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Join the Deep Web as a Tor Relay

As a long term fan and occasional user of the Tor network I’ve decided to run a Tor middle relay. It’s some kind of a way of payback to Tor community. Another way how to help Tor network is running exit node or a bridge. The requirements are: a server running on a relatively secure operating system (*BSD or GNU/Linux would be my choice. No offense.) and bandwidth at least 20KiB/s up & down.

An installation is quite easy, just install tor package from repositories. Or compile Tor from sources.

Now edit your torrc file (located here /etc/tor/torrc or /etc/torrc). By default Tor is configured as a Exit relay, which can be risky (depending on your country’s law). If you don’t want to deal with abuse issues (when someone is doing some illegal shit via your relay) then change your ExitPolicy line; comment out this line:

ExitPolicy reject *:*

Now you’ll be acting as a “middleman”. If you want to run an Exit relay be sure to read tutorials and many tips about Exit relays.

Next, change speed limit for relay traffic. Change lines RelayBandwidthRate and RelayBandwidthBurst as you need.

You can choose a name for your relay on a Nickname line.

Finally, open a port (the default 9001 is OK) in your firewall (ORPort line).

Now you can start Tor daemon. Check out your Tor logs. After a while you’ll can see a line

Now checking whether ORPort <your-ip>:<your-port> is reachable...

and after that (if you configured Tor correctly) will appear:

Self-testing indicates your ORPort is reachable from the outside. Excellent. Publishing server descriptor.

You can find a list of Tor relays here or here.