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PostgreSQL 9 Administration Cookbook by Hannu Krosing, Simon Riggs

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Connecting using SSL

Here we demonstrate how to enable PostgreSQL to use SSL for protecting database connections by encrypting all data passed over that connection. Using SSL makes it much harder to sniff the database traffic including usernames, passwords, and sensitive data that are passed between client and database by someone listening to a network somewhere between them. An alternative to using SSL is running the connection over a VPN (Virtual private Network).

Using SSL makes the data transfer on the encrypted connection a little slower, so you may not want to use it if you are sure your network is safe. The performance impact can be quite large if you are doing lots of short connections, as setting up a SSL connection is quite CPU-heavy. ...

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