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The length of the key used to encrypt and decode data is referred to as “256-bit encryption.” In the process of encrypting, the original data gets scrambled into a gibberish known as ciphertext. You’ll need the 256-bit key to decipher the ciphertext again.

Since it presently employs the longest encryption key, 256-bit encryption is regarded as the strongest available. In order to encrypt and decode data using this approach, 14 rounds of different operations are required.

Imagine having to pass through 14 bank vault doors in order to reach your goal. All 14 doors can be opened if you know the codes for each lock. In the event that you don’t do so, it might take a long time to finish.

Organizations employed 128-bit and subsequently 192-bit encryption keys before 256-bit encryption was invented. A 256-bit encryption key length has been used by both the government and commercial sector, despite its relatively low security.

### What Is the Process of 256 Bit Encryption?

In order to encrypt data or files, 256-bit encryption uses a secret 256-bit key. Let’s take a look at the key’s length in terms of a number, so you can better visualise it. If you have to guess the 256-bit secret key, how many potential options are there?

There are 2256 possible outcomes, which is 232 multiplied by eight. To better understand this number, we may convert 232 to its equivalent, which is 4,294,967,296 digits. As a result, the number of secret key possibilities that may be generated using 256-bit encryption is 4 billion times its own size, multiplied by eight. The result of this equation is entered into a calculator is 1.1579209e+77.

### Can a 256-Bit Encryption Key be Cracked?

There are an endless number of ways to break 256-bit encryption. When brute force is used, hackers guess the password until the correct combination is entered.

Consider an email account with a password consisting of eight alphanumeric characters in order to put things into perspective. There are an estimated 457 trillion potential password combinations, and it would take hackers 2.6 days to decode them using brute force. On the other hand, a 12-character password is a very different matter. It would take 7.5 million years to decrypt.

Several scientists have determined that even the most powerful computers cannot crack 256-bit encryption.

### Breaking a 256-Bit Encryption Takes How Long?

How long would it take to decode 256-bit encryption if a 12-character password is cracked in 7.5 million years? An in-depth computation, seen in the video below, puts the answer at 507 billion years, or 37 times as old as the universe itself.

### How Safe Is this?

256-bit encryption is regarded to be the most secure technique of encryption because of the limitless number of options. The sort of encryption employed is also a factor in determining the level of security, according to experts.

Asymmetric and symmetric cryptography are the two most common forms of encryption. In this post, we discussed the differences between the two. Symmetric encryption, on the other hand, employs the usage of a single key for both encryption and decryption. Asymmetric cryptography, on the other hand, makes use of unique keys for every operation.

The security of a 256-bit encryption key relies less on the chance of a hacker breaking it and more on how the key is managed. It is possible for hackers to decode encrypted data, for example, with the usage of the 256-bit key in symmetric encryption.

### Conclusion

The current encryption standard is 256-bit encryption, and several individuals have demonstrated that it is extremely difficult to decipher. It doesn’t matter what type of encryption or key length is used, though, if data is handled with care and security.