BTC: is a Public Server or Private Electrum safer?

Hello, first thing to say is that I am brand new to running Umbrel and a Bitcoin node on a Raspberry Pi 4.

I finally managed to connect my Sparrow wallet after stumbling on the fact that I had to install Elects. I have a blue button in the Sparrow confirming that it is connected to my private electrum server and have sent and received a few sats!!! (Major victory, I almost gave up and used a Public server)

This brings me to a question or two:

  • What happens to my bitcoin if my Pi setup gets stolen? I do know that the BTC is on the blockchain, but how would I access it without the Pi and my node?

  • My son tells me that it is dangerous to run a node and opens my network as a potential target. I’ve never really worried about this before, I run Norton and always use a VPN, Tor is new to me. How do best I protect my network? And what exactly makes Umbrel secure?

Please excuse the very basic questions, I’ve not found a straightforward answer from hundreds of searches and I hoped that someone here could explain to me like I’m 5.

Hi @Memeoline,

Sure thing- it’s great to have you with us!

  1. Your password (and hopefully 2FA, which can be enabled from settings) prevent unauthorised access to your Pi locally.
    On the bitcoin side, make sure you write-down your seed phrase that’s given to you by Sparrow (or the lightning app on Umbrel)- this is how you can access your bitcoin if there are any issues with your Pi/node. KEEP THIS SEED PHRASE SAFE AND DO NOT SHARE WITH ANYONE

  2. 100% the safest way to hold your bitcoin is offline- generally with a hardware wallet. However, we take a lot of steps at Umbrel to keep your home server and bitcoin secure. Without any extra configuration, you can only access your Umbrel locally or via encrypted remote access with Tor, so no need to run it behind a VPN to prevent public access. You can read our security disclosure here:

Let me know if you have any further questions :slight_smile: