The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data Encodings

This RFC 3548 was published in 2003.


This document describes the commonly used base 64, base 32, and base 16 encoding schemes.
It also discusses the use of line-feeds in encoded data, use of padding in encoded data, use of non-alphabet characters in encoded data, and use of different encoding alphabets.

RFC 3548 introduction

Base encoding of data is used in many situations to store or transfer data in environments that, perhaps for legacy reasons, are restricted to only US-ASCII [9] data.
Base encoding can also be used in new applications that do not have legacy restrictions, simply because it makes it possible to manipulate objects with text editors.

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