How to run a Tor exit relay and browse the Tor Network

On the 100mbit/s internet connection that I have at home, at some point in my becoming a good planetary citizen, I found it appropriate to help make the world a better place and, thus, I decided I should donate some of the juice to the Tor network, helping fight censorship and all.

Still, at times, I found it necessary to not only contribute to the Tor network, but also use it for anonymous/ in-Tor browsing. However, when the exit relay is working, the Tor Browser Bundle did not work on my computer, because it asked me for credentials to connect to the already-running Tor process.

Obviously, I did not know that password and support suggested I should stop the exit relay while I use the browser bundle, an answer that did not satisfy me at all.

So, I did not know that password, such that the Tor Browser Bundle could connect to the already-relayed Tor network. Until today, that is, because I found out in Vidalia > Settings > Advanced that one ca set a password, a cookie or no protection to the Tor process.

This means I could set the password to the Tor Exit Relay process and then use the Tor Browser Bundle to connect to the Tor process on my computer and, thus, browse the Tor network.

This also means that one could use the cookie mechanism for authentication to the process, but I haven’t tried that and I haven’t tried the “none” authentication option either.

Please also be aware that I was unable to connect to the Tor exit relay process from outside my Windows user on my multi-user machine and I did not want to try and force anything (from a secondary logged in user) that might hurt the relay. Good advice on this is always welcome, of course, thank you!

Well, this is it, I hope you found it useful, good citizen.

P.S. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that I don’t know how anonymous your browsing will get, if you are already running a Tor exit relay. For some reason, I suspect most (if not all) of the Tor traffic, including yours, will exit through your relay. So you won’t be able to browse anonymously.

P.P.S. That is fine with me, I use the Tor Browser Bundle only when browsing sites that exist within the Tor network and noplace else.

P.P.S. I don’t recommend running a non-protected Tor process.

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