How SSL Works — A Beginner’s Guide

What is an SSL certificate?

  • Encryption where it protects data transmissions. For example, browser to browser or application to the server.
  • It enhances authentication where the server connected to is the actual server.
  • Whatever data is requested or submitted is what is actually delivered enhancing data integrity.
  • Asymmetric Cryptography
  • Symmetric Cryptography

Asymmetric cryptography

Symmetric cryptography

  • SSL handshake
  • Actual data transfer

SSL Handshake

Client hello

Server hello

Server key exchange message

Certificate request

Client certificate

Client key exchange message

Actual data transfer

Types of SSL certificates

Extended Validation (EV) Certificates

Organization Validated (OV) Certificates

Domain Validated (DV) Certificates



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer and Freelance Technical Writer. I write about any Computer Science related topic.