I am successfully running all network traffic through Tor BB's proxy server on OS X by having changed my ethernet and wifi settings to run through the SOCKS 5 proxy via port 9150 in System Preferences. The default exceptions are: *.local, 169.254/16

Mac OS X SOCKS 5 Proxy *default exceptions*

To be clear, I am not asking about adding common exceptions which already makes sense, e.g., adding "stackexchange.com" to the exception list makes perfect sense already.

Can someone explain how changing the default exceptions (*.local, 169.254/16), or removing them, etc., will impact my security and privacy as it pertains to my running my traffic through the tor network using the Tor BB's automatically configured SOCKS 5 proxy?

1 Answer 1


*.local is your own localhost and any host inside your local network. It makes no sense to connect inside your local network through a proxy. It would fail if you tried.

If you remove this exception, you will no longer be able to connect to hosts inside your own network. If you try, your Tor client will issue a warning message about refusing to connect to a local address.

169.254.x.x is the range DHCP clients use as the source address when broadcasting a request. This should not go through a proxy because it must be picked up by a DHCP server on the local network.

If you remove this exception, your hosts can no longer obtain an IP address from a DHCP server in your local network. If it has a fixed IP address, this is not an issue.

These exception only decide which traffic does and does not get sent through the proxy. They do not impact the socks proxy server in your Tor client.

  • I pretty much understand all that, but I'm still not understanding exactly what impact removing or changing these settings has on the socks proxy for is using for my network traffic. Can you answer in detail?
    – oemb1905
    Dec 26, 2015 at 16:15
  • I edited my answer to include what happens if you remove them, and what these settings do /don't influence.
    – Jobiwan
    Dec 26, 2015 at 16:30
  • What's strange and part of why I asked is that I have removed both to test and neither of those consequences came about?
    – oemb1905
    Dec 26, 2015 at 16:32
  • I just tried it. I absolutely need to add exceptions in order to connect within my own local network. DHCP still works without adding exceptions, like you say, altho I didn't reboot.
    – Jobiwan
    Dec 26, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    Also don't forget all the private networks for exceptions unless you're using a host-to-ip mapping by Tor with AutomapHostsOnResolve 1 and complementary VirtualAddrNetworkIPv4/VirtualAddrNetworkIPv6 lines. In case you're using such a mapping - don't forget to point your resolver to Tor DNS port
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Dec 29, 2015 at 19:01

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