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Over the last few years, the Tor Project has developed a new Tor Hidden Services protocol. It has a few improvements over the previous version, including better cryptography using SHA3 and ed25519.

We've added a new Tor Hidden Service address to our instructions for connecting to freenode via Tor that uses the new protocol. The new address is

ajnvpgl6prmkb7yktvue6im5wiedlz2w32uhcwaamdiecdrfpwwgnlqd.onion

If you're using a recent version of Tor (0.3.5 or newer) to connect to freenode, you should be able to use the new service by changing from the old address to the new one in your client configuration. The old address will continue to work for the forseeable future, but is likely to be deprecated eventually as the Tor ecosystem changes.