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Speeding Up Tor with SPDY

TitleSpeeding Up Tor with SPDY
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsUzunov, A
AdvisorGrothoff, C
Academic DepartmentComputer Science
DegreeMaster's in Computer Science
Number of Pages124
Date Published11/2013
UniversityTechnische Universitaet Muenchen
CityGarching bei Muenchen
Thesis TypeMaster's
Keywordsanonymity, HTTP, privacy, spdy, Tor

SPDY is a rather new protocol which is an alternative to HTTP. It was designed to address inefficiencies in the latter and thereby improve latency and reduce bandwidth consumption.

This thesis presents the design and implementation of a setup for utilizing SPDY within the anonymizing Tor network for reducing latency and traffic in the latter. A C library implementing the SPDY server protocol is introduced together with an HTTP to SPDY and a SPDY to HTTP proxy which are the base for the presented design.

Furthermore, we focus on the SPDY server push feature which allows servers to send multiple responses to a single request for reducing latency and traffic on loading web pages. We propose a prediction algorithm for employing push at SPDY servers and proxies. The algorithm makes predictions based on previous requests and responses and initially does not know anything about the data which it will push.

This thesis includes extensive measurement data highlighting the possible benefits of using SPDY instead of HTTP and HTTPS (1.0 or 1.1), especially with respect to networks experiencing latency or loss. Moreover, the real profit from using SPDY within the Tor network on loading some of the most popular web sites is presented. Finally, evaluations of the proposed push prediction algorithm are given for emphasizing the possible gain of employing it at SPDY reverse and forward proxies.

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