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Hackernoon logoExcess bandwidth? Tor it . Donate a minimum bandwidth to Tor. by@shreyagarwal

Excess bandwidth? Tor it . Donate a minimum bandwidth to Tor.

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@shreyagarwalShrey Agarwal

Couple of weeks back , I read about the tor project on hacker news giving out free T-shirts to owner of Tor nodes who advertise more than 50Kbps Bandwidth.

Now I wanted the t-shirt plus I had used tor client to use the services normally not available in geographic location I am in and for some blocked videos, Indian sites pretending to be overloaded, to file income-tax return on last day, hubba hubba….

I am a big fan of Linode. It not only provides all the free, unexpected, over-the-top, will-double-what-you-have updates, but also gives great bandwidth on most of its locations.

My london linode just hosts 3 websites, 2 of them are static and the remaining one has barely any traffic. But its a 20USD VPS with 2GB bandwidth. So I said why not.

Here are the steps to get your tor node working on ubuntu 12.04 in 5 minutes. You can get the instructions from

  1. Figure out what ubuntu / debain are you using. Most of us use LTS ubuntu versions on server. I use 12.04. You can use lsb_release -c (for ubuntu) and cat /etc/debian_version (for debian).
  2. To get latest tor updates , add deb <DISTRIBUTION> main in your /etc/apt/sources.list . Should look something like this.

3. Add the gpg key which will be used to verify the signature on tor packages

gpg --keyserver --recv 886DDD89
gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -

4. Update

apt-get update

5. Install Tor and arm( good utility to monitor tor)

apt-get install tor arm

6. Now the most difficult part . Configure torrc file located at /etc/tor/torrc

There are a lot of settings. I am covering the very basic ones that will control your bandwidth, and make you popular among your peers ☺. Carefully monitor your bandwidth and burst bandwidth otherwise it will slow all the network traffic on your server. Also be wary of small b and Big B which are bits and Bytes respecitvely.

ORPort 9001 # this is the port which tor uses for communication
Nickname slntor # nickname for tor node
RelayBandwidthRate 50 KB # relay bandwidth cap
RelayBandwidthBurst 100 KB # burst is allowed
AccountingStart day 00:00
AccountingMax 5 GB # allowe upto 5 GB where a day starts from 00:00
ContactInfo SA
ExitPolicy reject *:* # no exits allowed
DisableDebuggerAttachment 0
DirPort 9030 # what port to advertise for directory connections
DirPortFrontPage /etc/tor/tor-exit-notice.html

7. Start tor service : service tor restart


  • Tor Exit Node and notice

Tor exit nodes are nodes which terminate the traffic to a user/server. Tor exit node is controversial topic. Different regions and states have diffrent laws guiding the usage. My tor node isn’t an exit node. You can read dozens of articles online sharing their findings and decide accordingly what the practice is in your state.

  • arm command looks like this
arm command output

My personal Tor node :



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