[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tor-talk] Tor relay on small and cheap devices

Thus spake Okhin (okhin@xxxxxxxx):

> I'm currently trying to find a way to easily spread some
> pre-configured, pre-installed devices embedding a tor-relay. And I
> have some TP Link hardware, the smallest of them being the WR703N
> (http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr703n). Those devices are
> cheap and handy (can actually run on battery for years,since it does
> not consumes that much power... around 1W/h).

I hope this reply isn't too discouraging, but I'm somewhat of a
pessimist/hater when it comes to "Let's put a Tor relay on that tiny
computer!" projects. Sure, I guess everybody loves the endorphin rush
from bragging that their phone/wristwatch/fridge is a Tor relay, but
with the current limits on Tor network size, it's unlikely that the
network could support enough of these tiny relays to actually make any
substantial capacity difference, and they may actually harm overall
performance rather than help it.

As it stands, directory overhead will probably become unmanageable if we
get much more than 10k tor relays in total right now, and perhaps more
importantly queuing theory and experimental results indicate that adding
more slow relays will actually hurt performance more than help[1,2].

I think a super-portable device that can either do transparent Tor
proxying and/or run a hidden service for you are probably both better
use cases for tiny hardware than a full fledged relay, especially if
your goal is to actually have these things see real use.

[1]. http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sjm217/papers/pets08metrics.pdf, section 6.
[2]. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/1854

Mike Perry

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

tor-talk mailing list