Questions tagged [relays]

Questions relating to relays, their maintenance, and operation.

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31 votes
2 answers
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What are good explanations for relay flags?

We received an Atlas patch that adds tooltips to relay flags, so that relay operators can better understand what these flags mean. The patch author used dir-spec.txt as their guide. I wonder if ...
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23 votes
5 answers
15k views

How may I run multiple Tor relay instances in a single Linux machine?

Suppose I have a Linux machine (for example Debian) with more than one public IPs, sufficient bandwidth, memory and CPU resources. How may I run more than one Tor relay instance in that single ...
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  • 2,614
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the implications of a Relay hosting a Hidden Service?

Are there any implications if whilst running a non-exit relay, I also use the same machine to host a Hidden Service? Specifically: How will this affect the anonymity of the Hidden Service (in terms ...
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18 votes
4 answers
13k views

Is it possible to make the Tor onion-routing path longer?

By default, Tor uses an onion-routing path with three hops: entry, relay (middle) and exit. Is it possible to configure (or, if necessary, recompile) Tor to use more than three hops? This would lessen ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does Tor insert random delays or perform packet re-ordering to make the discovery of the communication path harder?

If an attacker can observe the Tor user, and the website being visited, it is possible to correlate the traffic by looking at time and size distributions of the communication. Techniques such as ...
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it safe to run an entry node server?

After some research, I found that there are mostly relay (middle) nodes, and less exit and entry nodes. But why? The connection from the client to the entry node is encrypted, so there should be no ...
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16 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why does Tor use three hops, instead of two?

With onion-routing a relay in a circuit only knows its predecessor and its successor, while a "normal" proxy is just one hop, so that it knows who connects to it and where it has to connect to. ...
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15 votes
0 answers
12k views

Why is the first ip address Tor goes to the same one in Germany? [duplicate]

Every time I start Tor or switch to a new identity, the first web address in the list of Tor circuit connections is (Germany) 93.180.156.84. Is Tor supposed to work this way? I was under the ...
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  • 361
14 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are short-lived relays useful to the Tor network?

I have some dedicated servers which are not used at the moment. However this can change on a weekly basis. Would it be useful to the Tor network for me to configure them as relays during the times ...
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  • 8,663
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Best way to set up a Tor lab?

What would be the best [and cheapest] way to set up a private Tor network for testing and experimentation? A rough size estimate is that it should consist of 12 or more onion-routers and should be ...
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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a list of illegal Tor areas?

I just moved to Singapore and I'm wondering if it's a good idea to use the Tor browser (without a bridge) and run a relay (not an exit node). I realize that this question could be repeated for any ...
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11 votes
3 answers
229 views

Would Tor work if it became very large?

I wonder whether there would be any problems if Tor grew to serve a large portion (e.g. 5 or 30 %) of internet (web) usage? As I understand it Tor is helped by new nodes at the moment – but is there ...
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  • 213
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How is data sent back from exit node to me?

I understand how the client sends the data through Tor to the sever. Onion routing Basically, it selects a set of nodes to form a circuit, say nodeA nodeB nodeC. It then encrypts the data this way: ...
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  • 213
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the minimum requirements for running a relay?

If I want to create a bunch of Tor relays running Linux with various VPS providers and want to save on cost, what is the minimum hardware config that I can get away with while still effectively ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can anybody explain the Advertised bandwidth, MaxAdvertisedBandwidth, Measured bandwidth, Bandwidth burst, RelayBandwidth rate?

I am confused about a few terms: AdvertisedBandwidth, MaxAdvertisedBandwidth, MeasuredBandwidth, RelayBandwidthBurst, RelayBandwidthRate, BandwidthBurst, and BandwidthRate. Can anyone please explain ...
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  • 657
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it possible to setup a private TOR relay

I have a proxy setup on one of my machines which is behind a router. And I need to use that proxy from another network. But my problem is that I cannot forward ports from the router to the proxy ...
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10 votes
2 answers
18k views

Using curl over a normal tor installation, not tor-browser-bundle, on debian wheezy

I installed a tor relay on debian wheezy and it runs fine. Now I want to use curl and I used: curl --socks5 127.0.0.1:9150 http://www.torproject.org But it couldn't connect to the host. If I start ...
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  • 495
10 votes
3 answers
459 views

Is it secure to set the contact information when building up a Tor relay?

When I am setting up a tor relay, one option is to determine the contact information as an email address. Is it secure considering information harvesting by NSA for instance or would be better to hide ...
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10 votes
1 answer
788 views

Do all relays in a circuit encrypt data response from a server?

I know that when sending data from the Tor client to a server it is encrypted and gradually get decrypted on the way there. This question is about when the server responds. The data must be encrypted ...
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  • 500
10 votes
2 answers
331 views

Would running Tor client and Tor relay simultaneously harm my anonymity?

If I run a Tor relay in a machine and at the same time I use the same instance as a Tor client, would that harm my anonymity ? Would it be better to use different Tor instances on the same machine? ...
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  • 2,614
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

When does a relay get the Named flag?

A new relay of mine has been flagged as Stable and Guard, but not Named. What are the criteria for receiving the Named flag?
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  • 477
9 votes
1 answer
109 views

Would relay with temporary keys live the same great as with constant keys?

I'm on Debian-like OS. Directory /var/lib/tor/keys/ contains secret_id_key and secret_onion_key RSA keys. Would my relay work the same with 5Mb/s of bandwidth if I remove these keys each reboot, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
274 views

Can you confirm that my IP address was a Tor relay a few months ago?

Let's assume I received a letter today that accuses me of downloading an illegal file, posting something inappropriate in a forum, or hacking into a system. And that happened a few months ago. But I ...
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  • 1,459
9 votes
1 answer
157 views

Does Tor take node age into consideration when building a circuit?

I've seen this for a while, but in my experience Tor seems to select well stablished nodes (whose uptime is >60 days) but in the specifications this is not shown. It's just that the current list of ...
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  • 233
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

In what ways can private relays be used?

There are applications where private relays, not listed in public consensus directories, would perhaps be useful. For example, one might use four-relay circuits with private entry guards and exit ...
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  • 2,989
8 votes
3 answers
153 views

Low power self-maintaining Tor relay

Over the summer, I'm looking into depositing Tor relays (not exit nodes!) with my friends in family in the form of something that they can plug in and forget about. I've read about the Rasberry Pi ...
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  • 455
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can one move its relay to another server without losing anything?

Supposing one runs a server on some server and wants to move it to another. How can this be done without losing the flags (like stable, guard, named) and the progress to get a t-shirt, if certain ...
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  • 2,642
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does having a dynamic IP for Tor relay affect its metrics?

I'm running a Tor non-exit relay on a network with a dynamic IP that changes every day. What is the update on how this can affect the metrics of my relay (mainly the stable flag, uptime, consensus ...
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  • 708
7 votes
2 answers
6k views

What Tor-friendly hosting providers allow anonymous accounts?

There are at least three levels to "Tor-friendly": allow clients; allow non-exit relays; allow exit relays. In any case, the provider must accept SSH connections via Tor. By "anonymous accounts", I ...
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  • 2,989
7 votes
2 answers
950 views

Is there a way to have a Tor relay use more bandwidth as certain times of the day?

I have Tor set up on a Raspberry Pi dedicated to just Tor. I provide what bandwidth I can during the day so that it doesn't interfere with my online activities. I would like to provide most if not all ...
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  • 71
7 votes
2 answers
503 views

Tor dying on Raspberry Pi (circuit creation storm, out of memory)

UPD: this question was regarding an older version of Tor (0.2.4.24). With a newer version (which was 0.2.7.2-alpha for me) the problem disappeared. I am running Tor (0.2.4.24) relay on Raspberry Pi (...
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  • 105
7 votes
2 answers
867 views

What is the most appropriate kind of hardware to run a Tor relay on?

In the purpose of setting up a Tor relay that makes good use of a fast FTTH connection, what computer will do the job most efficiently at the time of writing, provided the following requirements are ...
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  • 323
7 votes
2 answers
9k views

How can I verify my relay is working?

This is the first time I'm running a relay. Doing it on a raspbian, and I've got some short questions. Be ready: I'm a newb. I'm only controlling my raspberry via SSH, so no GUIs. I opened ports on ...
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7 votes
1 answer
3k views

How to calculate optimal Relay Bandwidth & Throughput

Setting up a Tor relay on a VPS/cloud is a relatively straightforward process, which is great for people who enjoy that warm-fuzzy-i'm-making-a-difference feeling we get by contributing bandwidth to ...
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  • 2,890
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Port Reachability Test Failed _ detailed info

I am currently connected to Tor Network, according to Vidalia. When i tried to set up a non-exit relay, i got the following errors: Server Port Reachability Test Failed - Your relay's server port is ...
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's a good RelayBandwidthRate?

I know the minimum required rate is 20KB, and the minimum rate to be considered "fast" is around 100KB, but even the "fast" rate seems incredibly slow to me, compared to the average download speed of ...
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  • 205
6 votes
3 answers
984 views

Why isn't there any such option - middle-relay behind NAT?

Why is it still required have two open ports, DirPort and OrPort, for a relay? Imagine such a situation. A Tor user with unlimited network traffic and with that kind great bandwidth stay behind a NAT ...
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6 votes
1 answer
340 views

What, precisely, are the criteria for determining if a relay will be flagged as a guard?

The Tor FAQ's "What are Entry Guards?" entry does not describe the process by which a relay becomes a guard. The word "flag" is not mentioned anywhere in the FAQ index. Arma's "The lifecycle of a ...
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  • 534
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why was my relay given the Guard flag only for it to be removed an hour+ later?

My relay 'angrykitteh' (the kitten is now quite frustrated!) was blessed and granted the flag 'Guard' by the Directory Authorities as its uptime is more than 8 days and the bandwidth is deemed ...
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  • 61
6 votes
2 answers
458 views

Should I run fast Tor relay or a stable relay is fine?

I recently started a Tor Relay on my own VPS. It has 500GB bandwidths each month, and I limited bandwidth rate to 1500 KBytes. I don't know which one is better for Tor network: Running a fast relay ...
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  • 61
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to configure a Tor relay through my VPN service?

I would like to run a Tor relay through my VPN (Linux using OpenVPN). My anonymous VPN service connects through an OpenVPN tun0 interface. I run both "Tor ->- over ->- VPN" and "TBB ->- over ->- VPN" ...
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  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
624 views

Will hibernation cause my relay to lose the Guard flag?

My relay's outgoing traffic is limited, so I had to enable accounting. The limit hasn't been reached for a while now and recently my relay received the Guard flag. Will this flag be lost the next ...
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  • 477
6 votes
1 answer
838 views

Circuit Build Times in Tor

Why does Tor save the circuit build times and what does it want to learn out of them? Tor loads the circuit build times from a file at the beginning. I do not know why it needs them.
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  • 451
6 votes
1 answer
237 views

How can we get more community-operated (non-NSA) Tor relays set up?

One of the greatest threats I can see to the anonymity of the Tor network and its users, is NSA/GCHQ (etc.)-operated Tor nodes. No matter how state-of-the-art 'good practice' a Tor user adheres to - ...
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5 votes
11 answers
3k views

First node always the same! Is that how it's supposed to work?

I'm using Tor-browser-bundle with Vidalia. Yesterday, just out of curiosity, I clicked on "view the network." In the "connection" box, I see my circuits. About 5, 6 circuits each with 3 different ...
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  • 51
5 votes
4 answers
265 views

Are slow relays useful for the network?

If you a ran a very slow relay, would you be contributing much to the network or would it not help very much?
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5 votes
1 answer
6k views

Does the Tor Browser Bundle cache relay information?

When I restart the Tor Browser Bundle shortly after I've closed it I have the impression that relay information load faster. So I assume that the information about running relays is cached somehow. Is ...
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  • 8,663
5 votes
2 answers
339 views

Does those ExitPolicy make my relay a Tor non-exit relay?

I just set up a non-exit relay and it seems to work. I just want to make sure that I really have a non-exit relay. In the torrc file I set the option ExitPolicy to reject *:*. Does this make a non-...
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  • 495
5 votes
3 answers
351 views

How can I set up the most useful Tor node?

I've heard of Torservers and Noisetor. I've considered donating to them, but I want to avoid consolidating the Tor network in those two organizations, so I'd like to operate my own Tor node. (I also ...
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  • 379
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do I get a list of tor relays?

I see that some websites such as this one have a complete list of all tor relays. How do they dynamically find all of the relays in the tor network?
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