On the internet there appears to be a lot of confusion about when using a VPN or Tor is appropriate with many people being confused blatantly misleading VPN advertisements. That is not to say that a VPN is not useful as there are use cases that Tor sucks at. What is a VPN useful for? Getting past geo restrictions Most people are willing to pay for the content they consume. The problem is that distribution companies are greedy and in the quest to increase profits will lock out users wanting to honestly access content with Geo restrictions.
Over the past year, relay operators have done a good job in diversifying the range of network that they use to host their relays. The problem is that the move away from popular ASNs has not always translated to a move away from popular countries. This is where we come to Germany, which has the highest amount of Tor relay capacity in the World at 167Gbps, in contrast France is in 2nd place with 64.
As of the 5th July 2020, there are 1357 Tor bridges available for users in countries who censor the Tor network to use. Having just over 1,000 IP addresses is not a lot for such a big privacy network as Tor is, especially considering that the number of Tor Bridges peaked at 4,227 on the 4th January 2015. That means since then the network has lost more than two-thirds of its bridges.
On the 13th June 2020, I published an article to this blog that went though the reasons you should never use OVH, Hetzner or Scaleway for Tor Relays. A common response was that the article did not go into the alternative providers that a relay operator could instead of the networks mentioned above. The reason alternatives where not listed in that article is that more time was required to research hosts that are both good value for more while also offering unmetered bandwidth.
You as someone who may look at starting their own Tor relay will have noticed that some web hosts provide high bandwidth VPSs for very little money. Seeing this, you are thinking to yourself "fantastic, these offers will allow me to afford to provide more bandwidth to the Tor network". This article will go over why you should not choose these hosting providers for your Tor relay and will provide tips on how to find alternative ones;