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Can I setup a server on the tor network but connect to it via an application of mine via clearnet.

Or is there some way to setup my application to connect to the tor network and then to my server without downloading any software?

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You can use netcat from nmap package to listen on port and forward it via socks 5 tor proxy to your onion service. Put netcat on clear net. This will make reachable your onion service for people without any add on software installed.

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I'm thinking of two different ways to do this. You didn't mention what kind of app, but let's say it's a simple web app.

You can:

  1. Allow both internet and tor traffic at the same time. You, as the app provider, will not have any anonymity because your IP will be accessible from the outside but your users can user with Tor or your IP to access it.

  2. Provide a link to your service via tor2web. This service will allow you to provide a clearnet address to your service. This will reduce or eliminate your user's anonymity because there is no way to know if tor2web is gathering and sharing that data. Though you will still be anonymous.

If you are a more advanced developer, there are Tor APIs for Python and other languages where you can write your own proxy to your onion service. See https://stem.torproject.org/

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