[tor-relays] Advertised Bandwidth/Consensus Weight Dropping: Is Verizon FiOS throttling Tor Relays?

Neel Chauhan neel at neelc.org
Wed Apr 10 01:31:01 UTC 2019

Hi tor-relays@ mailing list,

I run the following Tor middle relay on a 300 Mbps symmetrical Verizon 
FiOS connection:


My setup is as follows:

  * HPE MicroServer Gen10 (AMD X3421) running FreeBSD 12.0

  * Tor relay in FreeBSD 12.0 jail, with "RelayBandwidthRate 0"

  * Linksys WRT1900AC running OpenWrt

The Linksys is connected directly to Verizon's ONT (which converts 
fiber/GPON to Ethernet) and no Verizon-branded router is used in my 

The problem is that after setting up my relay, I had my Tor Advertised 
Bandwidth and Consensus Weight values trend downwards for the past week. 
Sometimes, I have occasional spikes in consensus weight.

This relay has a new fingerprint, but used this server with another 
fingerprint as well. On the previous fingerprint, I reached a peak of 
19.5 MB/s (~160 Mbps) for the Advertised Bandwidth but has dropped to 
~10 MB/s (~80 Mbps). The previous fingerprint also had the same server 
and router.

I am thinking the issue is one of the two:

  1. Tor bandwidth authority nodes are overloaded or have bad 
connectivity to Verizon

  2. Verizon is intentionally throttling Tor on FiOS

  3. The relay ramp-up phase is still in action for my relay and I need 
to wait

I am suspecting reason 2, as I had seen my bandwidth values drop, and 
unable to reach higher values.

For some reason, other relays on AS701 (Verizon's AS Number) have higher 
Advertised Bandwidth/Consensus Weight values than me (around ~18.7MB/s 
on the fastest relay): 

Sometimes, the other FiOS relays can go up to ~23 MB/s (~184 Mbps).

Is Verizon throttling Tor or are Tor bandwidth authority nodes just 
overloaded (or have bad peering with Verizon)? Or is it just the relay 
ramp-up phase in action?

Thank You,

Neel Chauhan

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