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Which encryption level of Netscape browser do
It was due to the US exporting law, software companies cannot export high encryption programmes to other countries other than Canada. (The law has changed now.) Hence there are international (a.k.a. export) version and US (a.k.a. domestic, 128-bit) version of the browser.
For international versions, the differences are as followings,
Netscape version 3.0 to 4.51 (international versions) have standard 40-bit encryption;
Netscape version 4.6 to 4.7 (international versions) have 56-bit encryption (4.6 to 4.7);
From version 4.72 all netscape browsers are available in strong encryption (128-bit).
(Netscape 4.71 was not officially released.)
The main difference is that 128-bit encryption provides a significantly greater amount of cryptographic protection than 40-bit encryption. With the increasing computing power of potential criminals, it is becoming more necessary to employ larger keys, as evidenced by a recent study by several leading cryptographers.
In terms of what the numbers represent, "128" and "40" bit encryption refer to the size of the key used to encrypt the message. Roughly speaking, 128-bit encryption is 309,485,009,821,345,068,724,781,056 times stronger than 40-bit encryption. Presently, 40-bit encryption is not considered "strong" security in the cryptographic community. However, even taking into account Moore's Law, which states that computing power doubles about every 18 months, 128-bit encryption represents a very strong method of encryption for the forseeable future.
(See also: Netscape KB 19971208-6)
Please note that from Netscape 4.6, the 56-bit DES ciphers added to both export and US versions (and it requires both server and browser have this new SSL cipher)
Also the strong encryption (or any encryption) only available when connect to a secured site with secured port (secure connection) and valid certificates, in other words, normal browsing are not encrypted at all, no matter which browser you are using.
You can upgrade your export version of Netscape to US version by using Fortify for Netscape. (safe and free)
> Do I have 128-bit encryption? from Ramona's Netscape Solution page.
> Root certificate expired.
Netscape Strong Encryption Eligibility
Netscape Browser software contains encryption technology that is subject to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and other U.S. law, and may not be exported or re-exported to certain countries (currently Afghanistan (Taliban-controlled areas), Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Serbia (except Kosovo), Sudan and Syria) or to persons or entities prohibited from receiving U.S. exports (including Denied Parties, entities on the Bureau of Export Administration Entity List, and Specially Designated Nationals).
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