SSH vs SSL: What’s the Difference?

June 6, 2023 / SSL

Looking to understand the difference between SSL and SSH. In this article, we will introduce you about SSH vs. SSL and how to use them.

At a high level, SSH and SSL are both technologies that help authenticate and encrypt data sent between two computers, such as your laptop and the server hosting your website. In simple terms, they improve security. Additionally, they are similar in some respects on a high level if you consider that they serve two very different objectives, that is why it’s important to know the distinction between SSH and SSL.

SSL is generally used to encrypt data being transferred between two points, such as your browser and the server hosting the website you are visiting.

On the other hand, SSH is used to remotely log into another computer. (Eg: a web server and to create a secure connection to issue commands using SSH tunneling).

What Is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. While some of the most people still refer to SSL as it is technically the older version of the current modern Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. For practical purposes, you can use SSL and TLS.

Advantages of SSL

  1. Easy to use: SSL used quickly and with little configuration.
  2. Widely used: Most online browsers and programs are capable of utilizing the popular SSL protocol.
  3. Strong encryption: SSL is the best protocol for secure web interactions because it offers robust encryption that is challenging to crack.

Disadvantages of SSL

  1. Expensive: Since SSL certificates can be costly, some people or organizations might discover it difficult to use them.
  2. Prone to Assaults: SSL is vulnerable to some sorts of attacks, such as SSL stripping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
  3. Limited application support: Since not all applications support SSL, using it can be challenging in some circumstances.

What is SSH?

SSH is a networking protocol, which gives secure transmission in a non-secure network. It requires a certificate and also works on Public Key Encryption. It uses multiple implementations in networked environments’ functions including web surfing, chatting, emails, and other protocols like FTP.

Advantages of SSH

  1. Secure: SSH was created to enhance the security of communications between two systems, making it a perfect protocol for file transfers and remote access.
  2. Authentication: SSH offers strong methods for authentication that make it challenging for unauthorized access to happen.
  3. Data integrity: Finally, SSL ensures data integrity by ensuring that no data is lost or changed while in transit.

Disadvantages of SSH

  1. Performance impact: SSH can affect system speed, particularly when sending huge files or when many users are trying to access the same system at once.
  2. Complexity: SSH setup and use can be challenging, especially for non-technical people.
  3. Limited application support: SSH is not supported by all programs, which makes it challenging to utilize in some circumstances.

Difference between SSL and SSH

1. SSL stands for secure socket layer. SSH stands for Secure Shell
2. You don’t need any username/password authentication system like SSH. It is a username/password-based authentication technology that uses cryptography.
3. It uses port number 443. It works on the port number 22.
4. It is asynchronous as it depends on the certificates. It completely depends on the network tunneling.
5. While X.509 digital certificates are often used by SSL for server and client authentication. For the server and client authentication operations, it uses a three-stage approach.


SSL and SSH are two different protocols with various applications. While SSL is usually used to encrypt web-based communications, SSH is largely used for secure remote access to servers and other equipment. They operate on various port numbers, employ various encryption techniques, and offer various degrees of implementation and authentication. Selecting the best protocol for your particular needs might be made easier if you aware of the distinctions between these two protocols.

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