[tor-relays] snowflake vs bridges (vs node)

Fran fatal at mailbox.org
Fri Feb 4 14:15:52 UTC 2022

Hej Eldalië,

thanks for your answer.

Tor project runs campaigns for running more bridges [1-3] because there
was/is (?) a shortage and/or countries changed their censorship policy 
(e. g. Russia). So I'd say the statement in the FAQ is a little bit to 
simple. At different times a shortage of one or the other node might 
occur. :)

I think the answer might also depend on what kind of servers you are 
able to run. E. g. a server in a cloud/with a hoster where you can spin 
instances up/down on a regular basis (weekly/monthly?) and change the IP 
in this process, might be good for bridges in case they got blocked by a 
censor (no idea on how long a usual bridge is usable before it gets 
blocked in parts of the world). If you are able to run the node for many 
years with the same IP addressing, maybe a non-bridge would be better, 
so the node might become a fallback-authority node one day.

If you don't use HiddenServiceSingleHopMode for you onion services, six 
tor nodes are in between the visitor and the server which results in a 
lot of bandwidth usage in the tor network. So some non-exits might also 
be handy in case onion service usage picks up.

If you take a look at 
https://metrics.torproject.org/bandwidth-flags.html it seems to me like 
there is much more advertised bandwidth than consumed bandwidth for all 
flags. So maybe more bridges is the answer?

But I really cannot tell because I don't have enough insights and so I 
just went with bridges (time to be blocked for a usual bridge would be 
really interesting to know if/when I should convert the bridges to 
regular nodes or change IP addressing).

Thanks and have a great weekend!


[1] https://blog.torproject.org/run-tor-bridges-defend-open-internet/
[2] https://blog.torproject.org/run-a-bridge-campaign/
[3] https://blog.torproject.org/wrapping-up-bridges-campaign/

On 2/4/22 10:40, Eldalië via tor-relays wrote:
> Hello there.
>> And generally, what's more needed atm: bridge, non-exit, exit or
>> snowflake?
> I'm not an expert at all, but the most needed type of relay is exit
> ([1]) and I suppose always will be, as they are the most prone to raise
> legal issues ([1]) and have the highest requirements ([2]). Also, to my
> understanding, if there were many exit nodes but guard or middle were
> missing, exit nodes would be used for the first two hops as well, so if
> you have enough resources and you will to I'd say you should go with an
> exit node.
> As for the question about bridges I'm a newbie, so I'll leave the
> answer to someone with some expertise :).
> Eldalië

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