Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

The difference between AES encryption and DES encryption

Choosing whether to encrypt your network data with the AES encryption algorithm or the DES encryption algorithm, is an important security matter. Learn which is the more secure option in this expert response.

What is the difference between AES and DES encryption?

There is a huge, important difference between these two encryption and decryption algorithms, Data Encryption Standard (DES) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): AES is secure while DES is not.

The federal government developed DES encryption algorithms more than 30 years ago to provide cryptographic security for all government communications. The idea was to ensure government systems all used the same, secure standard to facilitate interconnectivity. DES served as the cornerstone of government cryptography for more than two decades, but in 1999 researchers broke the algorithm's 56-bit key using a distributed computer system.

AES data encryption is a more mathematically efficient and elegant cryptographic algorithm, but its main strength rests in the key length options. The time required to crack an encryption algorithm is directly related to the length of the key used to secure the communication. AES allows you to choose a 128-bit, 192-bit or 256-bit key, making it exponentially stronger than the 56-bit key of DES.

For more information:

This was last published in April 2009

Dig Deeper on Disk and file encryption tools



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.








  • CIO Trends #6: Nordics

    In this e-guide, read how the High North and Baltic Sea collaboration is about to undergo a serious and redefining makeover to ...

  • CIO Trends #6: Middle East

    In this e-guide we look at the role of information technology as the Arabian Gulf commits billions of dollars to building more ...

  • CIO Trends #6: Benelux

    In this e-guide, read about the Netherlands' coalition government's four year plan which includes the term 'cyber' no fewer than ...