There is always a growing need for more bitcoin network nodes. Every node helps decentralize the popular cryptocurrency, while also forming a bridge with other nodes to relay transactions. Over the years, it has become a lot easier to run a node using a cheaper and smaller device than ever before. Anyone who has ever considered running a bitcoin network node needs about US$200 in cash – or less – to get started, even though more expensive solutions exist as well.
#3 Synology Disk Station
Everyone who owns a NAS will know the name Synology, even when they are running a different type of server at home. Synology offers a wide variety of apps users can install, including a Bitcoin node option. Although this is only applicable to running a Bitcoin Classic node right now, it is a groundbreaking development. Most people’s NAS is running without a real purpose most of the time, so you might as well put it to good use.
This feature is made possible thanks to the integration of Docker, which brings a lot of new applications and tools to the world of Synology NAS owners. A dedicated “bitcoinclassic” package can be found through the Docker search, and users will be up and running within a few minutes. Users can even define the CPU priority for the node, so it won’t interfere with whatever else the server is being used for.
#2 Cheap Intel NUC
Smaller computers are becoming very common these days. Considering how the smaller devices – such as the line of Intel NUCs – are getting a lot more powerful, one can be used as a bitcoin node solution without any problems whatsoever. Albeit NUCs are not necessarily the cheapest solution to use just as a bitcoin node, it is more than capable of handling the load even while it is being used for other purposes.
One Reddit user posted a cheap configuration for such an Intel NUC, which would set users back about US$285 to get up and running. Do keep in mind choosing the Linux operating system is advised in this regard, as it is free and of charge. The same Reddit user advises others to stick with Ubuntu 14.04, as there have been some issues with version 16.
#1 Raspberry Pi
While most people use the Raspberry Pi as a HTPC device, it is more than capable of running a bitcoin node. To be more precise, the second and third generation of the Pi can do so, albeit one will need to find a storage solution for the ever-growing blockchain. Using an SD card is not advised in this regard, and a USB-connected hard drive or flash drive is a better solution.
There even is a dedicated bitcoin node project for the Raspberry Pi, which will get users up and running in no time. Raspnode is a project well worth checking out, as it extends to Litecoin and Ethereum as well. The Raspnode guide should help people on their way, as it involves installing the Raspbian operating system. For most people, the whole process shouldn’t take all that long, depending on how fast they can download the blockchain. A very straightforward process, and by far one of the cheapest bitcoin node solutions.
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