Tor Statistics

Tor Statistics That You Can’t Miss in 2024

Published on: October 17, 2023
Last Updated: October 17, 2023

Tor Statistics That You Can’t Miss in 2024

Published on: October 17, 2023
Last Updated: October 17, 2023

In an era of increasing surveillance and concerns over online privacy, the Tor network has emerged as a beacon of anonymity and security.

Utilized by millions around the globe, Tor (The Onion Router) enables users to browse the internet while protecting their identities and safeguarding sensitive information. 

While the inner workings of Tor are complex and often mysterious, the analysis of Tor statistics provides valuable insights into its usage and impact.

Read on to learn more about the hidden realm of the internet that could be accessed by Tor and statistics that surround it!

Key Statistics

  • On a daily basis, Tor is downloaded over 40,000 times on Windows
  • The Tor Network receives daily access from an astonishing 2 million users
  • The daily user base of Tor consists of roughly 29.24% individuals from Germany.
  • The Tor Network houses a significant majority (55%) of hidden websites that operate legally
  • The proportion of hidden websites involved in drug dealing amounts to 12% of Tor’s total
  • The total count of URLs that conclude with “.onion” exceeds an impressive 65,000 within the Tor network
  • Anonymity is the driving factor for 39% of users who utilize Tor and access the Dark Web
  • A total of 6,000 individual relays form the underlying infrastructure of Tor
  • After an examination of over 145,000 circuits, it was observed that certain relays within the Tor network are preferred over others
  • Approximately 6.7% of Tor Network users are involved in illicit activities

Exploring Tor Statistics and the Dark Web: Usage and Insights

Dark Web 10207

1. Tor Is Downloaded More Than 40,000 Times a Day on Windows

One impressive testament to Tor’s appeal is the consistently high number of daily downloads it receives on the Windows platform.

According to recent statistics, Tor records an average of over 40,000 downloads each day from Windows users alone.

This remarkable figure underscores the growing awareness and adoption of Tor as a trusted privacy solution among individuals who rely on the Windows operating system.

Tor’s popularity can be attributed to its strong focus on preserving user anonymity and shielding their online activities from prying eyes.

It accomplishes this by encrypting and routing internet traffic through a series of volunteer-operated servers, known as nodes, effectively obscuring the user’s IP address and location.

(Tor Metrics)

2. The Tor Network Is Accessed by 2 Million Users Daily

While Tor is renowned for its ability to protect user identities, there exists a lesser-known side of the network known as Tor hidden services, which occupies a minuscule fraction of the overall Tor traffic.

With an estimated 2 million users accessing the Tor network daily, it stands as a proof to the increasing demand for online privacy.

However, despite the substantial user base, Tor hidden service traffic constitutes only a mere 1.5% of the total Tor traffic.

This statistic highlights the fact that while Tor is widely utilized for its primary purpose of anonymous browsing, the utilization of Tor hidden services remains relatively low.

(Tor Project)

3. Germany Constitutes 29.24% of the Daily Users of Tor

The adoption of Tor varies across nations, with some countries actively embracing it as a means to preserve privacy and avoid digital restrictions.

As global conversations around online privacy and censorship continue to evolve, the importance of tools like Tor cannot be understated.

Shown in Tor’s metrics are the countries with the largest user base of Tor users:

  • 29.24% of the total daily users of Tor come from Germany
  • 17.89% of the total daily users of Tor come from the United States
  • 4.07% of the total daily users of Tor come from Finland
  • 3.19% of the total daily users of Tor come from India
  • 2.59% of the total daily users of Tor come from Russia
  • 2.40% of the total daily users of Tor come from France
  • 2.33% of the total daily users of Tor come from Indonesia
  • 2.99% of the total daily users of Tor come from Netherlands

(Tor Metrics)

4. 55% of Hidden Websites in the Tor Network is Completely Legal

Unveiling the true nature of the dark web poses a significant challenge for researchers.

Due to its unindexed and hidden nature, it is difficult to apply a statistical, data-driven approach.

Nevertheless, Terbium Labs overcame this obstacle by utilizing 400 .onion websites, which are exclusively accessible through the Tor anonymity network.

Contrary to popular belief, the study discovered that a staggering 55% of the sampled hidden websites hosted completely legal activities.

This revelation challenges the common perception that the dark web is primarily a hub for illegal endeavors.

It highlights the fact that, much like the open web, the dark web also accommodates legal and mundane activities.

(Daily Dot)

5. 12% of the Hidden Websites Hosted by Tor Pertain to the Illegal Drug Trade

Tor

Within the realm of illicit activities, the previous study mentioned revealed that illegal content and commerce accounted for only 45% of the sampled websites.

Although this percentage may still seem significant, it is noteworthy that the dark web encompasses a diverse range of activities beyond the notorious drug trade. 

Undeniably, drug dealing has been synonymous with the dark web’s reputation since the high-profile conviction of Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the Silk Road marketplace.

Surprisingly, however, drugs constituted just 12% of the overall sample.

(Daily Dot)

6. Tor Has Over 65,000 URLs Ending in .onion

In the Tor network, there is an ecosystem of websites with unique URLs ending in .onion.

Presently, this network boasts a staggering number of over 65,000 such URLs.

A study revealed that a significant portion of these .onion websites serve as facilitators of communication, offering forums, chat rooms, and platforms for hosting files and images.

Additionally, they also play a crucial role in enabling online commerce through marketplaces. 

While these functions might sound enigmatic to some, it is important to emphasize that many of them serve legal purposes within free societies.

The marketplaces operating within the Tor network provide an alternative space for conducting online transactions.

They facilitate the exchange of goods and services while maintaining a degree of anonymity for both buyers and sellers. 

(IMF)

7. Being Anonymous Is the Reason Why 39% of Users Access Tor and the Dark Web

While the majority of online activities occur within the well-lit realms of the surface web, a small fraction of users seek a different kind of experience through the Tor network and the enigmatic Dark Web.

The motivations behind accessing this hidden part of the Internet are diverse and often driven by a combination of personal, privacy-related, and curiosity-driven reasons. 

The following statistic ranks the most common reasons for users to access Tor and the dark web worldwide as of February 2019:

  • 39% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to be anonymous
  • 26% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to allow them to access geo-blocked content
  • 25% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to protect their privacy from internet companies
  • 25% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to bypass government censorship
  • 25% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to access restricted content in their location
  • 24% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to protect their privacy from their ISP
  • 24% of users access Tor and the Dark Web to protect their privacy from foreign governments

(Statista)

8. Tor’s Infrastructure Is Composed of 6,000 Different Relays

Tor functions by leveraging a decentralized network consisting of numerous volunteer-operated relays.

These relays form the backbone of Tor’s infrastructure and play a critical role in securely routing user traffic.

Impressively, there are over 6,000 of these relays spread across the Tor network.

When a Tor user wants to connect to a server, their Tor client dynamically selects three relays to create a circuit.

This circuit is then used to establish communication with the desired server.

To protect against correlation attacks, Tor’s relay selection algorithm ensures that no two relays sharing the same /16 IP address are chosen for a circuit.

(Springer Link)

9. After Analyzing Over 145,000 Circuits, Some Relays Are Chosen More Frequently Than Others

A research study aimed to understand how popular different Tor relays are when users build circuits.

They analyzed over 145,000 circuits using 44 machines running Tor, and interestingly, they found that some relays were chosen much more frequently than others.

This means that certain relays are more popular than the rest. 

This popularity imbalance could have implications for user privacy and the overall security of the Tor network.

It raises concerns that some relays might be more vulnerable to attacks or monitoring by adversaries.

To address this, it is important for the Tor community to work on improving the relay selection process to make it more fair and balanced.

(Springer Link)

10. Illegal Activities Are Carried Out by 6.7% of the Users Within the Tor Network

Tor 808

The Tor network, often referred to as the Dark Web, offers an alternative layer of internet connectivity, shielding users’ identities by encrypting and rerouting their online traffic through a series of relays.

While it was initially conceived to protect freedom of speech and privacy, a portion of its user base has adopted it for malevolent purposes.

Recent studies reveal a concerning statistic: during a representative timeframe, approximately 6.7% of Tor network users globally were found to exploit the network’s services for engaging in illicit and illegal endeavors.

These activities range from drug trafficking and malware distribution to the despicable realm of child abuse imagery.

(PNAS)

Conclusion

In conclusion to this Tor statistics article, Tor and the Dark Web offer a fascinating glimpse into hidden parts of the internet.

They provide privacy and security for those who want to communicate anonymously and avoid surveillance. 

In the ever-changing digital world, it’s important to understand the usage, statistics, and insights of Tor and the Dark Web.

Balancing privacy and security while preventing criminal activities is crucial.

By promoting education, awareness, and responsible use, we can navigate the Dark Web safely and responsibly, taking advantage of its benefits while minimizing its risks.

Sources

Metrics.TorprojectBlog.TorprojectStatista
Elibrary.ImfDailydotLink.Springer
PNAS

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.