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Difference Between Encryption and Hashing

Encryption vs Hashing

Encryption is the process of converting a plain text (that is some useful information) using an algorithm into a text that can be read by someone who has the key to unlock this information. The algorithm used is called a cipher, and to unlock the data you need to have a key. One of the simplest encryption processes is the Caesar Shift that employs a simple key. RSA is the most popular encryption method. This method makes use of a public/private key encryption that enables the exchanging of information between the sender and the receiver. Only the person with the correct public/private key can decrypt this message. Encryption is a two-way process. Information that is encrypted at the sender’s end is decrypted at the receiver’s end.

Hashing is another cryptographic method that converts information into a message that has no key to unlock it. In fact, the message is irreversible, and you cannot get the original information back. Thus it’s a one-way process. To authenticate if the original information is the same as the hashed message, the same hashing algorithm is applied on the original message and then compared with the hashed message for similarity. The only way of getting the original information is either by knowing it beforehand or by the brute force method.

Differences between encryption and hashing:

Encryption employs an algorithm to convert the message that can be unlocked by a key to get back the original message. In hashing, once the message is converted, there is no way of getting it back.

Encryption is a two-way process whereas hashing is a one-way process.

In encryption, you get the original message at the recipient’s end which is not possible in hashing. You need to apply a brute force method to get the message back.

Hashing employs a many:1 mapping method since for every input there is a smaller output possible. Encryption, on the other hand, employs a 1:1 mapping between the input and output.


1.Hashing converts an arbitrary length input into a smaller fixed length output.

2.Encryption is a two-way process that involves a key to decrypt the message.

3.Hashing is irreversible process, as the original message cannot be retrieved.

4.So it is used to check the validity of the input.

5.Since encryption is a reversible process it can be used to store credit card information in an encrypted format.

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