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My understanding is that importing a blockchain backup with Monero and other cryptocurrencies takes about the same time it takes to sync normally. The only reason I could see for someone doing that, then, is if they have a high latency internet connection, or not much bandwidth.

Is that correct reasoning?

Will importing the .raw be quicker than syncing when running through Whonix/Tor? (I would just experiment, but I am having issues running monerod at the moment).

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It seems likely that this would be a good idea to import the raw file. Not only will this possibly be faster, but also avoid spamming the Tor nodes on your way with gigabytes of blocks.

One very large difference in running time when importing a raw file is whether verification is enabled or not. If you already have a raw file you know is good, you can disable verification. This is however not recommended if you've just downloaded that raw file from the internet.

Another note is that I think importing is done one block at a time, and syncing from the network has optimizations that allow up to 200 blocks to be processed at once, allowing some speedup over import speed.

In the end, if you already have the raw file and aren't particularly pressed for time, avoiding spamming the Tor network seems the best way to go.

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