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The biggest fundamental issue with performance and SSL is that it us end to end, and defeats stuff like network cache, transcode proxies, etc. Everything else can be solved by more CPU at both ends, which is cheap and only involves parties with a direct interest.

Networks are more expensive to upgrade and limited by physics...especially wireless systems e.g. Cell and satellite. Smart caches can help a lot here, but not if everything is ssl.




What proportion of web requests are served from a shared network cache? Whenever network cache is brought up in relation to SSL, I always wonder. Surely it's only a few percent max?

I think the security gained from adding SSL far outweighs the efficiencies lost by losing a shared network cache.


Caching can be very useful - I've deployed proxy web caches in school situations, and it does wonders for speed when loading the same site on a lab full of computers all at once (and also preventing age-inappropriate content at school).

That's not a security sensitive situation - in cases where security is at issue, the best practice is to make secure pages as lightweight as possible so they'll transfer quickly on slow lines.


It's an issue for wireless (EDGE, 3G) and satellite networks. I think a lot of networks do some kinds of filtering and downscaling of images or videos.




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