Tor, a privacy-focused network, has created a way for users to bypass one of the most confusing aspects of launching a Bitcoin and lightning node, as reported by Casa, a Bitcoin startup company.
Jameson Lopp, CTO at Casa, recently shed more light on the issue during a conference where he opened up about what Casa had found out about its product; an easy-to-use Bitcoin and lightning node that provides users with the required knowledge on how to operate the software.
Tor Helps To Breakdown Difficult Barriers
The usual practice by people is to make use of the Tor network to convey their node network traffic so as to improve privacy, because the network has the ability to shield the IP address of the node, which if left uncovered, can easily give up its location.
Not only does this scenario prove Tor to be an efficient tool for users, but it also shows that users have more edge by using it. What is that edge, one might ask? Tor helps users to easily scale over some barriers encountered during the set up of a node.
According to Lopp:
“With Tor, we were able to punch through all these networking issues.”
In April, Casa added Tor support. An issue is usually encountered when setting up a Casa full node and that is the task of ensuring that it is very visible to other nodes on the network. Contradictory? Certainly. Therefore, for users to accomplish this, they need to set up “port forwarding.”
Tor Gets The Job Done
In a general sense, a user should be able to simply plug in the port number on which the node is running on into their router’s port forwarding website but it has been observed that it's more complex than that.
According to Lopp, users encounter a lot of problems because of the existence of “hundreds of thousands” of different routers with different settings, which all have different levels of complexity when it comes to being set up.
In a solution-finding mission, Casa came up with a “universal plug and play” setting but that did little to help the issue. Lopp admitted that it “works in like less than 50 percent of cases,” meanwhile Tor, on the other hand, takes a different approach by simply routing around the problem totally.
It's not all rosy making use of Tor though, it has its downside:
“The only downside is you have to get a Tor browser,” Lopp noted, which he also agreed is not an easy process.
But taking into consideration what one stands to gain by using Tor, which is freedom from problems associated with a router’s port forwarding configuration, Lopp believes it's not such a tough decision to make.
“It’s easier to do that than going through all this networking complexity,” he added.