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What is the difference between SSL and TLS?

The differences between the two protocols are very minor and technical, but they are different standards. TLS uses stronger encryption algorithms and has the ability to work on different ports. Additionally, TLS version 1.0 does not interoperate with SSL version 3.0.

Netscape originally developed the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol to transmit information privately, ensure message integrity, and guarantee the server identity. SSL works mainly through using public/private key encryption on data. It is commonly used on web browsers, but SSL can also be used with email servers or any kind of client-server transaction. For example, some instant messaging servers use SSL to protect conversations.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created TLS (Transport Layer Security) as the successor to SSL. It is most often used as a setting in email programs, but, like SSL, TLS can have a role in any client-server transaction.

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Last modified on August 27, 2012.

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