A Study of the Performance of SSL on PDAs

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Executive Summary

PDAs and smartphones are increasingly being used as handheld computers. Today, their network connectivity and their usages for various tasks over the Internet require privacy and authenticity. This paper conducts a comprehensive and comparative study of the performance of the SSL protocol for PDA and laptop clients, both in WEP secured and opens Wi-Fi environments. Unlike previous studies,, the measurements are at sub-protocol granularity allowing for researchers to consider appropriate optimizations for these resource-constrained devices. Unsurprisingly, the paper finds that SSL handshake costs 3 times more at a PDA client than it does for a laptop client, but surprisingly most of the delay comes from network latency and other PDA architecture issues, not cryptographic computation.

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