[tor-dev] Tor Browser downloads and updates graphs

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Sun Sep 11 16:13:00 UTC 2016

Hi all!

So, Karsten, Nicolas and I were sitting together for a while and were
looking at past data for figuring out how many users downloaded and
updated their Tor Browser over time.

We actually got more questions than we were able to answer but I guess
that's fine for a start.

Here are the graphs showing initial downloads, update pings and update
requests over time:


We annotated the grapgs a bit highlighting things we wanted people to
point to.

The initial downloads are the number of package downloads from the
website for all supported platforms (Windows, OS X and Linux). Apart
from spike (5) all events seem to be non-Tor Browser related.

* On the downloads graph we seem to have a spike (5) in new downloads
with the release of Tor Browser 6.0. Maybe because it was much more
widely publicized in the media than previous/later releases?

* On the same graph, a big spike (6) can be seen at the same day the new
board got announced.

* There are other spikes on the initial downloads graph (1, 3, 4) where
we have no idea what happened while (2) is probably just an outlier.

The update pings are made by Tor Browser instances roughly twice a day
and they indicate the number of active Tor Browser users. More
importantly, one can see the decrease or increase of Tor Browser usage
over time.

* As (2) in the downloads graph (7) seems to be an outlier as well.

* We don't know what (8) or (9) is but it seems to us we are losing
users over time and are only getting them back slowly if at all. A
weekday/weekend pattern is visible there as well.

The graph with the update requests is basically showing how fast users
are updating to newly released Tor Browser versions.

* (10) shows a large spike correlating to the 6.0 release. It is not
clear to us where all those update requests were coming from given the
update request pattern before/after 6.0. One plausible explanation could
be that our infrastructure was heavily overloaded causing clients to
retry fetching the update.

We'd love to hear feedback, especially those that could shed light on
the events we did not have an explanation for.


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