Performance impact of data compression on virtual private network transactions

John P. McGregor, Ruby B. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow two or more parties to communicate securely over a public network. Using cryptographic algorithms and protocols, VPNs provide security services such as confidentiality, host authentication and data integrity. The computation required to provide adequate security, however, can significantly degrade performance. In this paper, we characterize the extent to which data compression can alleviate this performance problem in a VPN implemented with the IP Security Protocol (IPsec). We use a system model for IPsec transactions to derive an inequality that specifies the conditions required for data compression to improve performance. We generate performance results for many combinations of network types, data types, packet sizes, and encryption, authentication and compression algorithms. We find that compression usually improves performance when using 10 Mbps or slower networks, but compression only improves performance in systems with 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps networks when using computationally intensive encryption algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-510
Number of pages11
JournalConference on Local Computer Networks
StatePublished - 2000
Event25th Annual IEEE Conference on Computer Network (LCN 2000) - Tampa, FL, USA
Duration: Nov 8 2000Nov 10 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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