My broadband provider in the UK is a very large telecoms company that was once state owned.

I have an "unlimited" broadband contract with them so running my Tor (non-exit) relay with an advertised 100KB/s bandwidth costs me nothing extra in network usage.

However one thing I have learnt from this experience is just how unreliable my broadband connection actually is.

I use Tor's GLOBE site to monitor my relay's consensus status. The GLOBE "uptime" graph has made me much more aware of the number of network outages I suffer (and I am very near our local exchange).

It turns out that I have not been able run the relay longer than 7 days without a network stoppage of sufficient duration for it to be noticed by the Tor authority nodes and thus affecting my node's "mean uptime" and other ratings.

If this continues, my node will never achieve the "guard" flag. This prompted the thought that if a government agency can somehow contrive to cause (with or without the collusion of telecoms companies) short but reasonably frequent network outages on the network links of new Tor nodes like mine, then that may help it promote to guard status, other nodes on more reliable network links.

I am not suggesting this is happening in my case since it is easier to attribute the outages I see to the incompetence of my broadband supplier. They have some form in this regard!

1 Answer 1


Here's my 2nd answer:

If someone else is trying DoSing you over the Tor network there is a chance that this will be prevented from the guard relay. If not it could be an advantage for other relay operators because the traffic that flows through the network goes up to their score.

If this someone is DoSing you over the normal internet I see no chance for other relays to get the guard flag faster except one thing: that the clients are using other relays for their traffic instead of yours so you are missing it because of unreachability.

  • You have misunderstood my question. I am not doing any DDoS! The 'gentle DoS' I suggested would be directed by others against MY network connection thus preventing MY Tor node ever getting a 'Guard' flag. I have rephrased the title to make things clearer. Sep 30, 2014 at 9:47
  • Ah I see. I will edit my answer immediately. Sorry for that but misunderstood it because in the headline there are the word "help promote nodes to guard flag". Sep 30, 2014 at 9:51

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