Author : HASSAN MD TAREQ
When you have some binary data that you want to ship across a network, you generally don’t do it by just streaming the bits and bytes over the wire in a raw format. Why? because some media are made for streaming text. You never know – some protocols may interpret your binary data as control characters (like a modem), or your binary data could be screwed up because the underlying protocol might think that you’ve entered a special character combination (like how FTP translates line endings).
So to get around this, people encode the binary data into characters. Base64 is one of these types of encodings.
Because you can generally rely on the same 64 characters being present in many character sets, and you can be reasonably confident that your data’s going to end up on the other side of the wire uncorrupted.
- Base64 is a encoding algorithm that allows you to transform any characters into an alphabet which consists of Latin letters, digits, plus, and slash
- Base64 is a group of binary-to-text encoding schemes that represent binary data in an ASCII string format by translating it into a radix-64 representation
- Naming: Initially, the algorithm was named as “printable encoding” and only after a couple of years, in June 1992, RFC 1341 defines it as “Base64”.
- Security: Base64 is not an encryption algorithm and in no case should it be used to “hash” passwords or “encrypt” sensitive data, because it is a reversible algorithm and the encoded data can be easily decoded
- Usage: Base64 is most commonly used to encode binary data (for example, images, or sound files) for embedding into HTML, CSS, EML, and other text documents