Project Tor published details on a newly introduced system called “Congestion Control”, which promises to remove speed limits in the network. The new system is operational in the latest stable version of the Tor protocol with the number 0.4.7.7 available from last week.
Congestion Control “Will significantly improve Toru’s performance and also increase the capacity utilization of our network,” says project administrators. The simulated comparison of versions 0.4.6 and 0.4.7 yielded quite impressive results – browsing is smoother and better, without speed limits and bottleneckswithout increasing latency between endpoints.
Tor (The Onion Router) is a volunteer-operated umbrella network consisting of thousands of relays, which serve as transfer points for encrypted traffic within the Relay network and exit nodes, which are essentially gateways to the public Internet.
The mission of the project is to hide the real location and interests of users while browsing the site, and thus ensure theirs maximum privacy and anonymity. One of the biggest disadvantages is the low transmission speeds caused, among other things, by overloading the network nodes.
Regulating congestion in the Tor network is challenging and it has been necessary to find solutions without compromising privacy mechanisms. After almost twenty years of searching, the project has finally put in place a system that should make this possible.
The new system implements three algorithms, namely Tor-Westwood, Tor-Vegas and Tor-NOLAwhich together help reduce memory consumption, stabilize and minimize latency and latency. These enhancements minimize packet loss, estimate and balance queue length and bandwidth.
However, in order for the entire community to benefit from the improvements, the output relay operators will need to update the Tor protocol to version 0.4.7. The more clients upgrade to version 0.4.7 (or later), the more noticeable the network performance will be for everyone, but the first positive results are already visible.
In the next major stable version 0.4.8, Tor plans to implement traffic distribution mechanism (traffic splitting) based on previous research work called Conflux. Its integration should further increase the speed and throughput of the network.