[tor-relays] Instabilities in Hydra family expected

Hello network!

I would like to briefly inform that I have repeated problems with the hoster Yourserver.se, where I run some exit relays. Again a relay was deactivated with the message "Botnet". At that time I wrote a detailed explanation about the issue. I agreed to a temporary switch to a harmless relay, but as an exit operator I did not want to keep this state.

So starting today the "Hydra family" will get some gaps which will take some time to replace.

I know that there is an attempt to write a list of recommended providers somewhere. However, I have found that some of the information is not up to date. It is better to look into the Tor Metrics and find out the hoster for current exit relays that is mentioned there. Sometimes you are lucky.

exit relays from the Tor network database in relation to the hosters (ASxxxx) and thus find a ranking for reliability and suitability. Automatically, this would be a ranking for "privacy support".
However, it would then be problematic that all newcomers would rely on these few hosters. Perhaps we will have to live with these problematic hosters and endure the dynamics.

Here is a note about startup problems of the Tor service after a reboot:
In my observation, this only happens with slow hardware and may also depend on the hypervisor. I use the same systems and configurations everywhere and see dead Tor services after startup only with the hoster Trabia.com and UDN (Ukrainian Data Network), with UDN working better now than a few years ago. It seems to be a timeout during start-up of the OS. With Debian "systemctl restart tor.service" solved the problem until the next reboot. With delayed start or a cron job this could be avoided, I assume.
The fast hosters like
* OVH.com,
* Frantech.ca,
* Flokinet.is,
* Bahnhof.net
* and Terrahost.com do not have the problem after reboot.

First I will try to replace the failing VPS at Yourserver.se with reliable providers from my list, but I am checking other offers. I would also like to ask other participants in the network to name smaller, still unknown hosters.

Kind regards


From my point of view, it should be possible to find out the age of _______________________________________________
tor-relays mailing list

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Regarding Yourserver.se: I too recently began running an exit there.[1] I receive multiple abuse complaints a week, they simply forward them and close the ticket without needing a response.

I have been a customer of Yourserver.se for many years, back when Sweden was the only option for a location, back when they were only providing OpenVZ and not KVM, back when they would limit servers running Tor relays to 5Mbps (which they no longer seem to bother with).

I ran a middle relay back then, and I remember having discussions with them about Tor - they didn't really understand the principle of an exit relay, so I chose to just stick with a middle relay to be safer. Now having come back to relay operation I decided I would give an exit a go there - there are several others across their two ASNs[2][3] (majority Hydra) and having been a customer and having extensive contact with their team over the years I figured I am likely to have more of an understanding with them.

The exit did get suspended a few weeks back for "malware", and I opened a ticket explaining Tor and how I am not responsible for whatever they mean "malware" to be. They unsuspended it with the response:

The VPS was blocked for malware.
We don't accept this malware.
We unspended Your VPS.

I took that to mean that the "malware" being distributed over Tor is irrelevant to them.

Everything has been fine since, until today (ironically) when it got suspended for "spam". They responded with:

We allow TOR, but don't allow spam.
We unsuspend Your VPS.
We receive very much spam abuse about Your VPS.
Please, check Your VPS.

I think they continue to misunderstand the purpose of Tor or would prefer people to somehow run exits without any issues whatsoever.

I do run my exit with an almost completely open exit policy (except for mail ports and ports they block[4]), so I plan to now set it to reduced and see if that helps them be ok with it. I notice the Hydra relays are already on a substantially reduced policy (beyond even the reduced-reduced policy), so perhaps this will make no difference in my case either and I will end up also needing to move them elsewhere. I am happy to endure with Yourserver.se though, I do not want my years of being a happy customer to be ended because they don't understand Tor well enough.

With regards alternative hosts, I recently discovered rdp.sh[5], who operate under a new ASN.[6] They are happy with Tor exits if you comply with their policy[7] (let them know first and block mail ports), and they provide unmetered 5 Gbps connection in the Netherlands.[8] They also run some reduced exits and middle relays themselves, and the operators of the bauruine family also began running exits a few days before me.
It's worth noting however that they don't provide IPv6 right now, and won't set reverse DNS PTR records on request (I tried).
They could prove to be a good replacement for Yourserver.se if you need one.


[1] Relay Search
[2] Relay Search
[3] Relay Search
[4] Blocked ports - Knowledgebase - Yourserver.se
[5] https://rdp.sh
[6] Relay Search
[7] RDP.sh - Fast, powerful & cheap Windows RDPs + Linux KVM servers
[8] RDP.sh - Fast, powerful & cheap Windows RDPs + Linux KVM servers

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