On 15/10/2016 12:30, Adrian Kennard wrote:
> Are there any consumer broadband routers that handle being a tor client?

Not really, no.

Probably the closest you'd get to a mainstream router that could
probably handle it would be something like the Turris Omnia. Most home
routers/CPEs are of very small brain, typically using a Linux stack on a
small ARM chip with dedicated in-hardware networking cores/procs and
some custom userspace/kernel magic to drive them to implement things
like NAT/port forwarding etc. This all helps keep the cost down, and
since most ISPs will be buying CPEs in significant bulk that's a major

Cost/Tor client performance requirements are also a function of line
speed and expectations. The ISP I work for provides all our lines at
1Gbps, for instance (though products are from 50M up to 1G). If you
wanted to offer _equivalence of service_ in terms of throughput
performance at even 100M I suspect you'd hit issues with the Tor network
before you hit issues with hardware, but the hardware would have to be
fairly chunky. Then again I suppose that the latency incurred by routing
via Tor probably gives you a bandwidth delay product that limits
throughput in any case. If you're only targeting 10Mbps throughput then
it might be doable on a mid-to-low-end chip as found in most CPEs..

I'd say for mass market you're more likely to want segmentation of
services. In some scandinavia countries it's quite common to get your
phone/TV service delivered over IP via the same network as your internet
but logically segmented (different VLANs, different Ethernet port on the
CPE if it's exposed there, different handover/NNI/provider on the far
side of the access network, etc). If my CPE had a port limited to 10
megs but which ensured everything went via Tor, then I can dump my smart
TV and so on onto the fast network and connect to the Tor port if I want
privacy. Could also be exposed as another WiFi ESSID.

James Harrison

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