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Re: [tor-talk] transparent tor routers

Markus Hitter wrote:
schrieb Christian StÃveken:
> - Why do you see a need for dedicated hardware? An off the shelf router
> running OpenWRT works just fine. Install the tor package, edit torrc and
> it works.
Because that just works for it savvy people. How many are there around you?

If one manages to install OpenWRT, installing Tor is just a matter of a
few clicks. If you think this is a problem, you can build images with
this package already included, no need for custom hardware.

  There are a few more things to consider:

- The flash size of most OpenWRT-compatible routers is 4-8mb. That 8mb must include OpenWRT (3.9mb) and tor (~3.2mb) plus any dependencies that might be required. In practice this is way beyond 8mb, and requires USB storage. This is less `apt-get install tor` and more manually configuring fstab.

- The point about needing to know how to flash a router is an important one. But users must also know how to update their routers (which typically requires knowing how to flash the router). This is easy to learn, but does require several steps.

- There are various how-to guides online already that discuss how to create your own torouter. The price point on this is ~$50, between a TP-Link MR3040, a usb stick, an ethernet cable, and Commotion/OpenWRT/DD-WRT. So any new commercial product needs to come in fairly low (less than a $100) to be competitive. For high-quality small hardware runs, this is very difficult. And out of that budget must come promotion, returns, the R&D process, case design, etc etc.

For me, having to buy custom hardware is not so much a barrier, as it is a complete non-starter. TP-Link (or whoever) is a large company and if something goes wrong with the router, I know who to contact. If a router overheats and causes damage to other electronics, I know who to hold responsible. `Jim's Torouter, LLC` doesn't inspire the same level of confidence. For those who *do* inspire confidence (such as Bunnie Huang's open hardware), the price point is too high for most people who would want to buy one.


âI did then what I knew then, & when I knew better, I did better.â
â Maya Angelou
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