If you’ve used Tor, probably you’ve noticed how slow it is. And no surprise that it’s slow, considering that your internet traffic is relayed through 5 other computers. If the connection would be faster, probably I’d be doing all my internet browsing through it. Yet, you can make an effort and difference to change that. You can run a Tor relay (spend some traffic) and help the network. The more Tor relays exist, the faster is going to be the connection.
You can setup a relay on Windows, Linux and even Apple OS (not as simple as on the other OS). Here I’ll share my experience on Windows, as my main machine uses it.
You need to download a special package called Vidalia Relay Bundle from Tor’s official web page. Run that thang, install it wherever you want and go to Settings. There is not much to do in there. Just give your relay a name, contact info, check it as “non-exit relay” and test the connection. On Bandwidth Limits, setup some crazy big value, as actually it won’t be all the time working on max. For example, I’ve set it to Custom with average rate of 5140 kb/s and max rate 10,250 kb/s. Vadalia bundle start on system startup by default.
To make things more interesting EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has created a Tor challenge, where you can register your Tor relay, see all kinds of data, get badges and eventually win sticker or T-shirt if you statistics are good. Here you can see the top 10 registered relays and my humble one. In order to register your relay, you would need your node fingerprint. This fingerprint can be found in your Message logs advanced tab after connecting to the network.
Tor Doc – Configuring a Tor relay