Group of binary-to-text encoding schemes using 64 symbols (plus padding) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computer programming, Base64 is a group of binary-to-text encoding schemes that represent binary data (more specifically, a sequence of 8-bit bytes) in sequences of 24 bits that can be represented by four 6-bit Base64 digits.

Common to all binary-to-text encoding schemes, Base64 is designed to carry data stored in binary formats across channels that only reliably support text content. Base64 is particularly prevalent on the World Wide Web[1] where one of its uses is the ability to embed image files or other binary assets inside textual assets such as HTML and CSS files.[2]

Base64 is also widely used for sending e-mail attachments. This is required because SMTP – in its original form – was designed to transport 7-bit ASCII characters only. This encoding causes an overhead of 33–37% (33% by the encoding itself; up to 4% more by the inserted line breaks).