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What Is 'SSL'? What Is 'SSH'?


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Question: What Is 'SSL'? What Is 'SSH'?

You see these odd technical expressions around the Net. Techie guys say "we use full SSL for our shopping carts" or "our network administrators use full SSH management techniques". But what exactly do these terms mean?

Answer: SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer". It commonly uses port 443 to connect your computer to a secure server on the Internet. SSL is most often used for transmitting credit card, tax, banking, or personal information to a business server somewhere. Examples of SSL: you are purchasing a DVD from Amazon.com, you are filing your taxes online, or you are transferring funds between your checking and savings accounts.

SSH stands for "Secure Shell". SSH commonly uses port 22 to connect your computer to another computer on the Internet. It is most often used by network administrators as a remote login / remote control way to manage their business servers. Examples would be: your email administrator needs to reboot the company email server from his home, or your network administrator needs to reset your office password while she is away at a conference.

Both SSL and SSH strive to create confidential connections across the Net. With only a very few exceptions, it is not possible for a regular hacker to break into an SSL or SSH connection...the encryption technology is as reliable as 21st century programming can make it.

When you are trying to transmit financial information or internal business documentation, it is highly advisable that you only do so with an SSL or SSH type of connection.

Both SSL and SSH are special encryption and protocol technologies used to connect two computers. SSL and SSH lock out eavesdroppers by encrypting (ciphering) the connection, and scrambling the transmitted data so it is meaningless to anyone outside of the two computers.

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