When you connect to a normal website using tor, is the process of connecting to it the same as when you connect to a hidden website?

First you connect to the entry node, then middle node then exit node takes you to the website.

Does the same apply when you connect to a hidden website? Are there any differences? Any security or privacy advantages or disadvantages?

Are the number of nodes used to connect same also? (3 nodes)

2) Is it possible to increase the number of nodes when connecting to tor (normal and hidden website)? If you could increase the number of nodes required to make a connection, it would reduce the speed but would it provide additional privacy and/or security?

2 Answers 2


Both of your questions are addressed by the Tor Project FAQ:

Right now the path length is hard-coded at 3 plus the number of nodes in your path that are sensitive. That is, in normal cases it's 3, but for example if you're accessing an onion service or a ".exit" address it could be 4.

We don't want to encourage people to use paths longer than this — it increases load on the network without (as far as we can tell) providing any more security. Remember that the best way to attack Tor is to attack the endpoints and ignore the middle of the path. Also, using paths longer than 3 could harm anonymity, first because it makes "denial of security" attacks easier, and second because it could act as an identifier if only a few people do it ("Oh, there's that person who changed her path length again").

And we don't want to encourage people to use paths of length 1 either. Currently there is no reason to suspect that investigating a single relay will yield user-destination pairs, but if many people are using only a single hop, we make it more likely that attackers will seize or break into relays in hopes of tracing users.

If you need more details, read the Tor design documents.


It works exactly the same except one moment: in a hidden service case there's no exit node and no clear-net/Internet side of the packet path

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