Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption

Before we get into the difference between Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption, let us first know a bit more about encryption.

Encryption is basically a process in which we change any intended message so that we can protect it from any other person who might want to read it. These are basically of two types- Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption. In this article, we will look into these differences. But let us first know more about each of them in detail.

What is Symmetric Key Encryption?

In this type of encryption, we can decrypt the given message with the same key that encrypted it in the first place. Symmetric-key encryption is fairly easy to use. But it comes with some security concerns. It also requires a very safe and secure method of transferring keys between different parties.

What is Asymmetric Key Encryption?

This type of encryption works on the basis of the technique of private key and public key encryption. The asymmetric key encryption uses two different types of keys for encryption and decryption of a message. This technique is comparatively much more secure as compared to the symmetric one. But it also works pretty slow.

Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption

Here is a list of the differences between Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption.

Parameters Symmetric Key Encryption Asymmetric Key Encryption
Number of Keys It uses one single key for encrypting a message as well as decrypting it. It uses two different keys- one for encryption and another for decryption of a message.
Size of Ciphertext It is smaller than or equal to the size of the original plain text. It is larger than or equal to the overall size of the plain text.
Speed of Encryption Encryption occurs very fast. It takes much longer to encrypt and decrypt a message.
When to Use We use symmetric key encryption when we need to transfer large chunks of information and data. We use asymmetric key encryption when we need to transfer only very small amounts of data.
Advantages It is much faster and provides confidentiality for large chunks of data. It ensures non-repudiation authenticity added to confidentiality.
Utilization of Resources The utilization of resources is comparatively much lower in the case of symmetric key encryption. The utilization of resources is comparatively much higher in the case of asymmetric key encryption.

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