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Android 5.0 Lollipop encryption found to hamper storage performance by up to 80 percent

By Shawn Knight
Nov 22, 2014
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  1. Android 5.0 Lollipop includes a bevy of new features and enhancements such as a remote kill switch and Trusted Places, among others. It's also the first version of Android that enables Full Disk Encryption (FDE) by default on new devices....

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,481   +2,035

    FDE may be appealing to some people but probably the majority, myself included couldn't be bothered with it, hopefully it'll become an option to use like in previous Android versions.
     
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    You have the option to turn it off. It's just on/enabled when you get the phone.
     
  4. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 315   +114

    And what's more is that this isn't really security. This prevents someone from reading the drive if they gain physical access to the device via USB, but it won't prevent software based security issues from reading your data (I.e., what the government, facebook, police, cellular carriers, etc. do.)

    If someone steals your phone, sometimes the data is more valuable to them than the device, but I suspect most just re-sell the phone and move on.
     
  5. NimbusTLD

    NimbusTLD TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +17

    Those results paint an incomplete picture without FDE results for Nexus 5 running Lollipop.

    Also, you can't turn off FDE once it's turned on, so on a Nexus 6 or 9 where it's turned on by default, you're stuck with it. Anandtech received a special ROM from Motorola with it disabled.
     
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,320   +709

    Android gets uglier, less intuitive and more bloated with every release - the exact opposite of how it was supposed to go.
     
  7. Hmm... in future chipmakers should include hardware acceleration for encrypting/decrypting engine into the SoC
     
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Very interesting.

    And that is why I am an iOS guy.
     
  9. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Guru Posts: 407   +88

    Because it's better to start out with unintuitive and restrictive than to have ever known freedom and see it slip away?
     
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,481   +2,035

    Thanks.
     
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  11. I half suspect the guest is also an iOS user. :)

    So a month or two ago, the lack of full encryption was deemed to be a horrible oversight.
    A huge hole that needed fixing.
    So now it's enabled by default on new Androids.
    Encryption is NOT free (why would anyone think it costs nothing to do?).
    And the performance hit is measured.
    I wonder if "real world" applications show the huge differences that these targeted measurements show?
    For example, if random reads are 1 percent of what an application does, and its random read times double, that means a 1 percent slowdown (in general) in that app's performance... I doubt most phone/mobile applications are things like high throughput databases where this would probably be more significant.
    Just saying... :)

    And yeah, it'd be nicer if it was faster.
     
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,392   +107

    FDE is software base into the code. If it had it own hardware to speed it up then these number wouldn't be hurting the performance. This is first gen FDE. Give it time, they might able in other hardware improvement make it quicker.
     
  13. I'm surprised Android 5.0 Lollipop don't utilize hardware encryption considering this feature has been around for a long time. As someone who owned a Western Digital My Passport Portable with hardware encryption support, I never want to go back to software-based encryption (used to use Truecrypt and Bitlocker).

    If Samsung don't include hardware encryption support in its next line of Galaxy products then I would be very disappointed.
     
  14. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,320   +709

    Yeah, Apple is pretty smart to copy all of Android's innovations while skipping most of their mistakes. Of course Apple screws up fairly regularly, too, but they've learned over the years to stop being arrogant about it and own up to their shortcomings. Google started out being very up-front about Android's direction but has slowly been turning into "old Apple". Its bizarre to watch.
     
  15. You do not have the option of just turning it off.
     

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