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I want to run a Nextcloud server on my home network and I also want it to be accessible from the internet. Instead trying to tunnel the port to internet and messing with SSL certificates, running it as a hidden Tor onion service seems to be the best solution. Ideally I can use the same (onion) address for connecting my Nextcloud clients to the server, both while at home and while away from home.

One question I have is: if I use the onion address on my home network, will traffic go out of my home network before connecting to my Nextcloud Tor service, or will it minimize this?

It would obviously make a big difference in speed if it can connect directly.

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Yes, even while you're at home on the same network, your traffic will travel through the Tor network over the Internet. Since onion services are supposed to be "hidden", the Tor client doesn't know that they're on the same network.

If you are only using Tor for the "NAT traversal" feature, you might be interested in setting up a single-hop onion service using the HiddenServiceSingleHopMode torrc setting, which will reduce the number of relays between the client and service from 6 to 3. This would improve performance, but your service would no longer be anonymous.

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