Snowflake is a browser extension maintained by the Tor Project. It allows individuals to help users in censored countries access the Tor network. If you choose to enable the extension in your browser, other users will be able to use your Internet connection to access the Internet via the Tor network.
Who should run Snowflake?
Users who want to help other users circumvent Internet censorship by accessing the Tor network.
How do I enable Snowflake?
Simply click the Volunteer to help others connect to the Tor network option in
Alternatively, you can manually install the extension from the Chrome Web Store.
How do I know it’s working?
Once enabled, you will see a snowflake icon in the extension menu, either green (currently in use) or purple (idle):
If you click the icon, you can see recent statistics such as these:
How do I disable or remove Snowflake?
You can disable the
Volunteer to help others connect to the Tor network option at any time in
brave://settings/privacyand you can remove the extension at any time from the
brave://extensions menu by clicking the
As soon as you have disabled this option or removed the extension, other users will no longer be able to access the Tor network using your Internet connection.
Are there any risks to enabling Snowflake?
Neither Brave nor the Tor Project are aware of any serious risks associated with installing the Snowflake extension. Your IP address will not be published anywhere, and it will only be used to connect people to your computer in order to access the Tor network.
In addition, your computer will not be connecting directly to websites on behalf of someone else. Instead, your computer will be passing encrypted messages between the connected users and other computers on the Tor network.
The extension does not log the identity of users who have used your connection. Only aggregate statistics are visible in the extension panel.
Who should not run Snowflake?
You should not enable this option if you:
- Live in a country where Tor is blocked or censorship circumvention is illegal
- Are using a shared computer (such as at your place of work, unless you have your employer’s permission)
- Have a small data plan or a slow Internet connection
If you do live in a censored country, then instead of running the Snowflake extension, connect to the Tor network using a bridge.
What data will be shared with the Tor Project?
Only technical information necessary to enable the Tor Project to connect another user to your computer will be shared with the service run by the Tor Project. Such information, which includes your IP address, will also be used to connect other users to the Tor network using your Internet connection. None of this information is retained, but it is used to generate the aggregate statistics that can be seen here: https://metrics.torproject.org/collector/recent/snowflakes/