Hashing refers to the process of calculating fixed bit size strings called hashes or checksums based on the source data such as text or files. The file hashing algorithms always produce the same file hashes for the same file and is designed not to generate the same hash for different files. There are many different file hashing algorithms available today such as MD5 and SHA1.
Since the file hashes are unique for each of the files, we can compare file hashes to find out if two files are identical or not. File hashes can also be used to verify if the file downloaded on your computer is the same as the file available on the server and no corruption has taken place during the download process.
In Windows, we can use a freeware File Checksum Tool to calculate the file hashes or checksums for any of the files. It supports calculation of files using cryptographic algorithms like MD5, SHA1, MD2, HAVAL, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512. Some of these algorithms like MD5 are no longer considered secure as researchers have produced identical MD5 checksums for different source data sets.
In order to find the hashes of a file, you can launch File Checksum Tool and drag-n-drop that file on its window. You can also click on the Browse button to select the file for which file hash has to be calculated. After selecting a file, you have to choose the hashing algorithm and then click on the Calculate Hash button.
Depending on the file size, it may take a long or short time to calculate the file hash. The calculated hash will be displayed in the window and it can be saved to a TXT file or copied to the clipboard. You can also compare it with a known file hash to find out if their is a match.
File Checksum Tool makes it very easy to calculate file hashes in Windows. It cannot process multiple files at the same time and does not provide command line interface, but can be used to find match between the calculated and provided file hashes.
You can download File Checksum Tool from https://www.krylack.com/file-checksum-tool/.