[tor-relays] Slow relay speeds for Australian geographic location(s)

teor teor2345 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 11 23:34:48 UTC 2014

On 12 Oct 2014, at 09:32 , tor-relays-request at lists.torproject.org wrote:
> Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2014 06:19:16 +1100
> From: Mathew <wired.kid at gmail.com>
> To: tor-relays at lists.torproject.org
> Subject: [tor-relays] Slow relay speeds for Australian geographic
> 	location(s)
> Hello all,
> I run a non-exit relay in Australia. My relay has been running for almost
> 15 days and has seen very little traffic.
> I have a 100/40 fibre connection and bandwidth is set at 2MB/s and 2.5MB/s
> burst.
> The mean read/write is 3.22kb/s and the advertised bandwidth constantly
> varies between 100-800kb/s which is obviously a fraction of my available
> bandwidth.
> Do relays located in less tor frequented countries see much less traffic or
> something? I have ports set at 443 and dirport 9030, is this an optimal
> port setting?
> Anyone with helpful information would be appreciated. My relay is 1337m8 if
> anyone wants to look at the traffic.
> Thanks

A few hints:

1. The Tor network currently has an oversupply of non-exit relays. Therefore, your relay will never be fully utilised unless it is incredibly fast and stable over the longer term (months).

2. Your relay doesn't have the Guard flag yet. When it gets it, there will be a drop in traffic as your relay changes roles from middle to guard, then an increase overall. [-1]

3. If you look at the graphs for your relay on Atlas [0], there is a gradual increase in bandwidth. This should keep gradually increasing, apart from the guard transition in point #2.

4. It's unlikely your relay is compute-bound (at 100% CPU) or network-bound (saturating any network links). But it might be resource-bound (again, this seems unlikely at the levels you're seeing).

Can your NAT box handle ~5000 simultaneous TCP connections/open files/NAT translations?
(Mine can't, it reboots occasionally.)
Can your Windows server handle ~5000 simultaneous TCP connections?

5. Most of the Tor network is outside Australia. 

How is TPG's international bandwidth for the NBN? Are the coping? Or are they shaping international transfers? (Please feel free to correct my ISP and network assumptions.) 

What do you get if you use an online bandwidth test server located in the US or Europe? What are your typical upload speeds on the link?

6. The bandwidth authorities are outside Australia. This appears to produce greater bandwidth measurement variance. To measure bandwidth, the authorities build a circuit between it, your router, and another router with similar bandwidth. More than likely, the authority and other router are a long way away from Australia. My experience has been variance between 50 - 120 KB/s on a 120KB/s set bandwidth. (Which is a little too low for a Tor relay, by the way.)

And to answer your questions:

A. Tor is country-agnostic, but network-aware by default. Faster, stable relays get priority.

B. In my experience, 443 gets more bandwidth than the Tor default port of 9001. You could try setting up another instance on 9001, and see if it experiences the same issues after a few weeks.

You could also try paste-binning your torrc, and we'll look for specifics.

[-1]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/lifecycle-of-a-new-relay
[0]: https://atlas.torproject.org/

pgp 0xABFED1AC

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