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Cipher, Plain Text, Cipher Text

  • Cleartext  is readable data transmitted or stored “in the clear” (i.e. unencrypted)
  • Plaintext is the input to an encryption algorithm
  • Ciphertext is the unreadable output of an encryption algorithm 
  • Plain text means its text that hasn’t been formatted (i.e., a plain text file)
  • And clear text… well, this is just text that is easy to comprehend (added to be thorough)
  • Something that is cleartext may be in plain text, could be used as plaintext, but definitely isn’t ciphertext.
  • Something that is plaintext should be in plain text, could be cleartext, and will become ciphertext.
  • Something that is ciphertext should be in plain text, could be used as plaintext, but definitely isn’t cleartext.


Additional Reading

Online calculator (cipher)

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