In this age where cyber security and data protection is crucial, SSL and TLS are essential. While you might have heard the two terms used interchangeably, they are different.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are protocols that encrypt data transferred between the server and the user. Understanding their differences is vital in preventing sensitive data from falling into the hands of hackers.

TLS is the current protocol and more secure. SSL, on the other hand, was deprecated because it contained major security flaws. This article addresses the difference between SSL and TLS.

History of SSL and TLS

SSL 1.0, the first version, contained significant flaws and thus was never released. Version 2.0 was released in 1995 but also contained practical and cryptographic vulnerabilities. As a result, Version 3.0 was released in 1996 but still had flaws.

At this point, TLS 1.0 was released to replace SSL because of the errors. The protocol was majorly based on SSL 3.0 but had significant differences. Since then, TLS versions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 have been released, each with significant security upgrades than the last.

TLS, the latest version, has essential security features, including Perfect Forward Secrecy and the removal of SHA-224 and MD5 support.

Key Difference Between SSL and TLS

How They Establish Connections

SSL makes explicit connections through a port, while TLS makes implicit connections through a protocol.

Cipher Suites

While SSL supports the Fortezza cipher suite, TLS does not. Instead, it uses a standardization process that makes it easier to define new cipher suites such as Triple DES, AES, and RC4.


SSL message authentication process adjoins application data and the key details like ad-hoc. Additionally, after encrypting every message, it uses Message Authentication Code (MAC. TLS uses a Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC).

SSL and TLS Certificates

SSL and TLS certificates are not similar or dependent on protocols. That means you don’t have to choose between SSL and TLS certificates. They’re advertised as “SSL Certificates,” while they’re actually SSL/TLS Certificates. That means you can use the certificate on both SSL and TLS protocols.

SSL certificates keep user data secure and verify website ownership. HTTPS, a secure version of HTTP, occurs through the transmission of these certificates.

Is SSL Enough for Your Security?

SSL is not enough for your security. It has major security hitches, which led to its deprecation, and replacement with TLS. Additionally, most reputable browsers do not support SSL. Google Chrome stopped supporting it, and other browsers are doing the same.

To safeguard your security and that of your website visitors, you have to upgrade to the latest TLS version, TLS 3.0. But you don’t need to change your certificate as it supports both SSL and TLS. Instead, you’ll need to control the protocol that your site uses at the server level. If you’re using SSL, disable it and enable TLS.

SSL Vs. TLS: Which is Better?

TLS is better than SSL. It’s an advanced version of SSL that offers more security and is supported by major browsers. It will prevent hackers and intruders from accessing and tampering with the data being transferred between the site’s user and the server by encrypting it.

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