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.PFX vs .CER vs .PVK

Already i have discussed about types of SSL certificate files here.Some of readers asked me what is difference between .PFX,.CER and.PVK SSL certificate files.

PFX - files Personal Exchange Format, is a PKCS12 file. This contains a variety of cryptographic information, such as certificates, root authority certificates, certificate chains and private keys. It’s cryptographically protected with passwords to keep private keys private and preserve the integrity of the root certificates. The PFX file is also used in various Microsoft products, such as IIS.

CER - CER file is used to store X.509 certificate. Normally used for SSL certification to verify and identify web servers security. The file contains information about certificate owner and public and private certificate keys. A CER file can be in binary (ASN.1 DER) or encoded with Base-64 with header and footer included (PEM), Windows will recognize either of these layout.

PVK - Stands for Private Key. Windows uses PVK files to store private keys for code signing in various Microsoft products. PVK is proprietary format.


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