Julian Huwyler (ETH Zurich), James Pavur (University of Oxford), Giorgio Tresoldi and Martin Strohmeier (Cyber-Defence Campus) Presenter: Martin Strohmeier

Although new technologies are on the rise, traditional Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO)-based satellite internet is a crucial piece of critical communications infrastructure used by many, for example in the maritime sector. Previous work found that much GEO traffic is unencrypted, as there is a lack of secure, yet performant ways to communicate for end users. QPEP, a hybrid between a traditional Performance Enhancing Proxy and a VPN, aims to solve this issue but has only been tested in simulations. This work presents a newly developed testbed, which is used to collect real-world results for QPEP. Two different satellite links, one using Ka-band, the other Ku-band, were analyzed. In the Ka band, we find that QPEP offers on average 80% more goodput compared to OpenVPN. The page load time is reduced on average by 17% and the 95th percentile is reduced by 25% compared to OpenVPN. Although the average page load time of QPEP is higher compared to the unencrypted, proprietary PEP of the provider, the 95 percentile is equivalent. While satellite environments are often a black box that is difficult to evaluate scientifically, we show that in typical settings QPEP can prove its benefits in the real world.

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