Monero remote nodes are often asked about and searched for by users. This is because using a Monero wallet requires connecting to a fully-synced blockchain node - you need the blockchain to detect incoming transactions (receives) and to broadcast outgoing transactions (sends). Remote nodes are Monero blockchains that anyone on the internet can connect to.
Why use a remote node at all? Wouldn't the simplest solution be running your own local Monero node?
Yes, but running a fully-synced Monero node requires a large amount of resources - over 70 gigabytes of disk and a good amount of processor.
It would be ideal if you could run a Monero node only when you wanted to send cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, if you disable the node it can take a long time to sync the blockchain when it's re-enabled - often hours or days. If you want to send and receive Monero, you effectively need the daemon running 24/7.
The Monero GUI client recognizes that remote nodes can be convenient, and has a UI section that allows you to enter an address and port. However, there is an interesting message displayed right above the widget:
The key part is, "Please ensure the node is run by a trusted third-party."
If you care about the privacy and safety of your Monero, alarm bells should be ringing in your head!
Monero Remote Node Risk
Connecting to some random Monero remote node is risky:
- Remote node operators know your IP address. If needed, they can trace transactions back to you personally.
- There is a known attack vector where remote nodes can trace your specific transactions.
- Even if you mitigate the attack, they can tie mixins directly to you, which could be logged and analyzed later if needed.
- Wallets that connect to remote services have a history of becoming compromised. An Electrum wallet remote node attack stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from normal users.
- Running a remote node costs money. Not everyone running a remote node is charitable - likely many remote nodes are honey-pots collecting information on Monero users and transactions.
Even if you don't care about privacy, a hacker could find a bug in the remote-node protocol and steal your funds when you connect your wallet to it. The risks are quite large, which is why numerous warnings are shown on the MoneroWorld node list, such as "Public nodes should be considered a last resort if you can't get your own node working."
Solution - Run Your Own Monero Node
If you are serious about Monero, for safety and security you should run your own node. iCryptoNode is a small computer (called a "Raspberry Pi") that you can always leave running without taxing your laptop or PC.
iCryptoNode stays permanently connected to the Monero blockchain and is always available when you need it. It also includes anonymous VPN support to protect your transactions from being traced. It's a small black box, and you can put it anywhere in your house that has Wifi signal.
The bottom line is, while running your own Monero node takes effort, inexpensive solutions exist to make it easy.
Cryptocurrency is about decentralization - the network is there for everyone to join. Consider running your own node and avoid centralized services like remote nodes. Your own Monero node makes the network stronger and your coins safer.