12 Difference between AES and DES Ciphers (With Table)

Both DES and AES are symmetric blocker ciphers. AES was typically introduced to overcome the weaknesses that come with DES. 

Research shows that these algorithms in network systems usually confuse many people. These blocker ciphers have some close relationship with each other. 

So, what is the main difference between AES and DES cipher? The former developed in 2001 and the latter in 1977. The purpose was to improve the network system security and loading time. 

This article provides further differences between AES and DES ciphers in a tabular form. Take the time to read through the similarities between AES and DES cipher for a deeper understanding. 

Comparison Table (AES VS DES Cipher)

Basic Terms AES CipherDES Cipher 
Year of Development20011977
Full TermsAdvanced Encryption StandardData Encryption Standard
Rule of EncryptionSubstitution and PermutationFeistel structure
CiphertextGenerate 128, 192, 256 bitsGenerate 64-bits only
Length of KeyHas 128, 192, 256 bitsHas  56-bits only
Number of roundsHas variable numbers of rounds such as 10 rounds of 128 bits, 12 rounds of 192 bits, and 14 rounds of 256 bitsHas fixed number of rounds such as 16
SpeedHas high speedHas low speed
SecurityHighly securedPoorly secured
PopularityWidely UsedLess used
PlaintextHas 128, 192, 256 bitsHas 64-bits only

What Is AES Cipher?

AES is an abbreviation of the Advanced Encryption Standard. AES is a symmetric block cipher used by the government of the United States to safeguard secrets.

The symmetric block cipher was discovered in 2001 by the National Institute of standards and technology in the United States.

The main aim of the discovery was to replace DES which has small keys and the algorithm made it be slower.

The most wonderful thing about AES is that it occurs in the form of blocks where it is later obtained as ciphertext. This makes the algorithm to be faster and even safer.

According to research, the algorithm of AES takes 128-bit of plaintext and 128-bit of the secret key together then forms a 128-bit block which is display as a 4 by 4 matrix.

During the processing of data, the 4 by 4 square matrix undergoes some transformations that occur in stages. The process makes things harder for an intruder to access the private data of the government.

What Is DES Cipher?

DES is an abbreviation of the Data Encryption Standard. This symmetric block cipher less advanced when compared to the AES.

The symmetric block cipher was discovered in 1977 but due to the advancement in technology, it was replaced by AES.

DES is typically based on the Feistel structure where the plaintext is divided into 64-bit plain text and 56-bit smart keys. The two halves are combined to result in a 64-bit ciphertext.

The encryption plaintext of DES undergoes several transformations that make the algorithm to be typically slow. Use the chart below to study the transformation taking place under DES.

All in all, this is a common standard that uses encryption of data and it helps to form secret key cryptography which has only one key for decryption.

These smaller keys in DES make be highly prone to hacking and this is the reason behind the invention of AES which helps to overcome the problem.

Main Differences Between AES and DES Cipher

  1. AES has high speed when compared to DES hence the reason why it was later used to replace them later.
  2. AES is highly secured than DES. Hence mostly used to secure government secrets from intruders.
  3. The number of rounds in AES is quite variable while those of DES are fixed.
  4. AES uses substitution and permutation as a principle of encryption while DES uses a Feistel structure of encryption.
  5. AES is widely used as compared to DES since it uses modern technology that is highly responsive and secured.
  6. DES was discovered in 1977 while AES in 2001. This implies that AES uses modern technology while DES obsolete technology.
  7. AES has a secrete more key making it secured while DES has less secrete key hence not secured 
  8. AES has no known attacks while DES has known attacks such as Brute-force, Linear crypt-analysis, and Differential crypt-analysis.
  9. AES derives from Square cipher whereas DES derives from Lucifer cipher.
  10. AES can encrypt 128 bits of plain text while DES can encrypt 64 bits of plain text
  11. The AES key length varies from 128 bits, 192 bits to 256 bits whereas the DES key length is 56 bits.
  12. The DES data block is divided into two halves whereas AES data occur in a single block 

Similarities Between AES and DES In Algorithm

  1. Both are data encryption 
  2. Both use plaintext 
  3. Both have a key size 
  4. Both have security keys 
  5. Both are derivative algorithm

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which Is Better AES or DES?

AES. It allows the user to choose a 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit key. Besides that, it has a more mathematically efficient and elegant cryptographic algorithm.

  • Is AES a Feistel Cipher?

No. It is a substitution-permutation network instead.

  • Is AES a Block Cipher?

Yes.  It has a block size of 128 bits and supports three possible key sizes – 128, 192, and 256 bits. It is the most widely used block cipher in the world.

  • Is AES a Symmetric Cipher?

Absolutely. It uses the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting the data.

You May Also Like:


To sum up, DES uses the older algorithm while AES uses the modern algorithm. The smaller keys in DES are what it to experience comparatively lower speed when compared to AES.

Besides that, AES is commonly used since it is highly secured when compared to DES. Core organs of the state use the AES to secure government secrets.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment