[tor-dev] estimating traffic/bandwidth needed to run a Tor node

Razvan Dragomirescu razvan.dragomirescu at veri.fi
Tue May 24 17:33:16 UTC 2016

Hello everyone and thanks for the quick answers,

To clarify this a bit, some of my nodes will be simple clients (not
offering any services to the network), others will be hidden services
(offering their services). They can also be a combination of the two
(services may contact other services over the Tor network).

Depending on the available bandwidth, some nodes may elect to become relays
as well - this has no immediate benefit to my project but node owners may
choose to give back to the community by running relays or even exit nodes.
This is an IoT project, so if nodes are hosted on a home network for
instance, on a high speed unmetered cable connection, with permanent power
available (not batteries), they can act as full nodes.

I'm trying to make sure though that the worst case scenario for nodes isn't
too bad for 3G or satellite connections (or maybe warn users of the amount
of traffic they're going to see).

Thank you,

On Mon, May 23, 2016 at 1:50 AM, s7r <s7r at sky-ip.org> wrote:

> Razvan,
> Your email is confusing. To host a Hidden Service you do not need to be
> a Tor node - we call them relays in the common terminology.
> So, a relay relays traffic for Tor clients. This will consume as much as
> you give. You can throttle the relay bandwidth rate / burst or limit the
> traffic consumed by accounting per day/week/month, etc. After the speed
> and traffic limits, next limits are CPU, RAM and so on.
> There is no sense in being a relay just to host a hidden service. In
> fact we do not recommend this, it's better to run the hidden service and
> relay service in two separate Tor processes if hosted on the same device.
> To only host a hidden service you can be a normal Tor client. This will
> not consume any traffic or relay traffic for other clients, but it will
> consume as follows:
> a) all traffic generated by that hidden service. This can be only
> estimated by you, since it can be 0, it can be 1 MB per week it can be
> 100 MB per day, etc.
> b) consensus data and microdescriptors for relays in the network. I
> don't have exact numbers for how much is this but count few MBs at every
> 2 hours just to be sure.
> On 5/23/2016 12:56 AM, Razvan Dragomirescu wrote:
> > Hello everyone,
> >
> > I'm working on an Internet of Things project and Tor will be a part of
> > it (Hidden Services to be more precise). The nodes however may be
> > battery powered or have slow (or metered) Internet connectivity, so I'm
> > trying to estimate the traffic patterns for a fully functional Tor node.
> > Has this been measured at all? I mean how much traffic should I expect
> > per hour/day/month whatever in order to maintain a good "Tor citizen"
> > node, serving a very low traffic hidden service? I do remember reading
> > something about it needing 4MB per day or something like that, but I
> > can't seem to find that link or page anywhere now... :(.
> >
> > Any hints on where to find this type of info (or maybe how to measure it
> > myself) would be appreciated.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Razvan
> >
> > --
> > Razvan Dragomirescu
> > Chief Technology Officer
> > Cayenne Graphics SRL
> >
> >
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