Difference Between AES and SHA

What is AES?

AES is a very powerful symmetric block encryption that is widely accepted as a guideline by many entities. Since the few effective attempts against it have used side-channel attacks, AES is trustworthy.

The AES cipher is a block cipher. The key could be 128/192/256 bits in length. Data is encrypted in 128-bit chunks. That is to say, it accepts 128 bits as inputs and produces 128 bits of encoded ciphertext. AES is based on the substitution-permutation network principle, which entails substituting and rearranging the input data through a series of connected processes.

AES uses bytes instead of bits to conduct operations. The cipher handles 128 bits (or 16 bytes) of incoming data at a time because the block size is 128 bits. To compute all the round keys first from the key, a Key Schedule method is employed. As a result, the starting key is used to generate several other round keys, each of which will be used in the encryption round that follows.

In the algorithm, SubBytes does the replacement, while ShiftRows and MixColumns accomplish the permutation. The rounds’ phases may be readily undone since they have an opposite that, when completed, reverses the modifications. Depending on the key size, each of the 128 blocks goes through 10, 12, or 14 rounds.

What is SHA?

Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) is a hashing method that is used to hash data and credential files. Every item of data uniquely identifies a hash that is completely indistinguishable from that of any other bit of data. The resultant digital signature is also one-of-a-kind since it is based on the hash created from the data.

Symmetric cryptography is utilized for the actual communication, in which the other key that hashes or encodes data is also used to decode it. Digital certificates use the same hashing method as traditional certificates, in which the credential file is hashed and the hashed file is validated by the certificate authority (CA).

The most important aspect of any digital communication is authentication, which ensures that the entity on the other end of the line is the one with whom the session initiator wishes to interact. As a result, the TLS protocol utilizes asymmetric cryptography to enforce a more strict authentication process.

The PKI industry uses the SHA cryptographic algorithm for digital signatures. This method is available in two versions: SHA-1 and SHA-2. The “number of bits” that the hashed result includes for a particular plaintext input is the distinction between the two variants.

Difference Between SHA and AES

  1. The main difference between SHA and AES is that SHA is uses hashing method whereas AES is an encryption method.
  2. SHA is unidirectional whereas AES is bi-directional.
  3. SHA can’t be reversed but AES is a reversible method.
  4. SHA is more secure than the AES method.
  5. SHA is used to verify data whereas AES is used to securely transmit data.
  6. Unlike SHA, you will need a decryption key in AES.

Comparison Between AES and SHA

Parameters of ComparisonAESSHA
Stands ForAdvanced Encryption StandardSecure Hash Algorithm
AimTo securely transmit dataTo verify data
UseTransmitting sensitive and
confidential data,
wireless security
Passwords, file. information
are sent as
hash value
OutcomeDecryption Key is used to retrieve
original data
String typeVariableFixed length
NatureReversible and two-wayIrreversible and one-way
SecurityLess securityBetter Security


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10916-013-9971-2
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8864485/