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Syncthing can bounce traffic via a relay when it's not possible to establish a direct connection between two devices. There are a number of public relays available for this purpose. The advantage is that it makes a connection possible where it would otherwise not be; the downside is that the transfer rate is much lower than a direct connection would allow.

Relaying is enabled by default but will only be used if two devices are unable to communicate directly with each other. When connected via a relay, Syncthing will periodically retry a direct connection and, if one is established, stop communicating via the relay.

Configuring clients

Syncthing can be configured to use specific relay servers (exclusively of the public pool) by adding the required servers to the Sync Protocol Listen Address field, under Actions and Settings. The format is as follows:

relay://<host name|IP>[:port]/?id=<relay device ID>

For example:


The relay's device ID is output on start-up.


The connection between two devices is still end to end encrypted, the relay only retransmits the encrypted data much like a router. However, a device must register with a relay in order to be reachable over that relay, so the relay knows your IP and device ID. In that respect it is similar to a discovery server. The relay operator can see the amount of traffic flowing between devices.

Running Your Own Relay

See :ref:`strelaysrv`.