Base64 refers to a way to turn binary data made up of 0s and 1s into a more human-readable text format, usually composed of letters, numbers, and symbols. Usually, the transformed binary data is easier to store and transmit, especially in those cases where it needs to pass through systems or protocols that don’t support binary data directly.
See also: binary format
Common Base64 applications:
- Data transmission: Base64 encoding is widely used in data transmission, like authentication credentials or configuration files. These transmissions usually occur in networks and databases. Base64 can prevent data corruption and misinterpretation during the transmission or storing act.
- Email attachments: Base65 encoding encodes binary messages or file attachments in email messaging. The main benefit is that files are sent correctly, even if the email system is incompatible with binary data.
- Web data handling: Most web applications include binary data, like fonts and images throughout web pages. Base64 allows browsers to display data correctly, especially when special characters are used.