The birth of the internet is one of the core pillars of The Information Age, acting as an instrumental tool in the spreading and consuming of knowledge worldwide. However, despite this, the flow of information and internet access is sadly not as borderless as we would hope. Thankfully, decentralized projects help to make the web more open and free, and one of the best ways to help support this goal is to learn how to set up a node on Mysterium Network.
Mysterium is an ecosystem dedicated to making the internet "blind to borders" by helping facilitate a decentralized and open-source network that allows for online information to pass worldwide without interference from governments or other organizations. The lynchpin of this project is its nodes, which are necessary for creating these conditions.
Alongside this, node runners can make money by helping maintain the network and aiding in the battle for an open internet. This is one of the main reasons why people should learn how to set up a node on Mysterium Network, as it can act as a simple way of earning a passive income. Doing this is a very straightforward and beginner-friendly process, taking approximately 10 minutes.
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Table of Contents
What is Mysterium Network?
Before I explore how to set up a node on Mysterium Network, it helps to understand what exactly Mysterium Network is. This is an anti-censorship blockchain-based network designed to make the internet more accessible on a global scale. The project uses cryptographic technology to create a pathway for people to use the web without having to worry about any organizations, nations, or corporations interfering.
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The main component that keeps this project operational is its nodes, referred to as MYST nodes (sharing the same name as the project's cryptocurrency). Each node helps make the network stronger by providing more access points globally, which further improves the speed, range, and quality of the system itself. For this reason, it is paramount that people learn how to set up a node on Mysterium Network, as this strengthens it.
Running a node is one of the main ways of learning how to use Mysterium Network and interacting with it. Although, it is not the only way. In fact, you do not need to run a node to partake in this project at all. It can also be used by individuals who simply want to access the web anonymously, but who are uninterested in contributing in such a serious way, or making money in the process.
What is Mysterium VPN?
Among the tools Mysterium offers within its network is its VPN. This is a Peer-to-Peer and open-source private network that lets users access the web via an encrypted channel. It was the first tool that Mysterium Network created, and earning rewards for keeping it operational is one of the major reasons to learn how to set up a node on Mysterium Network.
What separates Mysterium VPN from other traditional VPNs? The major difference is that it is a decentralized VPN. Typically, VPNs are managed centrally, with one organization overseeing and managing all the servers in its network.
While all VPNs are designed to hide and conceal your browsing data and traffic, when you use a centralized VPN, what you are actually doing is simply hiding your information from some parties, whilst sharing that information to the company that owns the VPN itself. This can be problematic as not all centralized VPNs have a good track record of keeping user data protected. Some of these organizations have been known to log their users' activity and turn over this data to law enforcement upon request, and even engage in the selling of user data.
Mysterium VPN bypasses these issues as it is a decentralized and trustless network, which means that users do not need to place their faith in the company to do no harm, they can simply rely upon the code and the decentralized infrastructure to act as expected. Not only this, but they can peek at the codebase themselves, as Mysterium is an open-source project. This offers a tremendous level of peace of mind.
The way Mysterium VPN works is by fostering a decentralized VPN network where user traffic is distributed across its ecosystem of nodes, creating a Peer-to-Peer method of accessing online content and information, without any of that data going through a centralized organization or intermediary. All the traffic is passed between the users and the nodes of members within the network itself, in anonymized and encrypted methods.
What are MYST Nodes?
To truly understand how to set up a Node on Mysterium Network, I need to delve into what exactly MYST nodes are. As mentioned earlier, they are devices that maintain the network and make it robust and accessible. However, this only scratches the surface.
MYST nodes work as anonymous access points to the web via a device’s IP address; the more nodes there are, and the broader the range of different IP address locations in the network, the more censorship-resistant it becomes.
MystNodes is a piece of software that can be downloaded onto your device, like a computer or Raspberry Pi, to provide a way for others to access the web safely and privately (such as through Mysterium VPN). Nodes are paid for the amount of traffic or bandwidth served through their device. Nodes earn passive income whenever they are accessed by users around the world and their traffic (measured in gigabytes) passes through it. This is how people make money within the ecosystem.
Most people have unlimited, or at least some bandwidth left over which they rarely ever take advantage of. It is hard to say how much, as this will depend on a person's internet service provider plan, and how demanding their online activities are. However, if you find yourself never running out of internet usage at your home, and it never slows down, then you likely have bandwidth limits that could be shared via your MYST Node.
The Mysterium node software operates on top of your internet-accessible device, providing decentralized VPN capabilities to the rest of the world. They act like miniature VPN servers, where users can connect and route their web traffic. This Peer-to-Peer functionality makes it more challenging fort centralized forces to shut down or prevent this flow of data. If you are still confused about MYST nodes, and you are more of a visual learner, then this video may help you to grasp it.
The Mysterium Cryptocurrency
A crucial factor in understanding MYST nodes is its cryptocurrency which bears the same name. MYST is a utility token that provides users with monetary incentives for hosting nodes within the network. This is the currency people are paid with in exchange for sharing their IP address in the network.
In other words, node runners receive rewards for keeping the network afloat. This works not only as a way of providing a passive income to the MystNodes community, but also as a way of ensuring that users configure their nodes correctly and appropriately so that they can keep receiving their rewards.
Closely tied to this are MYST’s staking capabilities. Node runners are able to stake their MYST and earn further rewards. These rewards are partially generated by the network fees that Mysterium VPN users pay to access the service. This is a great incentive for the community as it encourages each node runner to provide the best service possible so that more people join the network and use its services; thus generating more revenue.
With this in mind, let's now delve into the MystNodes setup process!
How to Set Up a Node on Mysterium Network
There is no doubt that some of you will be interested or intrigued by the idea of running a node on the Mysterium VPN network and helping to both make the ecosystem more robust, as well as earn rewards in the process. Luckily, learning how to set up a node on Mysterium Network is very straightforward, and requires minimal technical knowledge or experience. In other words, it has a low barrier of entry.
Step 1: Begin by setting up your host machine. To do this, you must install Mysterium’s node application. This is compatible with Windows, Mac, Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu, Debian, Docker, and many other operating systems. Start off by going to MystNodes and clicking Sign Up. After entering your email address and name (should you choose to enter your name), you will receive a confirmation email. Confirm it, and you will be verified.
Step 2: Head to the MyNodes tab on the MystNodes website. This will take you to a dashboard where you will eventually see details about your node, such as version, IP type, quality, earnings and other details. However, right now, it won't show anything, as no nodes have been set up just yet.
Step 3: Click on “Add New Node”. You will now be taken to a page that displays four installation options, all of which are compatible with Mysterium VPN. You can install your node on a desktop, data center, Raspberry Pi, or other devices such as an AVADO box, which is essentially a piece of hardware designed to connect to different blockchains. For this tutorial, I will be using a desktop to set up a node on Mysterium Network.
Step 4: Once clicking on “Desktop”, you must choose your operating system. I will be choosing Windows, but MacOS and Linux are also supported. You will then be prompted to begin the installation process. There are two ways to do this on Windows. One is via the Windows Installer, and the other is to use an application called Docker, which is a piece of software that essentially helps other software run efficiently. However, it is a little tricky to use for non-developers, so I will be using the Windows Installer.
Step 5: Download the installer and then run it. After clicking next, you will be given a terms of license agreement to sign. Choose a folder to install it on, and then after around a minute or less, the installer will finish.
Step 6: The installer will then ask if you would like to start the Mysterium node launcher with a check box. It is ticked by default. Leave it like this, as you will then be led to the launcher automatically. Depending on your firewall settings, you may get a prompt to approve Mysterium on your device. Simply click “Yes”.
Step 7: Doing this may instigate a second type of installation, which take a few seconds typically. Once that is done, you should see that your node is running, and so, you are ready to continue the process.
Step 8: From the Mysterium application, you should see a link that says “Node UI”. Click on this, and you should get directed to a localhost webpage on your browser. You will be continuing the setup process from here.
Step 9: On this page, you will see a button that says “Start Node Setup”. Click on this. You will be prompted to create a password. You will also be asked to connect your node to Mystnodes.com.
Here, you are being asked to enter your Mystnodes key, which is a special string of characters that is used to join your node to the network dashboard. Go to Mystnodes.com/me and go to the API details section and copy the key from there. Return to the localhost/create password page and enter that key into the box, along with your password.
Step 10: You will be prompted to enter a very small deposit fee to get your node running. This is $1.00, or 0.18 MYST tokens, and the payment can be made via PayPal or debit card, as well as crypto. This fee must be paid for every node that you set up in the Mysterium Network. It is used to cover the transaction cost of creating the smart contract that your Mysterium node will use.
Step 11: I will be using PayPal as my payment method. Confirm the payment, and then wait for the network to recognize and process your payment. This can take several minutes.
Step 12: Once it is confirmed, you now choose a withdrawal address. This is where your MYST tokens will get sent to. MYST was initially created on Ethereum, with an ERC20 token standard. Later, the MYST ERC20 version was deployed on Polygon. Currently, MYST withdrawal is only supported on the Polygon chain.
Do note that sending funds to a wallet incompatible with the Polygon could result in losing funds.
Step 13: I will be using MetaMask to handle my MYST wallet, via Ethereum. To correctly configure this, head to Mysterium’s page regarding payout information. Scroll down until you see a section called “Automatically add MYST token on the Polygon, Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain”. And then click on the corresponding link for Ethereum.
Step 14: This will open a page that will prompt you to add MYST to your MetaMask account. Click on the “Add to MetaMask” button and this will begin the process. However, for this to work, your account must currently be configured to the Ethereum Mainnet. If it is not, then you will be given a warning box and asked to reconfigure it.
Step 15: Assuming you run into this issue, this can easily be fixed by going to the dropdown at the top of the MetaMask extension and choosing “Ethereum mainnet”. Then, reload the link that prompted you to add MYST to your MetaMask, and try again. It is important to reload; otherwise, it will not work. A box will appear on MetaMask asking you to “Add Token”. Click this, and it is now done.
Step 16: After scrolling down on the main part of your MetaMask account, you should see a wallet for MYST. If you click on this and go to “Account Details”, you should be able to find your wallet address. This is the address you want to add to the “withdrawal address” section of the localhost page. Then press “Finish”.
Step 17: After you do this, you will be informed that your identity is being registered, and you will be asked to be patient. Once that is over, your node will be fully configured.
After this, all will be set up for you to earn passive income with Mysterium VPN.
Learning About Mysterium Earnings
This may seem like a lot of steps, but once you begin, you will find that these are all straightforward and require extremely low technical ability. Plus, it overall takes around ten minutes. The first thing people are likely interested in once they learn how to set up a node on Mysterium Network is finding out how earning MYST (Mysterium’s cryptocurrency) works. The process of receiving earnings is extremely easy, as you will receive payment to your withdrawal address.
However, the process of figuring out what your potential earnings could be is a little trickier, and requires some rudimentary calculations. Before jumping into this, it is important to understand that node runner earnings are directly related to the fees that users pay to receive Mysterium VPN’s service. But these fees are dynamically calculated.
This means that the VPN costs constantly fluctuate. It is essentially based on the supply and demand of the network, although there are some other important factors that play a role. Node location, quality, and whether the nodes available are residential or not will also affect the price. The basic calculation for determining this is: base price x load coefficiency (which basically just means how well the nodes are working together).
For the most part, as a node runner, you can ignore this calculation, but you should still keep it in mind because it helps to contextualize how Mysterium VPN arrives at its prices. The calculation that should be kept in mind, however, is the two numbers used for estimating potential earnings: price per hour, and price per GB.
This is best understood by running through an example. Imagine that the current price per hour is 0.0000850 MYST, and 0.1822181 MYST per GB, and that somebody decided to activate their Mysterium VPN for 1 hour, transmitting 1.5GB of data. The equation you would do to figure this out is: 0.0000850 (MYST per hour) x 1 + 1.5 (GB used) x 0.1822181 (MYST per GB) = 0.27341215 MYST.
That final number would be the amount that a Mysterium VPN node runner would make for that type of session. It is a good idea to play around with these figures so that you can get a feel for the type of earnings that are possible. Along with this, you can look at the historical data regarding MYST's price, which will help to calculate how much earnings can be in relation to fiat. This information is likely to be found on the project's Twitter and Discord.
How Much Can You Earn as a MYST Node Runner?
To get an idea of how much Mysterium cryptocurrency/MYST people are making, head over to the Mystnodes leaderboard, where the website publishes an automatically updated list of the top 100 highest-earning node runners. This list shows not only the potential for profits, but also the fact that the ecosystem is very much alive and kicking.
Taking a look now, I can see that the highest earner in the last 30 days is from Australia, making 302 MYST and transferring 4.93 TB of data. This is a huge feat. The second highest is a US resident who has earned 246 MYST and transferred 0.87 TB. Taking third place is somebody from New Zealand who earned 229 MYST and transferred 3.88 TB.
If you would like to see global stats, rather than individual stats, head over to Mysterium's Grafana page. This shows that the US and the UK are the two highest-earning countries within Mysterium's ecosystem, making 48,935 MYST and 26,596 MYST, respectively. Here, you can also see the daily traffic that Mysterium VPN experiences, which often hovers around 40 TB.
Additionally, you can find who the main providers are around the world, and find out which countries have learned how to set up a Mysterium node the most. This is important because, if you belong to a country that does not provide much to the Mysterium Network, then your contributions would not only be extremely useful for the ecosystem, but you could earn more in the process.
However, even if you want to run a node in a country that does actively utilize the network, there will still be some ways where you could earn more. For starters, residential IPs are more valuable to the network and therefore yield higher rewards. This is because they are typically offered by real people (rather than businesses), and in many cases, are LAN-connected devices that can offer fast and stable connections. They are preferred over data centers, although they, too, can be used to set up a node on Mysterium Network.
Do not let this dissuade you if you were planning to use a data center. If one of these is all you can access at the moment, then it is still worth setting up a node, as it is quick to do, and it will still yield a passive income. Not only this, but the more nodes that exist around the world, the stronger the network is, which further encourages more consumers to use it. The result of that is more money and rewards overall due to a larger user base.
Mysterium is pushing the boundaries of decentralization by creating a system that allows people to access the web in a secure and anonymous manner without the need for a centralized structure. It is a distributed ecosystem designed to make the web a more interconnected and Peer-to-Peer place, with a clear inclination towards a borderless and open internet.
In this tutorial, we have learned about what Mysterium VPN is, what MYST nodes are, how Mysterium is safe, how to use Mysterium, how to set up a node on Mysterium Network, and even how to calculate potential rewards. As you can likely see, this is a robust and highly capable service, designed to bring Web3 technologies to the globe and shake up the traditional VPN industry.
The project's desire to cater to novices in the crypto and blockchain space is extremely admirable, as this allows newcomers to not only buy decentralized VPN access from them with ease, but also set up their own nodes and begin earning without any complex methodologies. In a period of time where the whole industry is trying to entice beginners to get involved, Mysterium VPN has achieved something truly spectacular in how streamlined it is.
It is hard to say how Mysterium will develop and grow in the future, but for anybody who wants to be a part of that journey, the act of setting up a node is extremely easy and straightforward. This is a project that has been built with simplicity, community, and rewards in mind, making it perfect for anybody who supports a borderless internet, but also wants to earn some cash as they do so.