Relay Setup Guide for Windows 10

Setting up a Windows system as a relay requires performing a few simple steps. To begin you must download the expert bundle, implement a torrc configuration file and finish by starting Tor from the command line. Below are detailed instructions on how to perform these steps - please ensure you follow them very carefully, and make any of the necessary modifications outlined along the way.

Important note: Running an exit relay from a Windows machine is highly discouraged unless you are an experienced Windows system administrator who is comfortable setting up DNS resolvers and performing other complex configuration tasks. As always, never run an exit relay from your home.

Downloading and configuring the Tor Expert bundle

  1. Head over to the official Tor download page and select the 'Windows' drop-down menu. The second option should be the expert bundle - download it, and verify the checksum if desired.
  1. Head to your C:\ directory. Create a folder called tor.
    • (Optional. A custom path can be used, though you will have to make necessary modifications in the following steps.)
  1. Unpack the zipped Expert bundle into your newly created Tor directory. Two files will be placed there; one called Tor, and the other Data.
  1. You will now need to create a torrc file to define the ruleset of your relay. The default directory path for this file is C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\tor\torrc, though you can specify a custom location at startup with the -f flag. (More below)
  1. Open up your newly created torrc file in your text editor and populate it with the following contents:
    # Change the nickname "myNiceRelay" to a name that you like
    Nickname myNiceRelay
    ORPort 9001
    ExitRelay 0
    SocksPort 0
    # Paths assume you extracted to C:\tor - if you extracted elsewhere, adjust the paths accordingly
    DataDirectory C:\tor\Data
    Log notice file C:\tor\log\notices.log
    GeoIPFile C:\tor\Data\Tor\geoip
    GeoIPv6File C:\tor\Data\Tor\geoip6
    # Put your email below - Note that it will be published on the metrics page
    ContactInfo tor-operator@your-emailaddress-domain
  1. Make sure everything is filled in correctly, then save and exit.

Starting up your relay

  1. Open your command prompt. Navigate to C:\tor\Tor with the command cd C:\tor\Tor
  1. Type tor.exe and press enter. If you have your torrc file somewhere other than the default location (Like the C:\tor\Data\Tor folder), specify the path with the -f flag.
    • Example: tor.exe -f C:\tor\Data\Tor\torrc
  1. You should now see Tor starting up in your terminal. Wait until its finished bootstrapping. After a short period it should publish its OrPort, and you will be successfully relaying traffic for the Tor Network.
    • Note: Depending on your systems settings, Tor may fail to start and produce an error indicating it is unable to create files. If this occurs, simply open the Windows Defender Security Centre and select "App & browser control". Add the tor.exe file to the permissions list, then rerun tor.exe. Tor should start up normally.
Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on Jun 28, 2018, 6:43:56 PM