Good stuff. But now I’m a little curious about what it takes to safely operate an exit node. Not using my home IP is a pretty obvious first requirement, but I don’t want to bring unnecessary grief upon my VPS provider either, or strain my relationship with them as a customer. Any recomendations or experience reports?
I’ve used Linode to run a tor exit node for about 2 years now. It’s been pretty boring for the most part.
A lot of VPS providers have some sort of rules about how you can/can’t operate exits. As long as you are proactive in asking about their expectations and willing to accept some limitations it’s pretty easy to find somewhere to host one. If you want to run an exit node with no reduced exit policy allowing all traffic on all ports, you might have a hard time finding somewhere that will allow that.
Disclaimer: I worked for Linode and helped set up some of their internal guidelines for Tor nodes so I’m pretty biased by knowing the rules. Your mileage may vary
You are probably not allowed to use a generic VPS as an exit node, since you are exposing the provider to a significant risk of having the business disrupted due to law enforcement kicking in the data center door and confiscating any machine for an extended period of time.
Thanks for the speculation, I guess? But I’ve already seen the Tor Project’s ISP table, including the “Exit” column, and was hoping for better quality information.
I started running a Tor relay a couple of months ago and I also love checking up on the stats. I think it’s all of that network traffic that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside :-)
My resource usage is almost the same as the OP’s, but I enabled the v2 onion directory service and I think that this causes random spikes to 100% CPU utilisation.
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I have been running middle relays for years. My current one is doing around 30TB of outbound traffic per month. This is a VPC on a Gigabit uplink.
CPU usage was so low that I started running a folding@home client on it too. So I now fight Covid-19 with that little box too.