Next Article in Journal
Young Patients’ Views on the Open Web 2.0 Childhood Diabetes Patient Portal: A Qualitative Study
Next Article in Special Issue
Supporting Trust and Privacy with an Identity-Enabled Architecture
Previous Article in Journal
Security Analysis in the Migration to Cloud Environments
Open AccessArticle

Distributed Performance Measurement and Usability Assessment of the Tor Anonymization Network

Institute of Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Takustraße 9, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Institute of Information Systems, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Spandauer Straße 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Future Internet 2012, 4(2), 488-513;
Received: 1 November 2011 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 8 May 2012 / Published: 15 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Privacy in the Future Internet)
While the Internet increasingly permeates everyday life of individuals around the world, it becomes crucial to prevent unauthorized collection and abuse of personalized information. Internet anonymization software such as Tor is an important instrument to protect online privacy. However, due to the performance overhead caused by Tor, many Internet users refrain from using it. This causes a negative impact on the overall privacy provided by Tor, since it depends on the size of the user community and availability of shared resources. Detailed measurements about the performance of Tor are crucial for solving this issue. This paper presents comparative experiments on Tor latency and throughput for surfing to 500 popular websites from several locations around the world during the period of 28 days. Furthermore, we compare these measurements to critical latency thresholds gathered from web usability research, including our own user studies. Our results indicate that without massive future optimizations of Tor performance, it is unlikely that a larger part of Internet users would adopt it for everyday usage. This leads to fewer resources available to the Tor community than theoretically possible, and increases the exposure of privacy-concerned individuals. Furthermore, this could lead to an adoption barrier of similar privacy-enhancing technologies for a Future Internet. View Full-Text
Keywords: internet anonymity; onion routing; Tor; web latency; usability internet anonymity; onion routing; Tor; web latency; usability
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, S.; Brecht, F.; Fabian, B.; Kunz, S.; Kunze, D. Distributed Performance Measurement and Usability Assessment of the Tor Anonymization Network. Future Internet 2012, 4, 488-513.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop