[ Hacker Night School ] :: Encoding and Decoding: Base64, ASCII, etc.

Encoding and Decoding: It’s Not Encryption

There’s a form of hiding data that isn’t exactly encryption; it’s just simple encoding into another format that most people won’t be able to read. FTP passwords, for example, are encoded in FileZilla using Base 64 format.

Hexadecimal Encoding

This simply involves taking 8-bit (one Byte) information and splitting it into 4-bit (one nybble) form, representing plain text, for instance, as hexidecimal. See CyberChef below.

Base 64 Encoding

You can get fancy and learn to encode/decode Base 64 manually, but if you run into a encoded password, here’s a website that makes the process easy:


Be aware that you can encode/decode to other bases: Base 32 etc.

ASCII Encoding

Another common format involves encoding text as ASCII numeric references (“a” is 097 in ASCII). Here’s a site that does conversions for several formats, including Octal, Binary, Hexadecimal and more:


HTML (Entities) Encoding


URL Encoding

You’d think this would be the same as HTML encoding … but no.


CyberChef: The Grandmaster Encoder/Decoder, a lovely gift to you from GCHQ

You do know who GCHQ is, right? So take this gift with that knowledge. You can use it online, or download the software and run your own local service.


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