What is Transport Layer Security (TLS) and How Does it Work?

Transport Layer SecurityTransport Layer Security is one of the cryptographic protocols that is designed to help the user achieve communications security over a computer network. While it competes with SSL and has had some breaches in the past, the modern version improves on the privacy and the performance from previous versions. In this guide, we will go over the details of TLS and how it compares to SSL so you know the differences between the two.

What is TLS?

As we mentioned, Transport Layer Support (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol. It provides end to end security for networks and is very commonly used for internet transactions. Its intent is to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery. It is used in various products such as web browsers, instant messaging, e-mail, and VoIP. It is a more advanced version of SSL (secure socket layer). While many have heard of SSL, the protocol was actually developed by Netscape in 1995. It had a number of flaws, so it was redesigned in 1996 as the second version. The 3rd version became TLS in 1999.

Why is TLS Better Than SSL?

Simply put, TLS is more efficient, secure, has stronger message authentication, better key-material generation, and other encryption algorithms. TLS supports secure remote pass, eliptical-curve keys, Kerberos, and even pre-shaped keys. Unfortunately, SSL does not support those features. Keep in mind, also, that TLS won’t work on devices that have SSL encryption.

Two different layers define the TLS protocol specification. The TLS handshake protocol enables the client and server to authenticate each other and to negotiate security keys before any data is transmitted The TLS record protocol provides connection security. Also, the TLS handshake includes many steps in the process. That makes it flexible enough to use in a variety of applications because the format can be modified.

The 1.3 TLS Version

While there have been a few security breaches through time, the 1.3 version of TLS was approved in March of 2018. This was a major revision and an effort to modernize the protocol. It included major improvements in security, perfomance, and privacy. One of those changes is the greatly increased difficulty for hackers to decrypt HTTPS-encrypted traffic. Another change is the speed increase, therefore lowering the overhead of the encryption on applications.

As you can see, TLS encryption is an important part of the modern world we live in. Improvements to the protocol mean better security and speed for everyone. Share this post with your friends so they can understand TLS as well. Follow us @VPNFan for the latest deals and guides.