete the work. 

Main Differences Between Watermarking and Steganography

  1. Watermarking is a technique used for holding copyright and content protection. On the other hand, Steganography is a technique that is used for secret communication.
  2. Watermarking has two types in the name of visible watermarking and invisible watermarking. On the other hand, steganography is divided only into 5 techniques and not as types.
  3. Watermarking is derived from a German word. On the other hand, steganography is derived from a Greek word.
  4. Watermarking is good for promoting a photographic brand which is perfect for generating traffic in the business. On the other hand, steganography won’t allow messages to attract themselves.
  5. The downside of watermarking is it is a time-consuming process. On the other hand, tiny information is difficult to hide. 


Both these techniques are very effective and very easy to start with. People working with word documents can easily watermark their work and images using the existing watermarking option. It will have different styles; among them, they can choose the one that they think would suit their work. For steganography, online software is available which can be easily installed.

Once installed, they can use it to start their work. They don’t need any help from others at starting stage. If they are doing it for some big purpose, then they might need help from others. Other than that, they can just open the software and do the data hiding on their own. These methods are effective for people in this digital world to protect sensitive information from the outside world. 


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=j4ujDgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=difference+between+watermarking+and+steganography&ots=aL37rQuDtk&sig=kYK-UxDh4UAVtce1g6muew2hkL0
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=JZQLpzihtecC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=difference+between+watermarking+and+steganography&ots=VVGn2XnJIg&sig=5bMYUDg_SzcSO9KPG_2K-djUNJY
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