SSL and TLS are both used to enable secure communication over the internet by encrypting data shared between a server and a web browser. SSL is an old protocol which is still used, but TLS provides stronger security. Today’s guide is a detailed review of SSL, TLS and HTTPS protocols to determine which is more secure.
TLS vs SSL vs HTTPS: What are the Differences?
These three website security providers are used to secure sensitive data like passwords or credit card numbers to keep your information safe. Despite being quite distinct from one another, each of these sounds similar due to the function they perform. Before I begin with TLS vs SSL vs HTTPS or how they are different from each other let’s first know about the three and also understand which is more secure.
What is TLS?
TLS which stands for Transport Layer Security is a security protocol meant to facilitate privacy and data security for communication over the Internet. It encrypts the communication between the web applications and servers like a web browser loading a website. It can also encrypt other communications like messaging, email, and voice over IP (VoIP).
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer which is the standard technology to keep internet connection secure. This safeguards any sensitive data shared between two systems to prevent criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred. Here, the two systems can be a server and a client.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This is a secure extension of HTTP and it is used to provide security to the data sent between a website and a browser. Any website which requires login credentials should be using HTTPS. You can tell by looking at the website that the website has implemented HTTPS.
Which is the Best SSL or TLS?
Now let’s start with the discussion on TLS vs SSL. Earlier we talked that both protocols are used to provide security between a web browser and web servers. The major difference between the two is that in SSL the message digest is used to create a master secret to provide the basic security services which are authentication and confidentiality whereas a pseudo-random function is used to create a master secret. Other than this, the differences between the two are explained in the table below:
|This one is the 3.0 version and is more complex.||This one is the 1.0 version and is simple.|
|It supports the Fortezza algorithm.||It does not support the Fortezza algorithm.|
|This one is less reliable and slower.||This one is highly reliable and provides less latency.|
|It uses the port to set up the explicit connection.||This one is used to set up implicit connections.|
|It uses MD5 and SHA1 based on a MAC.||This uses HMAC for data integrity.|
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Is HTTPS SSL or TLS?
When you look for any information by entering the URL into your web browser, your computer sends a request to the server. The server sends back a response that is a website’s HTML code. This communication between your computer and the server happens without using the SSL protocol. This simple basic protocol without any SSL/TLS protocol is called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). And HTTPS with an extension is actually the protocol with SSL or TLs where S stands for secure. HTTPS means that the website is encrypted with TLS or SSL. This means that HTTPS is HTTP with encryption and verification.
TLS vs HTTPS
TLS uses a technology called public key cryptography. This cryptography has two keys, a public key, and a private key (called session keys) shared with the client’s devices via the server’s SSL certificate. When the connection opens between the server and the client these keys are used to encrypt the communication between them. All HTTP requests and responses are then encrypted with the session keys so that anyone who wants to see the communication between those two will see a random string of characters instead of plaintext.
So, HTTPS is an implementation of TLS encryption on top of the HTTP protocol. This is used by websites and other web services. If any website uses HTTPS means it is employed with TLS encryption.
Which is More Secure SSL TLS or HTTPS?
If you are asked to choose between the two, TLS and SSL, without thinking much just choose TLS because TLS is secure and more up-to-date than SSL. The two public versions of SSL, version 1.0 and version 2.0 have been deprecated because of the weaknesses in their security so version 3.0 came along whereas the latest version of TLS offers a number of improvements. Even most of the popular browsers have stopped supporting SSL. For instance, Google Chrome ended up supporting SSL 3.0 in the mid-2010s. When TLS 1.3 was released, both Firefox and Chrome implemented support for it virtually right away.
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