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Some clearnet sites are also available as hidden services such as DuckDuckGo, Ahmia, and Z-Library. Would using their Tor hidden service instead of their clearnet website increase your privacy/anonymity. From what I heard, the user's connection would be always through the Tor network and it would be more private. However, I'm not so educated on this particular subject and I was hoping someone could give a better explanation as to whether or not there are benefits from using a hidden service mirror of the clearnet generally. I know it might depend on the circumstances and there may be exceptions so if anyone has more knowledge on this topic and could share, I greatly appreciate it!

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If the site is using plain HTTP (not HTTPS), accessing the site through the hidden service increases privacy. An exit node can see all cleartext traffic that goes through it, as can anyone between the exit node and the site you're visiting. By using the hidden-service version of the site, the traffic remains encrypted the whole way.

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  • but if the clearnet version of the site already uses HTTPS, then would the hidden service mirror be useless?
    – Swangie
    Mar 16 at 11:42
  • From a privacy standpoint, it doesn't gain much, but from a usability standpoint, you still come out ahead: Tor has far more relay bandwidth than exit bandwidth, and using a hidden service mirror only requires relay bandwidth, not exit bandwidth.
    – Mark
    Mar 16 at 20:44
  • Thanks for the info!
    – Swangie
    Mar 16 at 22:14
  • If the HTTPS website does not use HSTS or have an HTTPS Everywhere rule, there is also the possibility that the exit could do SSL stripping.
    – Steve
    Mar 17 at 21:06

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