I've seen a few questions asking/commenting about the availability of .onion sites. I've never tried to use them before today adn I was surprised to see that the first 4 or 5 I couldn't access. All but the first were links from a wikipedia article about .onion sites, so I expected them to be available.

The few questions here seem to have people saying not to worry about it, and one had a technical problem of their time being off.

I normally keep my browsers open for lengthy periods of time with many tabs and only close/restart them when I run into problems. Is that bad practice for tbb? Will that cause problems? Are there security, anonymity, or privacy concerns that I should be aware of? I didn't think there were, but if leaving a browser open for lengthy periods of time could cause .onion routing to have problems, who knows what else it might do. Browsers are like mini-OSs nowadays...

1 Answer 1


When you leave TBB running in the background, the Tor client will automatically generate circuits and subsequently tear them down (usually) every 10 minutes. There are no anonymity concerns with it doing this and you might even say that there is a slight improvement to just re-opening TBB every time because you're sending random data making it a little harder to correlate when you're actually using the Tor Network.

The only concern would be leaving active sessions logged in or using a service that is constantly being updated that may be able to attack you over time (e.g. attacking logged on forum users or injecting malicious content into an auto-rotating ad). You're advised to log out of everything when you're done with your session.

But these are web-based attacks and not really related to Tor. There's nothing really wrong with keeping TBB open. WRT the hidden services, the ones on the Wikipedia page are no longer there. You might want to look up Facebook's onion site or Duck Duck Go's. Hidden services are often not long lived.

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