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I want to host a relay to help out the network. I am looking into the possibility of doing it on my home network. Two concerns have come up during my research. The first is I would potentially be using a computer that I currently use has a HTPC. I am wondering how much the information presented on the link below would apply to my situation. Is encrypting the rest of my files necessary? If they aren't necessarily confidential? Would it be unwise to say login to my bank account on this computer once I am running a relay? I guess I am just wondering am I somehow increasing my attack vector if I am running a relay? Or is it just additional attention that makes security important?

https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/OperationalSecurity

My second concern is in regards to having my IP blocked by certain websites. Is there anything I can do to combat this or reduce the effects? From the information I have read it seems like website blocking isn't that widespread but I just I am just apprehensive to run a relay if I might be blocked by websites I need to visit such as my bank. (this might be a poor question feel free not to answer if its too opinionated.)

From what I've gathered it does seem preferred to just rent a VPS and I might consider doing that but I guess I would like to know the viability of using my home network since I have a server already running 24/7.

  • You might want to clarify whether you want to run a relay node or an exit node. There are quite different implications of each. – Greg Hewgill Sep 30 '15 at 23:52
  • I want to run a relay node. I apologize if that was not clear. – Charles S Oct 1 '15 at 12:47
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... am I somehow increasing my attack vector ... or is it just additional attention that makes security important?

A little bit of both. As with any service you host, you let the internet connect to a piece of software that listens and answers. But in this case, you also put yourself on a public list.

You should not run an exit node on your own home network.

having my IP blocked by certain websites

This happens, but not a lot. I would guess that you could just contact the webmaster in question, explain that you run a non-exit Tor node, ask them to whitelist you. Especially in the case of (say) your bank, since you are their customer and they want to keep you.

Alternatively, you could consider running a bridge. Since bridges are not publicly advertised, you won't have the additional attention and the IP blocking.

  • OK that makes sense. I'll have to consider running a bridge. Although it seems a relay would be overall more helpful. I was reading torproject.org/docs/faq.html.en#RelayOrBridge and wondering if 60 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up would be considered good enough for a relay? – Charles S Oct 1 '15 at 13:01
  • The lower of the 2 is what counts. If you have 60M down and 5M up, then you can 'pump' 5M. Yes, that is good enough. I can't say whether a bridge or a non-exit-relay is more helpful right now. Maybe someone else can comment about that. – Jobiwan Oct 1 '15 at 17:37

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