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

krugar tor-admin at krugar.de
Wed Jan 9 10:18:28 UTC 2013

Moritz Bartl:
> Hi Micah,
> On 08.01.2013 19:47, Micah Lee wrote:
>> FYI, I just discovered a VPS provider DigitalOcean, and they seem fine
>> with people running non-exit nodes:
> Thanks for the hint. In general, I don't see why VPS providers would not
> allow internal Tor relaying, and I would not even bother to ask first.
> Interesting values to know about VPS providers are bandwidth allowance
> ("unlimited" is quite obviously a marketing term; often, limits can only
> be discovered by some months of experience) and [socket/numfile]
> limitations. Support is often reluctant to provide such values before
> ordering. A good way to characterize VPS offers is to post the output of
> "cat /proc/user_beancounters".

Hey all,

I talked to my VPS provider (colorhost.de) about running a (non-exit)
tor relay, and I would recommend some communication if you plan to run
your relay for a longer amount of time. Smaller VPS providers might not
have experience with TOR, and just assume "illegal" torrents when
someone uses large amounts of bandwidth.
In the price range we're talking about here, the provider has to have an
internal assumption about how much of your "Unlimited Bandwidth" you are
going to consume on average. If you exceed that on a regular basis (and
with an un-throttled relay, you likely will), you end up on their list
of customers they do not want to keep. Also, due to the slim profit
margin, they may just terminate your account if they are ever forced to
manually investigate it for some reason (e.g. exit-node DMCA complaints).

What I did was explain that I was going to run a non-exit relay node and
that it would cause steady load and traffic, and asked in a very direct
manner about how much constant traffic they were comfortable with for
the 3€/mo plan, regardless of what was advertised. I got a number,
adjusted my settings accordingly and I've enjoyed great customer service
ever since. This arrangement has provided a small (albeit guard-flagged)
relay to the TOR network for nearly two years now and I've never had to
switch providers or otherwise spend time on administrative overhead.


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