To my understanding of tor security, it works best if all users send short, equal-sized packets (requests, responses) into the tor network.

I'm wondering if I'm watching some video which takes quite some time. Will the tor network vary the route while the same stream is downloaded/viewed? I also think that there does not need to be much traffic analysis if a big stream is read on an entry node, and a big stream is read by an exit node.

Finally as most video software does bandwidth negotiation (DSL speed, screen resolution (size of video window), power of video decoding, etc.): Will the negotiated transfer speed be an contributing indicator to de-anonymize the user?

  • If I understood it right, tor does "chop" long streams into smaller chunks, so the size would probably not be a factor when de-anonymizing.
    – U. Windl
    Jan 27, 2020 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


As far as I understand it, watching videos over TOR, unless maybe it's on an ".onion" service, is not recommended because it puts a lot of load on the exit nodes. Even when it's hosted on an ".onion" service, it puts an unnecessary load on the relays run by volunteers. It's less damaging than using TOR to watch a clearweb video, but it still slows down everybody else's browsing.

  • Do you really think watching a video is much worse than downloading some DVD or BlueRay image? I'm not saying that I do, but I don't know what others do.
    – U. Windl
    Jan 27, 2020 at 8:09
  • Worse, no. Still a good idea, also no. If you're watching something, do yourself and the network a favor and lower your resolution. 480p is still plenty watchable and uses considerably less bandwidth than 1080p or higher. Also, you'll get less lag that way.
    – elmerjfudd
    Feb 25, 2020 at 19:30

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