Portal Network clients

There are multiple Portal Network clients being developed in parallel. Some of the most actively developed clients are: Trin, Ultralight, Fluffy and Shisui.

Why build four clients?

Client diversity is a major source of strength for Ethereum. It means that a bug, or an exploit in one client doesn't bring down the entire network, because the chance that the same problem is replicated in multiple independently developed clients is small. For Ethereum execution and consensus clients, a healthy diversity of clients has been challenging to achieve. Part of the reason for this is because there has long been a "main" execution client and others created later, but the network effects of the original client have been very difficult to overcome. The Portal Network developers are trying to frontrun this problem by having multiple independent clients right from the start.

It is also possible for clients to specialize as they develop, so they can serve slightly different sets of users. For example, one client might favour absolutely minimizing the hardware and computational requirements, while another might aim to be the most fully featured.

What do the clients do?

Portal clients are software that turn a computer into a Portal node. The client software allows a node to connect to other Portal nodes, forming a peer-to-peer network. Clients act as an interface to the network. They enable users to request data. A request passes across the network until it reaches a node that can serve the relevant response. In this way, Portal clients give people access to the Portal Network.

Because each node only stores a small amount of the total data, they do not require special hardware and do not consume much memory or CPU. However, in aggregate the network itself can store a huge volume of data, permanently in a decentralized way.

Which client should I use?

Whichever you like! However, you should know that all clients that are currently in development and have not had a production release. The whole network is currently experimental and is currently missing some data. That said, you are welcome to become an early adopter! pick a client, download and install, and start experimenting with us!

What are bridge nodes?

Bridge nodes are a special type of Portal Network node that grab information from Ethereum and push it into the Portal Network. Without bridge nodes, Portal Network would not have a connection to Ethereum, so it would not be able to provide up-to-date Ethereum data. Bridge nodes need a connection to an Ethereum full node.

More information

Explore the dedicated pages for each client: