I understand that there may not be an explicit answer to this question, so I am just asking about the likelihood.

Take for example the Anonabox Kickstarter project from last year. This project promised to route "all traffic coming out of or going into your computer or network" through the Tor network.

This project was quite popular and raised over $585,000 before it was cancelled by Kickstarter.

The Tor project does also provide instructions for setting an OpenWRT router as a Tor proxy/bridge (as can be seen in this related question).

So it made wonder about the capacity problems if a 100,000 users in USA were to use some hardware to route all their home traffic through the Tor network.

For the sake of example we can ignore things that are not very common yet, (such as "Smart Home" appliances) and consider just streaming videos from some service like Netflix, besides the everyday traffic.

Considering that the Tor network is made of a (relatively limited) amount of servers configured for the specific purpose of supporting the network, would it have the capability to support large scale adoption in this manner?

1 Answer 1


A very quick, back-of-the-envelope answer...

Let's take a YouTube or Netflix video to stream at 4.5 Mb/s, which is probably higher than average. I'll ignore baseline, non-video traffic for now.

If 100,000 people simultaneously started using Tor for video streaming, that'd be an extra 100,000 * 4.5 Mb/s (= 450,000 Mb/s). That's 450 Gb/s.

The advertised available network bandwidth is currently around 150 Gb/s. Baseline consumption is about half that, so you have ~75 Gb/s to play with. That's not enough to cover the 450 Gb/s extra traffic from new users.

You'd expect some of these new users to be interested enough to learn how to run relays, which would help boost the available bandwidth, but it's likely not by enough to cover the difference.


...would it have the capability to support large scale adoption in this manner?

... no.

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