As far as I understand Message Digest is a certain Hash function that is derived from the original payload, so that even if a single bit changes the Message Digest proves to be different, thus indicating a failure of data integrity. When it comes to Checksum, I know that it is used for error detection, and is based on a similar mechanism.

What is the difference? Why name two different things?

1 Answer 1


A checksum is the general term used. A checksum can range from a check digit (parity bit) to a complex output string. Different checksums (examples below) can be chosen depending on the application.

  • message digest
  • hash algorithm
  • digital fingerprint
  • randomization function

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.