How to get a hash of a file in Windows
The internet is a very busy place. People exchange data such as files, programs, documents rapidly. Because of this, internet servers sometimes use services such as CDN, NLB and Mirrors to provide access to files scattered all over the world. CDN is a Content Distribution Network, NLB is Network Load Balancing and Mirrors as the name implies, a mirror of the file in another location.
But how do you know if the link you are using is coming from the server that has not been breached? That is where hashing comes into it. Hashing a file means that the file has a code attached to it; Hashcode which is created using keys by the original producer of the file. This code shouldn’t be modified. If it is - the file has been compromised and you should no longer trust it.
This hash code is provided as a line of text by the producer. So when you download the file you should run a command and compare the Hashcodes. Are the one provided by the producer of the file and the one displayed by the hash command on your PC the same? If so, then you have a 100% identical file that you can trust.
Use the commands below to they the hash of files using Windows 10;
certutil -hashfile c:\virtualcd.iso SHA256
Get-FileHash -Path c:\virtualcd.iso -Algorithm SHA256