You may notice SSL and TLS when you are using the Internet, then what are they? SSL and TLS are encryption protocols that enable you to securely authenticate and transport data on the Internet. Read this post from MiniTool to know the information about SSL vs TSL.

Overview of SSL and TLS

Before we talk about SSL vs TLS, let’s get some basic information about SSL and TLS. Both SSL and TLS are encryption protocols used to encrypt data and verify connections when moving data on the Internet.

SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, while TLS is the abbreviation of Transport Layer Security. And SSL is the predecessor of TLS. SSL is only about 25 years old and its first iteration (version 1.0) was developed in 1995. While TLS 1.0 was released in 1999 as an upgrade to SSL 3.0 and it was deprecated in March 2020.

Related post: What Is TLS and How to Enable It on Windows Server?

Here is the full history of SSL and TLS releases:

  • SSL 1.0 has never been publicly released because of security issues.
  • SSL 2.0 was released in 1995. Deprecated in 2011. There are known security issues.
  • SSL 3.0 was released in 1996. Deprecated in 2015. Known security issues.
  • TLS 1.0 was released in 1999 as an upgrade to SSL 3.0. It was deprecated in 2020.
  • TLS 1.1 was released in 2006. It was deprecated in 2020.
  • TLS 1.2 was released in 2008.
  • TLS 1.3 was released in 2018.

Related post: SSH VS SSL: Differences and Similarities Between Them

SSL VS TLS

After getting some information about SSL and TLS, we will talk about SSL vs TLS this part from several aspects.

Cipher Suites

The SSL protocol supports the Fortezza cipher suite, while TLS does not provide support. TLS follows a better-standardized process, making it easier to define new cipher suites, such as RC4, Triple DES, AES, IDEA, etc.

Alert Messages

SSL has a "No certificate" alert message. The TLS protocol deletes the alert message and replaces it with several other alert messages.

Record Protocol

SSL uses a Message Authentication Code (MAC) after encrypting each message, while TLS on the other hand uses HMAC - a hash-based message authentication code after each message is encrypted.

Handshake Process

In SSL, the hash calculation also includes the master key and padding, while in TLS, the hash is calculated through the handshake message. (Maybe you are interested in this post - How to Fix SSL Handshake Failed? 5 Methods Are Available)

Message Authentication

SSL message authentication is temporally adjacent to key details and application data, while the TLS version relies on HMAC Hash-based Message Authentication Code.

This part has given you full information about TLS vs SSL, then you may want to know which one should you use, keep on your reading.

SSL or TLS: Which One to Use?

Speaking of SSL vs TLS, you should know that TLS is replacing SSL, therefore, you should choose TLS instead of SSL.

As you learned above, both SSL public versions are largely deprecated due to known security vulnerabilities in them. Therefore, SSL is not a completely secure protocol in 2020 and beyond.

TLS is an updated version of SSL and it is secure. Moreover, the latest version of TLS also provides performance advantages and other improvements.

Not only is TLS more secure and has higher performance, most modern web browsers no longer support SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0. For example, Google Chrome no longer supports SSL 3.0 since 2014, and most mainstream browsers plan to stop supporting TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in 2020.

Final Words

All in all, this post has introduced the difference between SSL and TLS from several aspects. What’s more, you can also get some information about SSL and TLS, and it is recommended to use TLS instead of SSL.

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