Conversion from byte array to base64 and back

I am trying to:

  1. Generate a byte array.
  2. Convert that byte array to base64
  3. Convert that base64 string back to a byte array.

I've tried out a few solutions, for example those in this question.

For some reason the initial and final byte arrays do not match. Here is the code used:

using (RNGCryptoServiceProvider rng = new RNGCryptoServiceProvider())
    {
         byte[] originalArray = new byte[32];
         rng.GetBytes(key);
         string temp_inBase64 = Convert.ToBase64String(originalArray);
         byte[] temp_backToBytes = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(temp_inBase64);
    }

My questions are:

  1. Why do "originalArray" and "temp_backToBytes" not match? (originalArray has length of 32, temp_backToBytes has a length of 44, but their values are also different)

  2. Is it possible to convert back and forth, and if so, how do I accomplish this?

Answers


The reason the encoded array is longer by about a quarter is that base-64 encoding uses only six bits out of every byte; that is its reason of existence - to encode arbitrary data, possibly with zeros and other non-printable characters, in a way suitable for exchange through ASCII-only channels, such as e-mail.

The way you get your original array back is by using Convert.FromBase64String:

 byte[] temp_backToBytes = Convert.FromBase64String(temp_inBase64);

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