What are MD5 Hash Strings Associated With File Downloads?
By on May 11th, 2009

Over a period of time several users have asked us a question, the question relates to MD5 strings that are associated with file downloads, many users are usually clueless about this, so we finally decided to write a post that explains to users, what those MD5 strings mean, and what significance they have in order to make sure that they have downloaded a correct file and not something that has been tampered with.

Before we explain the significance of the those hash strings, let us take a look at what MD5 actually means.


MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) is a widely used cryptographic hash function with a 128-bit hash value. As an Internet standard (RFC 1321), MD5 has been employed in a wide variety of security applications, and is also commonly used to check the integrity of files. – Wikipedia MD5 entry

MD5 is usually used to verify the integrity of files that you download from the internet, the MD5 hash string associated with the files are basically hashes of the files that will allow you to check it’s integrity, once you have downloaded it from the internet.

md5_file_integrity_check

There are several softwares available that will allow you to check the integrity of the file, one such software is a utility called MD5 Checker, using this tool you can easily verify the integrity of the downloaded files.

md5_checker

To check the integrity of the downloaded file, open MD5 Checker and choose the location of the downloaded file, once you open the file MD5 Checker will automatically generate the MD5 hash string for the file, you can then compare the generated MD5 hash string for the downloaded file with the hash string shown on the download page.

To make the comparison more easier, just copy the MD5 hash string on the download website, and click on MD5 Check button in the application.

If you do not see a MD5 Match response, do not install or use the file, it may have been tampered with.

Also the next time you download files which have MD5 hash strings associated with it, use this simple to ensure that you have downloaded the right file and not a tampered one.

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

Keith Dsouza has written and can be contacted at keith@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.tech-exclusive.com Harshad

    Oh, very nice information Keith. I knew about MD5 tag, but didn’t know about MD5 checker. Thanks for the tip. :)

  • http://www.md5hasher.net MD5 Hash

    Thanks Keith. Good explanation. Also, MD5 is often used to encrypt passwords before storing them (in DB or files). Too many developers store PW in plain text.

  • m.reed

    There are online tools for MD5 as this one http://md5.online-toolz.com/tools/md5-generator.php

 
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