[tor-dev] Hidden services performance

Jeroen Massar jeroen at massar.ch
Thu May 23 12:53:14 UTC 2013

On 2013-05-23 14:46 , Petter Solberg wrote:
> Hi.
> We are two master thesis students at the Norwegian University of Science
> and Technology (NTNU) which is looking into the performance of hidden
> services. We have already set up 19 physical Linux servers connected by
> gigabit Ethernet to be able to benchmark hidden services in a private
> tor network. We have also some public servers that we plan
> to utilize ( https://atlas.torproject.org/#search/disasterTor ). This
> mail is to inform you of our work and a request for ideas in where some
> bottlenecks are and if someone have done some previous research before.
> Without any modifications to Tor we have been able to have a throughput
> of 180Mb/s through a single hidden service.
> If you have some Ideas or a comment. Please reply.

Describing your test scenario would be a good start.

You give a number above, but where that number comes from is totally
unspecified. As your 'throughput' (of what? HTTP, SFTP?) is quite high,
I'll assume you have done the above with the "19 servers" you mention
above and that you just tested this in a local network and not the tor
network itself.

But that is an assumption, as you are not specifying which version(s) of
Tor where used or even the kernel version or distribution release
details, nor how these hosts where connected (all on the same switch?
what kind of switch? what IP protocols where used, IPv4/IPv6?)

There are lots of papers on the performance of Tor, though most do not
specifically target Hidden services, the network itself tends to be the

You might want to check out http://freehaven.net/anonbib/ if you did not
so yet as that contains a large list of papers concerning Tor performance.

"Performance" can mean a lot of things though, throughput and latency
tend to be the more important factors.


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