BASE64 - Computer Definition
One of the most popular encoding schemes in use today. It is used to translate binary data that includes nonprintable characters in a printable format to be able to transmit this data with text-based protocols such as SMTP (email) or HTTP (Web).
Note that encoding is not equivalent to encrypting. Encoding just transcribes the data in a different alphabet and involves no keys. The transmitted message can still be considered clear text and is, in fact, picked up directly by network sniffers.
See Also: Encode.
An encoding method that converts binary data into ASCII text and vice versa. It is commonly used to send non-text files via the Internet's e-mail system (see MIME). Base64 divides each set of three bytes of the original data into four 6-bit units, which it represents as four 7-bit ASCII characters. This typically increases the original file by about a third. See quoted printable encoding.