Difference between Encryption and Decryption

The process of turning plain text into an encrypted form (cipher text) is known as encryption. Sensitive data is transmitted in an encrypted form so that it can be protected and a strong encryption mechanism ensures that the data is not misused even if a hacker gets hold of it. Decryption is the reverse mechanism where the encrypted cipher text is converted back into its original form.

Read through this article to find out more about encryption and decryption and how they are different from each other.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the procedure of encoding data in cryptography. This procedure turns plaintext, or the original representation of the data, into cipher text or an alternate representation of the data. Only authorized parties should be able to decrypt a cipher text back to plaintext and access the original data. Encryption does not prevent interference in and of itself, but it does hinder a would-be interceptor from understanding the information.

An encryption system generally employs a pseudo-random encryption key produced by an algorithm for technical reasons. Although it is possible to decode a message without knowing the key, a well-designed encryption system requires significant computational resources and skills are required. An authorized recipient can easily decrypt the message with the key provided by the originator to recipients but not to unauthorized users.

  • Encrypted data typically appears as a long string of random letters and numbers.

  • Once the information has been encrypted, the only way to decrypt it and make it readable again is to use the correct encryption key. Encryption is necessary for the secure transmission and storage of sensitive data.

  • Stream ciphers encrypt data one bit or byte at a time, making them ideal for real-time communications. Before encrypting data, block ciphers divide it into larger chunks, usually 64 bits.

What is Decryption?

Decryption is the procedure of restoring encrypted data to its original state. In most cases, it's the reverse mechanism of the encryption process. Because decryption needs a secret key or password, it decodes the encrypted information so that only an authorized user may decrypt the data.

As information flows across the Internet, it becomes vulnerable to unauthorized persons or groups scrutinizing and accessing it. As a consequence, data is encrypted in order to prevent data theft and loss. Email communications, text files, pictures, user data, and directories are just a few of the objects that are commonly encrypted. The person in charge of decryption receives a popup or window asking for a password to access the encrypted data.

Difference between Encryption and Decryption

The following table highlights the major differences between encryption and decryption −

Encryption is a process of converting a plain text into an encrypted or cipher text.
Decryption is a process of converting the encrypted or cipher text into plain text.
Place of Occurrence
Encryption takes place at the sender's end.
Decryption is done at the receiver's end.
A secret key or a public key must be used to encrypt every message.
Any communication that requires the use of a secret key or private key to decode.
After encrypting the data with a secret key or a public key, the sender delivers it to the recipient.
The receiver gets the encrypted data and uses the secret key or private key to decode it.


Encryption means converting plain text into cipher text using an algorithm to ensure that sensitive information stays unreadable by unauthorized readers. Decryption is the reverse of encryption and is a process of converting the encrypted cipher text into plain text which is human readable.

Updated on: 22-Aug-2022

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