Basics of getting started

I may have gotten off to a wrong start. I plugged my RP4 and 1tb flash drive into my Comcast device, which I think is a router and modem in one. I have had occasional power outages and have had to unplug and restart my Umbrel to see it on my LAN. I want to assign a static IP, but may also want to switch from Comcast to FIOS for internet, so have come to believe I need to buy a modem that will work with either one, and a separate router. Am I right?

I have other issues, such as not seeing any of the Ledger wallets as ones I can link my Umbrel to. Also, I’ve tried to install and use some of the apps (Nextcloud and photoPrism), and have not been able to get in once they’re installed. I’m asked for credentials, and when the ones I thought were right don’t work, there’s no “forgot password” or anything to be able to recover.

I don’t really want (at least for now) to run a Bitcoin node, just to be able to keep my data, photos, communications and crypto fully locked down and secure. I say that for this reason: I’m not (apparently) as tech-savvy as most of you good folks, so a non-technical reply that uses commonly understood words rather than ‘techie’ ones would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for helping!

Yanny. Wow, you’ve got a bunch of questions here.

  1. First, if you want a static address for your pi, call comcast customer support (tech). There is a “customer side” of the router that you can log into. It’s used precisely for things like this. They will help you set it up.
  2. If you switch out your modem for a FIOS one, tell the tech that you want the pi to be static and they can do that for you too.
  3. The only reason I can think of that you might consider a separate router is if you want to create a subnet that contains your pi. - That’s overkill IMO and definitely beyond your needs.
  4. Which Wallet? Best advice is to set up a completely different/separate wallet from your cold wallet. Online wallets can be hacked. cold wallets with online connectors can also be hacked. RTM, but I suggest something that contains full support on the LN side. Something like BlueWallet that has a phone and a LN Node app allows you to send BTC from your cold wallet to bluewallet, then share some BTC with the LN node to create channels.
  5. Apps. Each app will tell you how to get into them with the default PW. In some cases, it will also provide a default URL. When in doubt, uninstall the app. Each app also has either a github help/faq place (like this one) or a discord server (or both). Even the “how do i logon” type questions will be answered there.
  6. BTW, DON’T mix LN and any other non-LN apps on the same PI. Pi’s can be hacked. non-LN apps are hackable, perhaps more so than LN apps. The more non-LN apps you have the higher the probability that someone will find a backdoor into your LN-Node. If you are going to set up streaming, shared photos, etc, get another Pi. The only thing that should be on your LN node are LN specific apps and bitcoin core.

Hope that puts you on the path. I’m still learning, so if someone says I’m stupid. Consider their advice.

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Thanks hugely for the detailed reply. Just a few followup questions. Re wallets - I already have the Ledger Nano with Bitcoin and Etherium on it. Are you saying I can’t link it to Umbrel? I’m beginning to think I won’t, even if I can. I don’t want to be a miner, and don’t really even want to run a node.

I don’t know what RTM means. I guess LN refers to Lightening. I’m already able to transfer assets by sending directly from the Ledger to a private key using the Ledger Live app. So reading your reply again, it sounds like you’re saying that BlueWallet would be make transfers more secure by being kind of a traffic cop? Apparently lightening network is different and has other capabilities?

I have acquired a 5T ext drive that I connected directly to my PC, so maybe I’ll keep all the photos and things on it and keep the Umbrel dedicated to crypto.

Thanks again!

So, yes. Unless you have a couple PI’s you probably want this to be uniquely LN.
I did the same, I shared a very large drive on my mac-mini so all our backups, old files and pictures are on that drive.

Since LN is still in beta, you really don’t want your “real” wallet exposed to the system. While I haven’t heard directly about wallets being hacked, I think it’s prudent to keep them separate. So, Blue Wallet is a good choice. There are several youtubes that walk you through the process.
RTM - Read the Manual… (Sorry).
BTW, I use Trezors, so I’m not sure of the direct link capability for Ledger. In any case, I’d still use a separate wallet. - Transfer from ledger to blue (btc wallet) then to Blue (LN wallet linked to your LN). Again, youtube has all that.
Good luck.

Thanks! That’s hugely helpful!