how slow are 4Kbit RSA keys? [was: Re: multiple keys vs multiple identities]

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Mon Sep 27 15:59:58 CEST 2010

On 09/27/2010 05:12 AM, David Smith wrote:
> Not truly "quantitative, but I notice a significant difference between
> encrypting emails to people with 1024-bit keys vs people with 4096-bit
> keys.  I'd say that the difference is in the order 3-6 seconds.

ah, ok.  i'll add encrypting messages to the benchmarking script i'm
building.  (i aim to publish it shortly so other people can post their

> I'm running GnuPG 1.4.x on a Sun Ultra10 with a 500 MHz CPU and 1 GB
> RAM.  Yes, I know it's old.  :-)

Sounds better than my NSLU2 :)  I'm happy folks are still using old
hardware.  The hardware upgrade treadmill sucks.


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