SSH vs SSL: What’s the Difference?


Are you striving to understand the difference between SSH Vs SSL?

At a very high level, SSH and SSL are the two technologies that help to encrypt and authenticate the data transfer between two computers. For instance: Your Pc and the website’s server.

Though SSH and SSL are similar in few ways, they are utilized for distinct purposes. Hence, you must know the difference between SSH Vs SSL.

In this blog post, we will introduce you to both SSH Vs SSL. So let’s get started.

What is SSH?

SSH stands for Secure Shell. SSH provides a reliable way to remotely log in to another system and issue commands.

By utilizing SSH tunneling, you can create an encrypted network among a client and a server.

To build a secure SSH tunnel, you will need to authenticate utilizing either a username/password or a set of crypto public/private keys.

On authenticating yourself, you will be able to securely access information and issue commands to the remote server through the command line.

What is SSH used For?

Following are few practical examples where SSH is used

  • SFTP (Simple File Transfer Protocol)
  • Proxy Traffic over SSH using SOCKS
  • SSH Tunnel Forward to Secondary Remote host
  • SSH Reverse Proxy
  • Establish a VPN over SSH
  • Tunneling via Local Port Forwarding
  • X11 Forwarding

What is SSL?

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that offers privacy, authentication, and integrity to Internet communications.

SSL is a protocol that’s fundamentally sketched to preserve the data transfer between two parties with encryption and authentication. Generally, this data transfer is among visitor’s browser and the server of the website that they’re visiting.

Below are Few Benefits of SSL:

  • Encryption – SSL encrypts data while the data is transported among the systems, which implies that threat actors can’t decode that information.
  • Authentication – SSL likewise helps validate the data if the data is being sent to and received from the correct server, which is another approach that helps stop man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM).
  • Data integrity – Eventually, SSL also assures data integrity by making sure there’s no loss or alteration of data while it’s in transit.

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Why an SSL Used?

Following are few reasons why an SSL used:

  • SSL Secures Your Data
  • Better Search Engine Ranking
  • SSL Helps You Satisfy PCI/DSS Requirements
  • SSL Improves Customer Trust

SSH vs SSL: High-Level Difference

Before we see the difference among both SSH and SSL, let’s first see the similarities among SSH Vs SSL:

  • Both the technologies help in creating secure and safe connections.
  • Both encrypt the data that passes between two devices

However, the major difference among SSH Vs SSL is that SSH is utilized for building a secure tunnel to another system from which you can publish command as you can do with SSH.

For Instance:

  • SSH – If you need to safely connect to your website’s server and utilize the WP-CLI (command-line interface) to manage your WordPress site, you will be using an SSH.
  • SSL – If you need to communicate with a frontend form on your site to present data, your server would utilize SSL to encrypt the form data as it moves among your web browser and your server’s database.

SSH Vs SSL Differences in Brief

There are several differences among SSH Vs SSL. Let’s see!

Utilized for establishing secure and remote connection to another machine to publish commandsUtilized for securely transmitting data among two parties- your site visitor and website server
Based on network tunnelsBased on Digital certificates
Operates on port 22Operate on port 443
Needs the client to authorize with a username/password or cryptographic keyJust needs authentication on the server side
Is a cryptographic protocolIs a security protocol


We hope this article helped you understand the difference between SSH Vs SSL.

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