TLS is an acronym for Transport Layer Security.
The term TLS is commonly used interchangeably with SSL – or in combination, such as TLS/SSL.
TLS, like SSL, is a communications protocol intended to to secure a point-to-point connection in two ways:
* Confirm that the connection is to the intended entity.
* Encrypt the data being exchanged to prevent eavesdropping.
Technically, TLS is based on SSL, and can for the most part be considered a newer version thereof. TLS and SSL are not interoperable, but TLS does have the ability to downgrade, if needed, to the older, slightly less secure SSL protocol.
In most cases, the term SSL is still used to refer to secure connections, but in fact, the underlying protocol used is most commonly TLS.