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How much faster is symmetric cryptography compared to asymmetric cryptography?  RSS feed

 
Jerry Girgich
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I know that symmetric crypto is faster when compared to asymmetric crypto, but on average does anyone know about how much faster it would be when encrypting and decrypting a 2MB file?
 
Henry Wong
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I don't think that I ever saw a study on this, so, it would be cool is someone has a pointer to one. Keep in mind that we are trying to compare different configurations, of different algorithms, that may even be affected by the payload. There may not be an available comparison -- and even if there were such a study, the differences could be so vast, that it is like comparing apples and oranges.

I think of it as this... in general, the asymmetric algorithms available today, are generally easier to crack, than the symmetric algorithms available today. To balance that, in general, you will likely use bigger keys with asymmetric algorithms. So, bigger keys, means more processing, which means slower. Arguably, much much slower... but... How much bigger should the keys be? Well, that is your decision. When there is a lot of hand waving, on how secure is the algorithm, along with key sizes, there doesn't seem to be a way to fairly compare... and hence, a fair way to answer your question.

Henry
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Henry Wong wrote:. . . How much bigger should the keys be? . . .
I think that changes from year to year. As techniques and hardware get faster, larger keys will become necessary.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Only fifteen years ago, people were saying that PGP was virtually impossible to break with a 1024‑bit key.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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