Is Tor an *implementation* or a *protocol*?

Nick Mathewson nickm at
Sun Dec 31 19:28:12 UTC 2006

On Sun, Dec 31, 2006 at 12:23:50PM -0500, chris at wrote:
> If I implement the Tor spec am I implementing the "Onion Routing Protocol" or
> the "Tor Protocol"?

Tor is an implementation, a protocol, and a project.  If you implement
the protocol, you should probably make clear that you implement the
Tor Protocol, but that you're not providing Tor the software or
affiliated with Tor the project.

> Is Tor just the name for an *implementation* of the protocol called 'Onion
> Routing' ?

"Onion routing" is a concept that encompasses a large number of
protocols, from the original "Onion Routing" protocols Tor derives
from, to other protocols like Freedom, MorphMix, and so on.  Tor is
the _latest version_ of the Onion Routing protocol (inasmuch as there
is an official protocol), but other protocols do onion routing too.

happy new year,
Nick Mathewson
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 652 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the tor-dev mailing list