Base64 Encode

Content to be encoded
Content to be decoded

What is Base64 Encoding?
Base64 encoding is a technique for converting binary data (like images, videos, or binary files) into a human-readable format consisting of printable characters. It essentially translates binary data, which computers understand, into a text-based format that can be transmitted or stored in systems that only handle text.

How Does Base64 Encoding Work?
    • Splitting Binary Data: The binary data is broken down into chunks of 8 bits (1 byte) each.
    • Converting to Base 64 Digits: Each 8-bit chunk is converted into a decimal number (0-255). This decimal value is then used to select a corresponding character from a base64 alphabet. The base64 alphabet typically consists of uppercase and lowercase letters (A-Z, a-z), digits (0-9), and special characters (+, /, or = depending on the specific base64 implementation).
    • Padding (if necessary): If the original binary data doesn't have a length that's perfectly divisible by 3, padding characters (usually "=") are added to the end to create a complete multiple of 4 characters in the encoded output.

Why Use Base64 Encoding?
    • Transmission Compatibility: Base64 encoding allows sending binary data through channels designed for text data, such as email or web forms.
    • Data Storage Compatibility: Binary data encoded in base64 can be stored in text files or databases that might not natively support binary data.
    • Embedding Data: Base64 encoded data can be embedded within text-based resources like HTML or CSS. For instance, an image can be base64 encoded and included within an HTML page to display the image directly.

Things to Consider with Base64 Encoding
    • Increased Data Size: The base64 encoded data is roughly 33% larger than the original binary data due to the conversion process and potential padding.
    • Decoding Required: The base64 encoded data needs to be decoded back into its original binary format to be usable by applications that require the binary data.
    • Not Encryption: Base64 encoding is not a form of encryption. The encoded data is still readable, although it appears as a jumbled mess of letters, numbers, and symbols.