Skip to Main Content
With the widespread growth in applications for resource limited Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), the need for reliable and efficient security mechanisms for them has increased manifold but its implementation is a non-trivial task. Limitations in processing speed, battery power, bandwidth and memory constrain the applicability of existing cryptography Algorithms for WSNs. Several security mechanisms, such as TinySec, have been introduced to address the need for security in WSNs. The cost of security, however, still mostly remains an unknown variable. To provide a better understanding of this cost we have studied three encryption algorithms, AES, RC5 and RC6. We have measured and compared their memory and energy consumption on Mica2 sensor motes. The results of our experiments provide insight into the suitability of different security algorithms for use in WSN environments and could be used by WSN designers to construct the security architecture of their systems in a way that both satisfies the requirements of the application and reasonably uses the constrained sensor resources.