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Re: Am I really helping tor

I think that ivvmm is slightly confused about the terminology here - which is perfectly understandable. In the interest of clarity:

A bridge is not handling general tor traffic; it's not put into the directory. Bridges exist to assist people in countries that attempt to block tor, by giving them a place to connect to that is not listed in any tor directory. As no countries currently attempt to block tor (to my knowledge), that is mostly a feature for when that day comes. This means that bridges handle far less traffic and don't get used much at all (currently).

A relay is a normal server relaying data for the network, as entry, middle, or exit. These are listed in the directories and chosen by the clients as their circuit. Relays are very important; every relay added increases anonymity and available bandwidth to the network. Relays *do not* have to allow exit traffic - you can keep the ExitPolicy as rejecting everything, and your relay will only handle entry and middle node traffic (which avoids abuse issues). Exit and non-exit are both very useful to the network. In my experience, a relay will use about as much bandwidth as you let it use, which is a sign of how desperate the network is for more of them.

I *think* that what you're going for here is running a non-exit relay; that is more useful to the network than a bridge (although bridges are very good too, as roger mentioned), and not allowing exit traffic avoids abuse and most legal issues.

Sorry if this is redundant, I just wasn't certain that this was made clear to you ;)

 - John Brooks

On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 8:18 AM, Ted Smith <teddks@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sat, 2009-01-17 at 14:10 +0300, ivvmm wrote:
> Roger Dingledine wrote:
> >
> > But that said, you probably won't see much traffic on your ORPort
> > either, yet, since you're a bridge. At this point, bridges are a future
> > step on the "blocking resistance" arms race:
> > https://svn.torproject.org/svn/tor/trunk/doc/design-paper/blocking.html
> > and no country has gotten that far on the arms race yet. So they're more
> > a strategy that we have in reserve for the time when we need it.
> >
> > Hope that helps,
> > --Roger
> >
> >
> To sum it up, I'd better run a Bridge if really wanna help Tor project?
> I am somewhat afraid of government, I realise that's a kind of paranoia
> but it seems to be real in my country. So I mentioned only these lines
> in torrc to use traffic:
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ExitPolicy accept *:80
> ExitPolicy accept *:443
> ExitPolicy reject *:*
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> So. It is better now to run a relay and a bridge in the long term?
Running a bridge is very useful, but only if people know about your
bridge. It's more friend-to-friend than peer-to-peer. Running a relay is
also very helpful, because it donates bandwidth.

If you have friends in mainland China/Myanmar/whereever, then run a
bridge and tell them about it. If you don't, you should probably just
run a relay.