[tor-dev] Using routers as bridges

Rob van der Hoeven robvanderhoeven at ziggo.nl
Thu Jul 14 12:03:34 UTC 2011

Hi folks,

Bridges serve as "unknown" entry points to the TOR network. For this,
part of the TOR network nodes are reserved and unlisted. This is not
good for the performance of the network, and because the network is
relatively small i think the unlisted-nodes strategy will only be a
short term solution.

At the moment i'm working on my own FreedomBox. From this work i got the
following idea: Why not use the DNAT function of a router to forward TOR
traffic to a TOR node? This way you don't need unlisted nodes anymore. A
router-bridge does not have to be a full TOR node....

Unfortunately the standard DNAT functionality of most routers only
support DNAT from the internet to internal addresses. So you need
modified firmware to make this work. Maybe a (slightly modified?)
version of OpenWRT will work.

Router-bridges have a second advantage over real TOR nodes. They can be
easily moved. If a router-bridge gets blocked, you can simply give the
router-bridge to a friend.

To give you an example of internet-internet DNAT i have configured one
of my systems to forward traffic to the TOR website. The URL is:


(If you try the URL you get a message about an invalid certificate of

Let me know what you think about this idea...
Rob van der Hoeven.

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