Building a new relay may produce new traffic, is it any different with the Tor browser data through Tor, and does the adversay notice I'm building a new relay?

I am asking whether my ISP will know when one or more of the relays in a Tor circuit has changed while I'm using the Tor Browser?

  • Despite the fact that Jobiwan has already answered, I think that it is not clear what you are actually asking. Are you saying that you intend to run a Tor relay and that you want to know whether your ISP or anyone else will know that you are running a relay [this is the question answered by Jobiwan]. Or are you asking whether your ISP will know when one or more of the relays in a Tor circuit has changed while you are using the Tor Browser?
    – user02814
    Dec 2 '14 at 11:25

(I think you mean building circuits not relays.)

When using the Tor browser, your ISP can tell that you use Tor.
Your Tor client builds a bunch (15?) of circuits even before you need them. When a circuit is used it times out after 10 minutes.

The only connection your ISP can see is from your Tor client to your Guard node. This is how they can tell that you use Tor. As long as you keep using the same guard, your ISP can not tell when you connect to different middle and exit nodes. I don't know what the guard rotation period is, but it is much longer than 10 minutes. (I think 'weeks'. I'm sure someone knowledgable can tell, and also correct me where I have the numbers wrong.)


Yes, your ISP will know that you run a relay. (If you don't want that, consider running a bridge instead.)

1) Although the traffic will look the same when you are running a Tor relay as when you are merely using the Tor Browser, the amount and direction of the traffic will change. When you use Tor Browser, your Tor is only a client. You will have little traffic 'up' (relatively small requests) and more traffic 'down' (the requested content). When you run a relay, the amount of traffic up and down is much closer together. This will indicate that you run a relay.

2) The list of relays and their IP addresses is public.

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