Networking / Beginners

Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms

This class of algorithms employs a different key for encryption and decryption. Furthermore, the decryption key cannot be derived from the encryption key. This type of algorithm is also referred to as a "public-private key-based algorithm." The public portion of the name stems from the fact that the public key can be known by anybody (it's not a secret), but the private key portion should be a secret. The public and private keys are, however, mathematically related.

Algorithms that use asymmetric encryption are computationally more demanding than symmetric algorithms and as such are much slower in execution. The ease of distribution and management of the keys used for encryption and decryption are better than symmetric-based solutions. Some examples of asymmetric algorithms include Diffie-Hellman, ElGamal, and Merkle-Hellman Knapsack.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]