Difference Wiki

SSH vs. SSL: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 1, 2024
SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol for secure remote login and command execution, while SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard for encrypting data in transit, used widely in secure web communications.

Key Differences

SSH is a network protocol designed for securely accessing and managing devices remotely. It allows encrypted communication sessions over potentially insecure networks. SSL, on the other hand, is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all data passed between them remains private.
SSL encrypts the data transferred over the internet to protect it from eavesdropping, which is crucial for protecting sensitive information in web transactions. SSH provides a secure channel over an unsecured network by using a client-server model, enabling users to securely access a server or other network services.
In terms of usage, SSH is commonly used by system administrators for controlling servers remotely. It encrypts the session to keep the communication confidential. SSL is primarily used to secure data transfers on the internet, such as credit card transactions, data transfer, and logins, by encrypting the connection.
Both SSH and SSL use public key cryptography for secure communications. However, while SSL is used more broadly on the internet for securing connections, SSH is specifically used for secure remote logins and file transfers, like in SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Secure remote login and command execution
Secure web communications encryption

Encryption Method

Public key cryptography for session encryption
Public key cryptography to establish a secure connection

Common Use Cases

System administration, file transfer
Online transactions, web browsing security

Authentication Method

Uses keys for authentication
Uses certificates for authentication

Port Used

Typically uses port 22
Usually operates on ports 443 for HTTPS

SSH and SSL Definitions


SSH is widely used by system administrators for secure control over web servers and other networked systems.
To fix the issue, I had to SSH into the malfunctioning server.


SSL certificates are used to authenticate the identity of a website to visiting browsers.
Before entering my password, I always check for a valid SSL certificate.


SSH allows for various authentication methods, including password-based and key-based authentication.
For enhanced security, I switched from password to key-based authentication in SSH.


SSL is a protocol for establishing authenticated and encrypted links between networked computers.
Our website uses SSL to secure users' data during transactions.


SSH provides a secure channel in an insecure network by using a client-server architecture.
Our company's IT team relies on SSH for managing network infrastructure.


SSL encrypts the segments of network connections at the Transport Layer, providing secure end-to-end communication.
SSL encryption ensures that our customers' credit card information is safe.


SSH encrypts both commands and data, preventing the interception and alteration of data over the network.
I encrypted my file transfer using SSH for added security.


SSL uses a combination of public key and symmetric key encryption to secure the connection between two machines.
The SSL certificate on our server provides a reliable layer of security.


SSH is a protocol for secure network communications designed to be relatively simple and inexpensive to implement.
I use SSH to remotely access my home server.


SSL is used extensively in online transactions and secure data transmission.
To protect user privacy, our app implements SSL for all communications.


Synonym of shush


To use ssh to connect to a remote computer.


A program and protocol for securely logging in to and running programs on remote machines across a network, with encryption to protect the transferred information and authentication to ensure that the remote machine is the one desired.


What is SSH?

SSH is a secure network protocol for remote login and data transfer.

How does SSL work?

SSL encrypts data between a web server and browser, using certificates for authentication.

What is SSL?

SSL is a security protocol for encrypting data in transit over the internet.

How does SSH work?

SSH uses client-server model and encryption to provide secure command-line access and file transfer.

What port does SSL use?

SSL usually uses port 443 for secure web communications.

Can SSH be used for file transfer?

Yes, SSH can be used for secure file transfer, like in SFTP.

Where is SSH commonly used?

SSH is used for secure remote management of servers and systems.

Does SSL use encryption?

Yes, SSL encrypts data to protect it during transmission.

Is SSL necessary for websites?

Yes, SSL is essential for website security and user data protection.

Where is SSL commonly used?

SSL is used for secure internet transactions and data transfer.

What port does SSH use?

SSH typically uses port 22.

How is authentication done in SSL?

SSL uses certificates for server authentication and optional client authentication.

Can SSH be used without passwords?

Yes, SSH can use key-based authentication instead of passwords.

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website's identity and enables an encrypted connection.

Can SSH be used for web browsing?

No, SSH is not used for web browsing; it's for remote access and data transfer.

Does SSH provide encryption?

Yes, SSH provides strong encryption for data and commands.

Is SSL used in email?

Yes, SSL can secure email communications.

How is authentication done in SSH?

SSH uses key-based or password-based authentication.

Is SSH secure for remote access?

Yes, SSH is a secure method for remote access.

Does SSL prevent data interception?

Yes, SSL encryption helps prevent data interception and eavesdropping.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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