Introduction to Node Running
Nodes are devices, such as a Raspberry Pi or computer, which help power and maintain our distributed network. Nodes replace the traditional role of a server.
Most of the internet you pay for goes to waste, sitting idle or completely unused. Peers within a distributed network like ours can easily share these excess internet resources with each other, such as storage, computing power, bandwidth and IP addresses.
Any user of the network can pay to connect to your node, providing them with a VPN service, access to the open internet and a secure line of communication.
You can run Mysterium's node software on Mac, Linux, Windows, DAppNode, AVADO and Raspberry Pi.
How do I run a Mysterium Node?
Follow our guides for different devices under the "For Node Runners" section.
You can also visit our tutorials playlist on YouTube.
If you’re running an exit node for the first time, you can read our guidance page to understand your risks and liability
What is MystNodes.com?
This is where all the magic happens. Through your personal MystNodes.com dashboard, you can create a node runner account, connect your node to your IP address ("claim it"), access your node’s information, track your performance, and see your monthly earnings.
Create an account at MystNodes.com
How can I get support as a node?
There are plenty of ways to get support:
2. Through our Discord server at https://discord.com/invite/n3vtSwc
3. Through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Through Intercom chat on our website
How do we protect node runners?
We have a whitelisting option available which we recommend to nodes from certain regions (e.g. UK, US, DE) who would like extra protection. This function was built by Mysterium that only allows pre-approved traffic from “known” sources to pass through your node. This means you’ll have no problems if someone tries to do anything illegal, because they will not be able to. However, this setting may result in lower earnings.
There are some countries that restrict internet access to their citizens. Your residential IP will open borders for those connecting to them. People will be able to unlock streaming services based on your region and other blocked content.
Exit node guidance
There is always some risk when running a node, as is the case with Tor, which has been around for 10 years. You can enable whitelisted traffic and there will be no chance for someone to do anything illegal (like torrenting, accessing illegal websites, etc.) but in some regions you’ll not have any issue if someone accesses torrent websites. If you don’t select the whitelisting option, you increase your risk factor but with it, significantly increase your earning potential.
Please make sure you’re up to date with the regulations in your country.
For those who have a greater technological understanding of how to run an exit node safely and protect the privacy of their node running activities from ISPs, this will be a viable option. Please read our guide on running an exit node.
For everyday users, it’s best to select the whitelisting option.
Relay nodes/multi-hops and traffic slicing (coming soon)
At the moment, all nodes are being tested as exit nodes. This is where the whitelisting option comes into play. We will soon add relay nodes with a traffic slicing option. This will allow nodes to only accept traffic from certain domains they choose, such as blogging, social media or streaming sites (ie. Netflix).
This preselected (whitelisted) traffic would run through the node, while unwanted traffic would be forwarded to the Tor network, or risk-tolerant exit nodes (eg. hosted in data centers). This will protect nodes and also provide the possibility to unblock geo-blocked content (which is not available for datacenter nodes).
We are working on making this feature user friendly and globally accessible. Without client-side traffic slicing (sending only selected traffic such as Netflix via VPN) or relay nodes (a.k.a. multi-hops), using whitelisted nodes may cause additional usability problems. For example, if someone is in Iran, connects to a node which has whitelisted only streaming services, but they want to read Wikipedia, they would not get access.
What fees do node runners pay?
The network takes a 20% service fee. This is the only fee charged by Mysterium, which is used to continue building, maintaining and improving the service.
It’s purpose is similar to other peer-to-peer platforms, like Uber or AirBnB. However, in this case it’s our smart-contract automating the pay outs and fees.
Without a percentage cut, the node network must maintained by a team voluntarily (for free), which means quality would go down and general network growth very slow.
During the BETA period of our Tokenomics 2.0, network fees are being distributed as rewards to MYST token holders who stake in the Mysterium Delegation Pool. You can learn more about that here.
Note that you will also pay blockchain transaction fees when you withdraw your earnings “on-chain”, though if you do this using a Layer 2 such as Polygon, you should only pay very little (cents at a time).
How can I maximise my earning potential?
1. Don’t enable the only “whitelisted traffic option” if you’re not based in the following countries: Canada, U.S., UK, Italy, Australia, Germany or India.
2. Have a strong and stable internet connection.
3. Run your node 24/7; some user sessions can be very long and if you are disconnected from a client, they will be reconnected to a more competitive node, which means losing that client.
4. Double-check your configuration and ensure users can access your node.
5. When users have discovered your node, bookmark it as a favourite.
Note that prices will be set based on a supply and demand algorithm for each region. The algorithm will assess the node type, which considers factors such as region, IP location (residential / non-residential), and quality.
It could be compared to Uber’s surge pricing, where demand determines price based on the availability of the network.
Note that Mysterium isn’t particularly demanding of your CPU, it cares more about bandwidth. If you’re not getting traffic, it could be because your node is poorly configured E.g. Your router is blocking Mysterium traffic, which you’ll need to correct by downloading the Mysterium VPN app and checking the connection.