Low data usage

Idle data usage, MiB/month.

We studied several VPNs before releasing the first version of Staex and identified two main sources of excessive data usage in a VPN:

  • Idle data usage: When a VPN connection is active, it consumes a small amount of auxiliary traffic even if it stays idle, i.e., no actual user data is being sent.
  • Packet overhead: This refers to the amount of service data appended to each packet, and it depends on the routing algorithms, encryption methods, and other VPN peculiarities.

Due to the long history of VPNs, various implementations have emerged. The most up-to-date solutions are more efficient than older ones. Sometimes, older VPNs are challenging to improve because they are already integrated into the kernel, like an IPSec.

Staex v1 was designed from the ground up to minimize data usage. We use differential updates to reduce idle data usage and we use public keys of the nodes as addresses to reduce packet overhead. On top of that we offer an option to compress the traffic between nodes (the graphs on this page do not account for compression).

The highest savings come when sending large number of small messages. Our benchmarks show that for a particular MVNO and for 200 MiB of traffic we can save up to 1.7 EUR per device per month (even without data compression!).

Packet overhead for sending 3 MiB file.