Can a hidden service be hosted by multiple instances of Tor?

  • Is it possible for multiple Tor clients, running on different machines or even networks, to publish the same Tor hidden service using the same private key to load balance requests between them?

  • Yes, but it may not provide the sort of load balancing you have in mind.


    The answer if two different Tors have the same hidden service private key is that they will each publish a hidden service descriptor. Whichever one published more recently is the one that a user accessing the hidden service will probably find and use.

    This approach can provide a very crude load balancing. More interesting, it can also provide a very crude failover, where if one of them disappears, an hour or so later the other will publish and the hidden service will become reachable again.

    Multiple hidden-service instances can synchronize through side channels, such as openvpn through Tor. Alternatively, multiple hidden-service instances can serve merely as reverse proxies for the true hidden service.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM