Quick Tor Setup

Use the Tor network to make your node reachable behind your home router or firewall.

In order to automatically accept incoming channels, your node needs to be reachable. This can be done via IPv4/6 or via Tor. The Tor Network is a global volunteer-run proxy network. Inside of the Tor Network, services are identified using their public keys and the postfix .onion.

LND can be easily configured to be reachable over the Tor network. Typically, Lightning nodes set up through a software bundle such as Umbrel, RaspiBlitz or myNode are set up through Tor by default. In these situations, the first paragraph might help understand the implications of such a setup, while the actual configuration might differ from the one below.

Why Tor

If you want to connect to other Lightning nodes using Tor, you will need to enable the Tor proxy on your node as well. You will still be able to connect to non-Tor nodes with this setup.

If you are behind Network Address Translation (NAT), you may find it difficult or impossible to configure port forwarding on IPv4, while IPv6 may not be available or appropriately configured on all networks. In these situations,Tor may be the only way to make your node reachable to others.

Configuring Tor is useful if you prefer to not publicly disclose the physical location of your node, particularly in the context of a node in your home or office. While it may be trivial to assess the physical location of a device reachable via IPv4/6, this is more difficult.

Starting with lnd 0.14.0 it is possible to configure LND in a way that lets you be reachable via IPv4/6 while also reaching Tor nodes. See hybrid mode for details.

Your node on Tor: Can reach all nodes, but only reachable by Tor nodes. Recommended if you are behind a NAT and do not want to disclose the IP address of your node.

Your node on IPv4/6: Can only reach IPv4/6 nodes, but reachable by all nodes.

Your node in hybrid mode: Can reach all nodes, be reachable by all nodes. Recommended if you are behind a NAT but do not want to connect to clearnet nodes through the Tor network, or if you want to be able to connect outwards to other Tor nodes. In hybrid mode you can be reachable through an IP, an onion address or both.

Configuring Tor

First, we will need to install Tor. You can find the installation instructions here. The Tor SOCKS proxy used by LND will be running by default. Alternatively, you can configure it in the Tor configuration file, typically found in /etc/tor/torrc

Set the Tor proxy

Next we will need to instruct LND to make use of the Tor proxy. In your lnd.conf file, amend the following line:


If you are bootstrapping your node over Tor, you will also need to specify a Tor DNS service. A default service will be used if you do not specify this option.


Optionally, you may specify your socks proxy with the following command:


This command enables Tor stream isolation, meaning each connection will use a separate Tor circuit. This can prevent other Tor traffic from being mixed with LND’s Tor traffic. Set this option to false if you have a lot of channels or prefer your channels to go online quickly, rather than privately.


If we now restart LND, we are now able to reach out to Lightning nodes in the Tor network as well as all other reachable nodes.

Hybrid mode

Starting with lnd 0.14.0 it is possible to run your node in hybrid mode. This means your node will make connections to nodes behind Tor using the Tor network, and all nodes reachable through an IPv4 or IPv6 address directly.

Hybrid mode is recommended for all nodes that want to be reachable primarily through their IP, but also want to be able to reach out to nodes only reachable only over Tor. Hybrid mode is not a privacy tool.

To set up hybrid mode, install Tor and configure it as explained above. Then add the following line to your configuration file:


Your node is now able to reach both clearnet and Tor nodes. You may skip the steps below and restart LND, or you may continue below to make your node reachable through an onion URI. This can be done in addition to a clearnet URI.

Create a Tor hidden service

To make our node reachable over Tor, we will need to configure a Tor hidden service. This will trigger LND to generate a .onion hostname and announce it to the network.

The best way to do this is to enable the Tor control port. In your Tor configuration file (etc/tor/torrc), find the line ControlPort 9051 and ‘uncomment’ it, e.g. remove all leading pound symbols (#).

Now we will need to create a good password. Make it long and unique, for example using a password manager. Add this password to your LND configuration file as follows:


You will be able to obtain the hash of this password with the command

tor --hash-password dontusethisyouwillbehacked

It will look something like this:


We will need to add this hashed password in our torrc file under ControlPort, e.g.:

HashedControlPassword 16:2BE4E06082494B84607C7C2264E8EFFC4600DE2A28DFE5142519FF87AF

We will specify that we want LND to create a Tor version 3 (secure) hidden service by adding the following to our lnd.conf:


Optionally we may also specify the IP and port of Tor and LND, as well as the paths to the generated keys. By default the keys will be placed in your ~/.lnd folder.

tor.control=localhost:9051 tor.targetipaddress= tor.privatekeypath=/path/to/torkey tor.watchtowerkeypath=/other/path/

If you are running LND in hybrid mode and want your node to also be reachable through a clearnet address don't forget to add the following line to your lnd.conf file:

externalip=<your IP here>

Last updated