What is the difference between Hashing and Encryption?

Let us understand what hashing is.


Hashing is a numerical operation that modifies data into a specific number created from a string of text. The output is referred to as message digest or hash. It is possible to implement hashing on any element of data. The input data can have an arbitrary length but the output is always constant.

In hashing, data goes through the hashing algorithm and supports a unique output but it is not possible to modify it back to the original information. A unique element of data will always make the same hash. Hashing is simpler to implement, but it is complex to reverse. There are various hashing functions are MD5, SHA1, and SHA-256.

The hash table will generate a list where all value pairs are saved and simply accessed through its index. The result is a method for creating key values in a database table in a very effective manner and a method to enhance the security of a database through encryption.


Encryption can scramble the information so that only authorized persons can unscramble the conversation records. Encryption works by encoding the initial data or plaintext with the support of sophisticated algorithms that convert it to unreadable text or ciphertext.

A decryption key would be required to revert to a readable structure. Encryption is best adapted for unstructured fields or databases that are not transformed regularly or saved in multiple systems. It can be used to protect sensitive information including payment card information (PCI), personally identifiable information (PII), financial account numbers, etc.

Types of Encryption

There are two types of Encryption which are as follows −

  • Asymmetric Encryption − There are two numerically related keys, as the public key and private keys are created to encrypt and decrypt the message. Asymmetric encryption is treated as more secure than symmetric encryption

  • Symmetric Encryption −Symmetric encryption is also defined as conventional or single key Encryption. It is based on a secret key, which both communicating parties share. The sending party encrypts the plain text to cipher text messages using the secret key. The receiving party on receipt of the ciphertext message uses a similar secret key to decrypt it to plain text.


The major differences between Hashing and Encryption are as follows −

Hashing is a one-way function, and it digests a specific message and makes an input file from it or else a string of content.Encryption is a two-way function. It modifies the data into an unreadable format, which is known as ciphertext, and later, using an encryption key, also referred to as the private key, it obtains decryption.
The main objective of hashing is to check data.The main objective of encryption is to transmit data securely.
Hashing doesn’t use keys.Encryption is completed with the help of keys. In the case of symmetric encryption, only public keys are used. In asymmetric encryption, it can be used for both public and private keys.
It can be used for sending passwords, files and for searching.It can be used for transferring sensitive business information, etc.

Updated on: 18-Nov-2021


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