re: Where is HTTPS for IoT? (Update) VIEW POST


I’ve run into a situation where we had devices sending payloads over HTTPS every 30 seconds over a cellular 3G connection. We wound up disabling HTTPS because the SSL overhead greatly increased payload size and latency. In our case the payload size meant the difference between a $100/month per device data cost vs a $3000/month per device cost. I wasn’t part of the original engineering team that chose HTTP for the transport otherwise I would have investigated messagepack over UDP or something more sensible. The problem isn’t that HTTPS isn’t baked in but that engineers are making poor protocol choices and security is an important part of that decision. In our case the data was ephemeral and had a short usefulness lifetime but your case may differ.


This sounds particularly bad. Was there a lot of dropped packets or did you find any other badness with 3G vs HTTPS?


These devices are installed in vehicles on rural roads so you can assume that we saw every conceivable kind of connectivity issue but bill shock was of the most importance to the client.

Countries have a bunch of satellites that transmit data unencrypted... not like it is all top secret, but TLS is not an option. There are so many different reasons why TLS breaks, and stock TCP can be horribly inefficient for different use cases.

Just a bit curious, since cellular ~3G transport is probably going to get a lot more common in the next few years.

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