Why is nobody hosting in "unfriendly" countries?


a long pressing issue I have with Tor is that most if not all of the relays stem from Germany or Netherlands. Im probably very wrong with my understanding of Tor but isnt it very unsecure when most connections are within one country? Even when I check the IPs sometimes its from the same Hoster (Netcup or Netzer in most cases). Isnt very easy to detect and log such traffic? Especially since most Tor users seem to origin from the EU and Germany by itself. Seems like VPN cascading.

Main question:
And why arent node operators hosting the relays in “unfriendly” countries (like Putin would say) like Belarus, Russia, Iran (probably blocked), other CIS countries, Africa etc.

Or is such traffic going out to those countries easier to track or tracked by default?

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Infrastructure often is inadequate in countries that are less developed. Russia has good infrastructure. Some countries censor or prohibit Tor, so it does not make sense to host a relay there. If you want to start hosting relays in such countries, feel free to message me on tor@shadowbrokers.eu. I personally focus on hosting and managing tor relays in countries that are underrepresented in the network and are a geopolitical counterweight to western powers.


There are a lot of relays in Russia


And some in CIS as well


Maybe you want more in CIS and Africa but infrastructure is expensive and ppl can’t afford to buy a VPS in those exotic locations

Just as an aside, if most if not all of the relays stem from Germany or Netherlands bothers you, then you can exclude them in torrc or you can include a series of countries to go through.


Look for the words ExcludeExitNodes and ExitNodes

They look like this: ExitNodes {ch, us, lu, no} You get the idea.

Are you serious about why node operators DON’T host relays in “unfriendly” countries? Many ideas on that. How about those free flying lessons from your 10th floor apartment? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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RU only makes up for 0,8% and those are all runned by @cozybeardev (thanks for that). That’s kinda a drop on a hot stone.

Compared to 35% Germany, 15% NL and 11% Us.

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I know but that would make the pool very small. If I’m not wrong that is not recommended but it might be worth it to exclude Germany for example from the exit pools to not have 3 same connections within the same country or Datacenter.

I don’t care about the politics from a specific nation. Nobody should. You can buy a server from anywhere on the world. With unfriendly I meant from the west. Your best friend is your enemys and enemy.

To run a relay, it must connect to Tor directory authorities. In some countries, such as China, Russia, and Iran, Tor directory authorities are blocked, preventing the relay from bootstrapping.

Second part of the answer is that running relays in the Global South is a challenge. For example, some providers do not allow Tor relays at all, bandwidth is considerably more expensive, and IPv4 is not affordable as in the Global North… Additionally, there are other political and social factors that complicates the situation.


Indeed I had various issues setting up a Relay in Russia. Seems like its not reachable most of the time. The only hoster that worked was 4vps.su

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