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So long as Tor depends on volunteers to maintain exit nodes, and with that the risk of being arrested for all sorts of criminal activity by non-tech-savvy law enforcement, this is how it'll be.



Tor is slow because every packet has to be routed through several random servers distributed all over the world with multiple layers of crypto at every pass. Even with plenty of top-of-the-line inner and exit nodes you will still see substantially more latency than just sending packets directly.


That wouldn't be as big an issue if all the nodes were very well connected, like positioned near big peering points, but they're not.


The "distributed all over the world" part would still be just as much of an issue; the speed of light puts a substantial lower bound on the total latency.


True, but pinging from one hub to another is way faster than someone's cable modem in Mumbai to someone's in Australia to someone's in Peru and back again. Those last miles add up in a huge way.


No, IPSec tunnels to remote headquarters have indistinguishable latency impacts for normal users browsing (<150ms). The bad latency is because of congestion, not crypto and multiple hops.


Mirimir typically uses a three-VPN nested chain. Just now, rtt to google.com was ~260 msec. That's four hops. Just not with servers on the far side of the planet.


What do you mean by this: "with that the risk of being arrested for all sorts of criminal activity by non-tech-savvy law enforcement"

You can be arrested for things just by using Tor if they mix you up with someone else or something?


You can be arrested for running an exit node, because other Tor users' traffic will appear to be coming from you.

For example: https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/05/01/russian-tor-exit-node-... https://www.zdnet.com/article/dan-egerstads-tor-exit-nodes-g... https://www.pcworld.com/article/2452320/tor-exit-node-operat...


All of them from people running their exit from home, which has always been warned against.


Where is the recommended place to run one?



Also get on the tor-relays@lists.torproject.org mail list.

But the sad truth is that there aren't that many hosting providers that allow Tor relays. Especially exit relays, because of abuse complaints.

Also, as you might expect, Tor relays can use lots of bandwidth. It's more common to get flat-rate bandwidth for 100 Mbps uplinks, and metered bandwidth for 1 Gbps uplinks. Digital Ocean, for example, just switched to metered bandwidth, and that has killed some relays.

However, all this could arguably change, if Tor became mainstream, as part of Firefox.


Just use some cheap VPN service in front of your Tor/Firefox browser (which most people should do in any case) and you're good to go.


That has no relation to the cases above which were of people running Tor exit nodes from their home. If one wants to hide their Tor usage then that's something else and there are pluggable transports that are already built-in the Tor Browser to obfuscate Tor traffic to look like something else--no need for a VPN.


How does this affect exit nodes?


If you're worried that law enforcement will knock on your door because somebody used your exit node for illegal internet activity, a VPN service (that does not log traffic) will give you additional protection by exposing their IP address, not yours.


A lot of VPN services forbid running exit nodes in their ToS as it tends to trash IP reputation...


Looks like a cheap escape from jail card.

Run an exit node and then do something illegal. Then blame it on someone else.


Did you miss the part where exit node operators are getting arrested?


They sometimes are. Not always. And they walk out free, except for that Jewish guy who lived in Austria (I can’t remember his name but he was the only one to get in real trouble for running an exit node).


Why take that trouble when they can do it directly using Tor without running any exit at home? Also for instance Bogatov had an alibi when that happened.


Most forums ban all Tor exits.


The forum I run only bans IP addresses caught posting link-spam. Which, admittedly, asymptotically approached 100% of Tor exit nodes before I instituted more rapid ban-expiration. I added faster ban-expiration after hearing from some of my privacy-conscious users that Tor had become unusable for my forum.


> Most forums ban all Tor exits.

So running an exit at home to coverup for posting on a forum that bans all Tor exits, that makes no sense.


HN doesn't :)


If you use tor and only visit onion sites, the sites don't know who visited them.

If you use tor and visit the regular web sites (like, say, HN), the last computer that does the actual request to the website is an exit node, as far as that site is concerned, the exit node made the http request. If you run an exit node, your computer is going to be doing tons of requests to all kinds of websites, this may include sites that deal in illegal stuff like drugs, child prostitution, human trafficking, terrorism, etc.

edit: Forgot to say, you must explicit be running an exit node. Not every tor node is an exit node.





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