Beginners Guide to Base64 Encoding

Base64 encoding is a technique for encoding binary data into the readable text to transfer it as a standard ASCII text file. It’s most commonly used for encoding and decoding almost any sort of data, like images and videos. There are many different ways to use Base64 encoding; you might have even come across it without knowing its name. For example, you may have received an email with a password entirely in Base64 instead of visible characters, or seen Base64-encoded images when browsing the web. In this blog post, we will explore what base64 encoding is and why we use it as well as share our top tips on how to use Base64 encoding in your own applications.

What is Base64 Encoding?

Base64 is a way of encoding characters or binary data into ASCII characters. This means that data such as images, videos, or any other large files can be represented in a smaller format that can be easily transferred between computers. The base64 characters are typically used for text data but the conversion process means that any data can be represented using this format. This includes file paths, computer code, and even URLs. Many applications make use of base64 encoding in one form or another. This is because it’s easy to store and transfer data in this format without having to worry about compatibility between different systems.

Why Do We Use Base64 Encoding?

It’s commonly used when sharing images, videos, or other larger files as standard text files. It’s often used when transferring data by email as it allows you to create smaller files that don’t require the recipient to download additional software to open the file. The conversion process also means that different platforms can use the same data without any compatibility issues.

When to use Base64 Encoding in your applications

Base64 encoding is useful for sending data over the internet or storing images, videos, and other binary data in standard text files. It’s most commonly used for sending images or videos in emails or storing information in URL parameters. When sending images or videos in emails, you can base64 encode them so they are smaller and easier to send. URL parameters are used to store information such as API keys, file paths, or even passwords without having to use an external file.

General usage of base64 encoding

Base64 encoding is commonly used to send images, videos, and other large file types in emails. Many web applications that allow you to upload images also accept base64 encoded images. This is especially useful when you are sending images through email as the files will be smaller. The same can be said for sending videos through email. Most email providers limit the size of an email message so you can use base64 to send larger files without exceeding this limit. Most web applications also allow you to store API keys or other sensitive information in URLs by base64 encoding them. This allows you to store the information in a URL parameter without having to use an external file.

Working Out the Base64 CheckSum by Hand

While computers can easily work out the base64 checksum by using an algorithm, humans need to do things the old fashion way. To work out the checksum by hand, all you need to do is break down each letter into its corresponding numerical value: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc. Once you have all the values, add them up and write down the result. The Base64 checksum is always a multiple of 15, so the final result should have a remainder of 0 or 15. If it has a remainder of 0, then you have correctly calculated the checksum and the data is valid. If you have a remainder of 15, then you have incorrectly calculated the checksum. In this case, simply try again until you get the correct answer.

Final Words

Base64 encoding is used for converting binary data into plain text to make it easier to transfer data over the internet. It’s commonly used when sharing images, videos, or other larger files as standard text files. It’s often used when transferring data by email as it allows you to create smaller files that don’t require the recipient to download additional software to open the file. The conversion process also means that different platforms can use the same data without any compatibility issues.