Node - this is any computer connected to the blockchain network. The nodes of a decentralized network are contacted via P2P protocols to exchange information about blocks and transactions.
А node can be used like a server for your applications. You are not dependent on an external service that can go down, or strictly limit the number of requests, like some APIs do. It gives you access to wallet-style functions, like sending сurrency , which a public API cannot provide.
Also, if you want to use a new currency that doesn't have any public block explorer API yet, you can simply run a node and create your own API by using JSON RPC commands on the node.
Node, depending on its type, stores only a part or all of the blockchain data.
Full node (We will talk about Bitcoin node)
A full node is computer that has the whole blockchain. Not only does it store a copy, but it can help other nodes to sync with it, relay transactions and blocks, and help connect other nodes to the network. A full node doesn't have to mine (create new blocks).
Recommended client: Bitcoin Core
Port to open: 8333
Disk space requirements: 200 GB
Masternode (We will talk about Dash node)
Masternode logicaly is a full node. But there are some special functions that these nodes perform:
- Increasing privacy of transactions
- Doing instant transactions
- Participating in governance and voting
- Enable budgeting and treasury system in cryptos
There are some requirements for masternode to exist and be a part of blockchain system :
- Masternode needs a minimum amount of coins of that particular crypto. (For DASH you need 1000 DASH units minimum ).
- Masternodes a VPS or server to host that wallet for 24 x 7
- Masternode needs a direct IP address for that.
- Masternode needs some HDD space to storage the blockchain.
Recommended client: Dash Core
Port to open: 9999
Disk space requirements: 8 GB
Supernode is a masternode what is running in NEM blockchain. You need to own 3,000,030 XEM to be a supernode program participant. Details here.
A light node is any computer with special software connected to the blockchain network. Light nodes do not store all the data from the block, but only block headers to authenticate the transactions they contain. Lite nodes depend on complete nodes and can be misleading, confirming transactions that contradict the consensus algorithm.
You can check World Full Nodes Map - https://bitnodes.earn.com/
Service helps you to choose the node. It provides information on daily and annual ROI, the price of launching the master node (the deposit to be frozen) and the number of nodes in the network. https://www.crypto-coinz.net/
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