Thanks for the quick response. I guess I should have listened to the old saying "Make sure brain is in gear before operating mouth" ha-ha. With 3DES (keying option 3) key 1 encrypts, key 2 decrypts, and finally key 3 encrypts (again). I can see this having an effective strength of 112 bits... kind of. Why if after decrypting with key 2 (we're back to plaintext), encrypting with key 3 wouldn't create a ciphertext that's protected by a 56-bit length key? What am I missing here?