[tor-relays] Computer requirements for a modest (15-20Mbs) relay?

Andy Isaacson adi at hexapodia.org
Mon Jul 29 16:35:34 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 04:37:29PM +0100, Nick wrote:
> I'm probably going to move to a new ISP soon, and may well be able
> to get a fibre 20Mbps up connection, which is a nice thought. The
> question I have is whether my little ~1GHz home server box (a weird
> little x86 thing, I can dig out more specs if they're relevant)
> would be able to relay that level of traffic without issue? The
> TorExitGuidelines page on the wiki mentions that one "modern" CPU
> core should be able to push 100Mbps, but my server is probably 6/7
> years old. It's a VIA board, which IIRC might have some hardware
> crypto acceleration or something - is that something that would be
> likely to help things if I can get it working?

A 1GHz VIA is probably good up to 20-30 Mbps.  You shouldn't even need
the crypto accelerator to satisfy that (although if the accelerator
works with OpenSSL it will save a bunch of CPU).

Doing much else on that machine (like serving files) will probably run
into CPU headroom problems, though.

> P.S. Are there any known cases of law enforcement seizing equipment
> or otherwise terrorising people for running home exit nodes? I would
> like to imagine that Tor is well known enough in such circles that
> such action would be rather unlikely nowadays. I know at least some
> remailer operators host stuff from their homes, but maybe that's
> lower risk.

Yes, there are cases of law enforcement seizing all computer gear from a
house with a exit node -- not just the exit node computer.  Most
recently in Austria in a child porn investigation.


Due to the incompetence of such law enforcement, I unfortunately cannot
recommend to run an exit node at your home if your computers are
necessary for your livelihood.  Running a non-exit relay is much lower
risk of being unjustly accused due to law enforcement incompetence.


More information about the tor-relays mailing list