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I have recently set up a TOR relay (non-exit) and I am a little confused as to what the "Connections" tab in ARM is used for. For example, it will display something similar to the following:

 x 104.111.105.133        -->  62.210.253.44 (fr)               7.0m (CIRCUIT)
 x x  185.21.216.140 (gb)      x76zeusferal                       1 / Guard
 x x  188.166.123.212 (nl)     dropsy                             2 / Middle
 x mq 62.210.253.44 (fr)       TorRatiju                          3 / Exit

I believe I understand the concept of TOR, but if I have configured TOR to be a relay (non-exit), shouldn't I be seeing it in the Middle section as opposed to 188.166.123.212?

If I could please get some explanation, that would be great. Thanks!

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It shows you all the conections your node uses. The example you're cited is one single circle, a 3-hop one. It says, thay you've used a Guard node as an entry, selected an intermediate(Middle) and exiting through a french node. This can be your connection through Tor, and - generally speaking - you should not be in Exit role in any of your connections, that's it! Feel free to ask if you need further help!

  • Thanks for your reply. I think I have missed something. Why would I be doing a circuit if I am the one hosting a relay? If I was say using Tor browser I understand that I would be going through these hops, but as a relay owner, wouldn't people be 'hopping' through me? – Matt Anderson Dec 29 '15 at 4:55
  • "Why would I be doing a circuit" <-- Do you host any Hidden Service on this relay? (The 'Exit' node of your circuit is not an exit node.) – Jobiwan Dec 29 '15 at 9:28
  • Thanks Jobiwan. No, I am not hosting any hidden services on this relay. – Matt Anderson Dec 29 '15 at 9:34
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    Ok, according to this here (trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/6430), when a relay is first created, arm does a reachability test by creating a circuit back to itself, thus the logs above. As Jobiwan pointed out, the exit node listed above in the question is not an exit node (as the bug report suggests). Can anyone confirm this? – Matt Anderson Dec 29 '15 at 13:08
  • @MattAnderson Yes you are right. Even more - Tor can test it's port reachability from outer world, so don't be afraid of such things. They're actually accompanied with some console logging messages, btw. This functionality is good, no need to worry about it. – Alexey Vesnin Dec 29 '15 at 16:33

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