What are some encryption algorithms that are currently in use by secure websites, by operating systems, or by Secure USB thumb drive manufacturers. I am trying to do research on differences in speed on algorithms that are currently used. I know security is a debatable factor, but I am not concerned with that. I just want to know what some of the common algorithms that are used today are.

  • Symmetric encryption: AES is the big one, RC4 and 3DES are legacy. A few choose alternatives like TwoFish, Serpent, ChaCha/Salsa20. We might get a few other nice choices out of the CAESAR competition. Asymmetric encryption: RSA, (elliptic curve) Diffie-Hellman plus something symmetric – CodesInChaos Mar 28 '14 at 19:32

Common block encryption algorithms:

  • AES (Rijndael)
  • Blowfish
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard)
  • Triple DES
  • Serpent
  • Twofish
  • Camellia
  • CAST
  • IDEA

Common stream encryption algorithms:

  • RC4

Common cryptographic hash functions:

  • MD5
  • SHA-1
  • SHA-2
  • SHA-3 (Keccak)
  • Tiger

In the public key cryptography realm, we have:

  • DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm)
  • RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman)
  • ECDH (elliptic curve Diffie–Hellman)
  • ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm)

All of these algorithms are commonly used and have been around for some time.

As for speed, all of them are really implementation-dependent and each implementation will be subjected to the environment they're used in. Hardware-implemented algorithms are obviously going to be the fastest. Intel, for example, has implemented AES-NI in their processors for accelerating AES encryption with throughput measured in gigabytes per second, but the actual throughput depends on other factors like storage speed and network throughput.

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