SSH vs SSL -Basic Differences

3 min readOct 19, 2020

If you are related to computer science or cyber security in any way, you might have come across the 2 terms very often. But if do not know the difference between them then you are reading the right blog. The wording used is simple and beginner friendly.

Tabular difference:

difference between SSL and SSH

SSL -Secure Socket Layer

7 OSI Model Layers
The OSI Model Layers

SSL is present between the session and transport layer.

The ‘s’ in ‘https’ is added with the use of SSL certificate. Using digital certificates and public key infrastructure (PKI), SSL creates encrypted HTTPS connections between websites and their visitors. Means it allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely.

To get a certificate, you must create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your server. This process creates a private key and public key on your server. The CSR data file that you send to the SSL Certificate issuer (Certificate Authority or CA) contains the public key. The CA never sees the private key. Once you receive the SSL certificate, you install it on your server.

The most important part of an SSL certificate is that it is digitally signed by a trusted CA. Anyone can create a certificate, but browsers only trust certificates that come from an organization on their list of trusted CAs. Browsers come with a pre-installed list of trusted CAs, known as the Trusted Root CA store. In order to be added to the Trusted Root CA store and thus become a Certificate Authority, a company must comply with and be audited against security and authentication standards established by the browsers.

SSH -Secure Shell

The SSH protocol is a remote administration protocol that allows users to control and modify their remote servers over the Internet i.e its a method for secure remote login from one computer to another. A user can SSH into their remote server directly from the terminal window. Windows users can take advantage of SSH clients like Putty. You can execute shell commands in the same manner as you would if you were physically operating the remote computer.

Putty in Windows
Example of Putty on Windows
SSH in ubuntu
Example on Ubuntu/debian OS

The SSH command consists of 3 distinct parts: ssh {user}@{host}

Before the user is granted access, the server is authenticating there credentials. For this, most SSH users use a password. The user is asked to enter the username, followed by the password.

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash