IPsec vs SSL : What is the Difference Between These 2 Great Protocols?


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ispec vs ssl

IPsec is a group of protocols used for making security and authentication between two parties. On the contrary, SSL is a protocol for web browsers that encrypt, decrypt, and authenticate all the data which transport between them. In this article, we will discuss the difference between IPsec vs SSL. Also, remember that you certainly need a VPS hosting first and then these protocols come in handy.

An introduction to IPsec and SSL – Top Differences between IPsec vs SSL?

Transporting data should occur over the encrypted tunnel in which all sent information remains safe. Each encryption algorithm uses a specific protocol. IPsec and SSL are two of these protocols. The main difference between IPsec vs SSL is transporting secure and encrypted information over the Internet. To know them well, let us start with their definitions:


IPsec definition by Routerhosting

IPsec or IP security is one of the protocols for communicating between two points. IPsec is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The communication over IPsec provides data authentication, data confidentiality, and data integrity. The encryption, decryption, authentication of packets, secure key management, and key exchange also have been defined by IPsec.


SSL definition by Routerhosting

ipsec vs ssl

On the contrary, SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer widely used for servers and web browsers. This protocol allows for encryption, decryption, and authentication over the Internet. Secure Sockets Layer uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) for communication and is the predecessor of TLS that is a cryptographic protocol for secure Internet data transmission.  


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Uses of IPsec vs SSL

IPsec is widely used for encryption of application-layer data, providing authentication without encryption, providing security for routers that send routing data over the public Internet, and protecting network data by setting up circuits using IPsec tunneling.

Comparing IPsec vs SSL, SSL usage differs from IPsec. SSL used for data integrity (protecting data from tampering), data privacy (using a series of protocols including, SSL handshake protocol, SSL Change DipherSpec Protocol, SSL Record Protocol, and SSL Alert Protocol), and Client-Server authentication (uses standard cryptographic techniques for client and server authenticating).


Differences between IPsec vs SSL

  • The main difference between IPsec and SSL comes in the network layer. IPsec operates at the network layer while SSL operates at the Transport layer and application layer.
  • IPsec is used for data encryption between any systems while the SSL function is different. SSL will use for data encryption between two processes that will identify by port numbers.
  • Another difference comes in encryption. SSL encrypts the traffic of the network while IPsec does not specify encryption of connections.
  • IPsec connections need a pre-shared key. But SSL uses public-key cryptography.
  • The lack of open-source code for IPsec-based protocols is a concern for many individuals. But SSL has not this problem.
  • SSL is used to secure web transactions. But IPsec is used to securing a Virtual Private Network.
  • SSL follows an asymmetric cryptographic mechanism so that the public and the private (secret) keys will create by a web browser. IPsec designs for Internet Key Exchange (IKE) in which dynamically exchange encryption keys; and finds a way over Security Association (SA).
  • While SSL is better for remote access, IPsec is great for site-to-site VPNs.
  • The most popular protocol used by SSL is OpenVPN. The encryption methods using IPsec include SSTP, L2TP, and IKEv2.
  • In the case of bypassing firewalls, SSL protocols are better than IPsec protocols.
  • Both IPsec and SSL are good at speed. However, the IKEv2/IPsec is the fastest. It can offer a speedy throughput than OpenVPN because of using SSL.
  • The difference between IPsec vs. SSL in the ease of use can show the IPsec more universal than SSL.
  • With more stability, faster connections, and built-in support, IPsec protocols are preferable by users.
  • IPsec is more complicated to set up. It requires third-party client software. On the other hand, SSL will support via the remote user’s browser. It needs no additional need to third-party.
  • SSL has simplicity for configuring. However, it is more vulnerable to irrefutable security threats.
  • SSL is much cheaper than IPsec to maintain.
  • SSL VPNs have some security problems. They are susceptible to spreading worms, viruses, and Trojan horses.
  • IPsec resides in the operating system while SSL resides in user-space.
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Both IPsec and SSL have strong security pedigrees with comparable security, speed, and ease of use for many users. Comparing IPsec vs SSL, you should select the one which more matches your requirements.

Master student in computer software engineering Intrested in programming, web developing, and cloud computing


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6 thoughts on “IPsec vs SSL : What is the Difference Between These 2 Great Protocols?”

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  4. IPsec includes 3 different protocols to protect all aspects of network communication: Authentication Header (AH), ESP (Encapsulated Security Payload), Internet Security Association, and ISAKMP (Key Management Protocol). Authentication header and payload. Encapsulated security devices can be used with ISAKMP or separately. The answer which of these protocols is used for transmission.

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