With the rapid growth of applications in Internet communication, the security for transmitting information on public network has become a fundamental issue. The Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) standard is developed by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to provide the security services at the IP layer. IPSec solutions invariably result in a large-packet size and a long processing time. Accordingly, this paper proposes new compression architecture, designated as Efficient Secure Pipe (ES_PIPE), to improve both the security and the performance of IPv6 networks. In contrast to traditional IPsec compression schemes, ES_PIPE provides a transport-layer-aware compression capability for different types of packets (e.g., TCP or UDP/RTP packets). The experimental results show that the proposed scheme reduces 20–30% transmission time compared to IPsec. Furthermore, ES_PIPE scheme yields about 20% improvement in the efficiency of the encryption and decryption processes. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.