Home Server 1: Bitcoin Node Hardware Setup2022-09-21 01:31
I decided it was finally time to setup a Bitcoin node of my very own. I debated a long time about getting a Raspberry Pi or buying a NUC-like device. Finally, I decided to repurpose an old laptop I have, and I think that I made the right decision.
Initially I worried that the fan noise would annoy me or my wife (our router is in our bedroom). However, so far, the noise is minimal to non-existent. I suppose running a Bitcoin node is not a particularly taxing task. As I add more services to the device, I will see how it continues to fare.
The laptop I’m using is an Acer Aspire E5-575G that I ordered from Amazon 5 years ago. It’s CPU is an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz and it has 8GB of DDR4 RAM.
It has a 256GB SSD drive, which I replaced with a Western Digital 1TB SSD drive which I purhased from Walmart. One terabyte is already getting low for a Bitcoin full node + extra services (such as an Electrum server) so I will no doubt need to update that in the future.
I also opted to remove the battery. It probably wasn’t necessary, but the idea of leaving a laptop on, day and night, plugged in with a battery made me nervous.
Here are some useful tutorials:
When it comes to running a Bitcoin node, network connection is important. I have a gigabit fiber connection with AT&T, and my router is a TP-Link Archer AX73. This router is a beast for home internet use. I know you might think you need a $500 mega-low latency gaming router, but you don’t. However, if you’re using a default, ISP-provided router you definitely need to upgrade.
I used the default router for years and eventually I had about 15 devices on it, between computers, tablets, phones, smart switches, etc. AT&T only rated it for 10 devices and it showed. The internet connection would die constantly, videos would buffer, on and on. After updgrading to this router, we have had zero issues. There are now 20 devices connected and this thing still screams.
Initially I had this computer connected via WiFi so I could place it somewhere else in the house. As I mentioned previously, I was worried about fan noise. It did work, actually. The Bitcoin node fully synced in a very short time (maybe eight hours). However, I noticed lag while SSH’ing into the machine. Connecting via ethernet directly to the router resolved that issue. It’s not absolutely necessary to use ethernet, but I would suggest it.
It is currently tucked nearly underneath our dresser. I put a piece of electrical tape over the blue LED indicator and it is upside down for airlow.