[tor-relays] DigitalOcean, cheap VPS that's ok with middle relays

mick mbm at rlogin.net
Wed Jan 9 09:14:53 UTC 2013

On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 10:47:40 -0800
Micah Lee <micahflee at riseup.net> allegedly wrote:

> FYI, I just discovered a VPS provider DigitalOcean, and they seem fine
> with people running non-exit nodes:
> https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/tor

Yep - that "mick" was me. I contacted them through their forum
foillowing a recommendation from Roman Mamedov on this list (see my
post of 4 January).

> The cheapest plan is $5/month (256mb ram, 1 core, 20gb drive) with
> unlimited bandwidth. They give you New York and Amsterdam IP
> addresses. I haven't tried running a relay on it so I don't know how
> much bandwidth you can practically use, but it looks promising.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I signed up for their cheapest plan
(on 31/12/12) to test it. The VM has debian installed. I initially
fired up tor with no restrictions whatever to see what happened. I
quickly ran out CPU cycles. Tor log complained "Your computer is too
slow to handle this many circuit creation requests! Please consider
using the MaxAdvertisedBandwidth config option or choosing a more
restricted exit policy." At one point (after a couple of days) tor just
stopped and did not restart. No setting for MaxAdvertisedBandwidth I
tried seemed to make any difference so I started experimenting with
various throttle limits on the relay. I also set NumCPU to 1 and
MaxOnionsPending 250 after reading a post recommending that. 

I currently have BandwidthRate 2500 KB and BandwidthBurst 2800 KB
set and have a stable node that is running at circa 34 Mbit/s with
just over 1000 tor circuits. Top reports cpu usage at around
30% and my vnstat stats (see below) predict 8.62 TiB traffic for the

Now that I have a baseline, I will start to slowly ramp up the
bandwidth allowance again to see what happens.

Frankly, compared to my previous experience with some UK providers (see
my posts about thrustvps in particular) this level of traffic for this
price is astounding. If it keeps up, I'll likely pay for extra servers.


---- vnstat snapshot this morning -----

Database updated: Wed Jan  9 09:02:29 2013

   eth0 since 12/31/12

   rx:  1.15 TiB      tx:  1.18 TiB      total:  2.33 TiB

              rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
Dec '12     75.50 MiB |    2.35 MiB |   77.85 MiB |    0.24 kbit/s 
Jan '13      1.15 TiB |    1.18 TiB |    2.33 TiB |   27.63 Mbit/s
estimated    4.25 TiB |    4.36 TiB |    8.62 TiB |

             rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
yesterday 213.13 GiB |  217.74 GiB |  430.87 GiB |   41.83 Mbit/s
today      64.71 GiB |   66.44 GiB |  131.16 GiB |   33.80 Mbit/s
estimated 171.93 GiB |  176.52 GiB |  348.46 GiB |


blog: baldric.net
gpg fingerprint: FC23 3338 F664 5E66 876B  72C0 0A1F E60B 5BAD D312


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