Online SHA-256 hash generator

What is SHA-256 hash

SHA 256 stands for secure hash algorithm 256 used for message, file, and data integrity verification. It is a cryptographic hash generator with a digest size of 256 bits and comes under the umbrella of SHA-2 family algorithms.

Hashing is one of the core principles of security modules that involve scrambling of raw information to the extent that it cannot reproduce back to its original form. SHA 256 hash calculator takes a string of characters as an input and performs mathematical operations on it to generate an output known as hash value or digest.

The hash value is irreversible, i.e. digest cannot provide you with an original text. NSA and NIST introduced SHA 256 in 2001 to ensure protection from brute force attacks.

Applications of SHA-256 encryption

SHA 256 algorithm is used for digital signature verification, password hashing, SSL handshake and integrity verification. A digital signature is a coded message to authenticate and protect sensitive and different crucial documents, transactions and data.

Websites store passwords in the form of hashes to ensure privacy for their users. In addition to that, hashed password feature consumes less memory.

Web browsing sessions use SHA algorithms for a necessary SSL handshake to ensure a steady connection. SHA 256 and MD5 hash algorithms perform an integrity check to ensure whether the file contents have altered or not. 

About the SHA-256 hash generator tool

SHA 256 generator always generates a 256 bits message digest irrespective of the string characters. It is also evident from the algorithm name that its hash value is 256 bits or 64 hexadecimal digits.

The maximum size of input text must be equal to or less than 264 bits. The online tool adds extra bits to the input text and divides the message into various blocks. The sha256 hash function generator then passes each block through 64 number of iterations to produce a final output.

As collisions are very rare between hash values, so there is no concept to encrypt data. Freenerdtools provides easy and free access to SHA 256 hash generator so you can try it out to get hash.

How to generate sha256 hash

Freenerdtools' free online sha256 hash generator interface is self-explanatory and much simple to use. Simply enter or copy and paste your message in the form of plaintext in the text field and hit the submit button to convert the text into a hash. It will easily make results within a few seconds.

SHA256 vs MD5

Both MD5 and SHA 256 are hashing functions that take a hash of any string to create a checksum or hash output of 128 and 256 bits size, respectively. The difference lies in the speed.

MD5 consumes more time to produce a message digest as compared to SHA 256 and is more secure. Whereas SHA 256 is more complex because of its larger hash value.

SHA256 vs SHA512

The key difference between the two is the word usage and hash value size. SHA 512 use 64-byte words and produces 512 bits longer hash. Whereas SHA 256 uses 32-byte words and gives a 256 bits digest. SHA 512 is more secure and collision resistant as it claims 256-bit collision resistance. However, SHA 256 only claims 128-bit collision resistance.

Frequently asked questions

Is sha256 secure or broken?

SHA 256 is still secure today as no one has been able to crack it up till now, and it's used in some of the most secure networks in the world.

Is sha256 reversible?

It cannot be reversed because of two reasons. Firstly, it's a one-way function. Secondly, you cannot find the information entered by the user in the function's output.

Is sha256 deterministic?

Yes, it is a deterministic function because it provides the same output if you hash the same message twice.

Is sha256 case sensitive?

No, SHA 256's input and output are cases insensitive. Additionally, the hash value is in hexadecimal format rather than text.

Is sha256 collision resistant?

Yes, SHA-256 is collision-resistant. This means that it is very difficult for two different inputs to produce the same output, making it nearly impossible for attackers to create a malicious file with the same hash as a legitimate one.

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