Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption

The main key difference between these two types of encryption is that the symmetric encryption uses one key for both encryption and decryption, While asymmetric encryption uses a public key for encryption and private key for decryption. The main key difference between symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption are listed below.

What is symmetric encryption?


Symmetric encryption is technique that allows the use of only one key for performing both the encryption and the decryption of the message shared over the internet. It is also known as the conventional method used for encryption.


What is asymmetric encryption?


Asymmetric encryption is an encryption technique that uses a pair of key for encryption and decryption. Asymmetric encryption uses the public key for the encryption of the message and the private key for the decryption of the message.


Difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption:


  • Symmetric encryption only requires a single key for both encryption and decryption, while asymmetric encryption requires two key ones to encrypt and the other one to decrypt.
  • Symmetric encryption is an old technique while asymmetric encryption is the newer one.
  • The size of ciphertext is the same or smaller than original plain text, while in asymmetric encryption the size of ciphertext is the same or larger than the original plain text.
  • The encryption process is very fast in symmetric encryption, while in asymmetric encryption the encryption process is low.
  • Symmetric encryption only provides confidentiality while in asymmetric encryption provides confidentially, authenticity, and repudiation.
  • Symmetric encryption is used when a large amount of data is required to transfer, While asymmetric is used to transfer a small amount of the data. 
  • Asymmetric encryption is considered to be more secure than symmetric encryption when it uses two keys for the process.
  • Asymmetric encryption was introduced to complement the inherent problem of the need to share the key in the symmetrical encryption model, it will eliminate the need to share the key by using a pair of both public-private keys.
  • Asymmetric encryption takes longer to execute because of the complex logic involved. For this reason, symmetric encryption is used when transmitting data in bulk form.
  • The example of symmetric encryption is3DES.AES, DES, RC4 while in Diffie hellman, ECC, DSA, EI Gamal are the example of asymmetric encryption.
  • The drawback of this asymmetric encryption is that it takes more time than the symmetric encryption process.
  • The execution of asymmetric encryption algorithms is slower as compared to the symmetric encryption algorithms.
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