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As title says - thinking of running my own node on some dedicated ARM hardware I have.

I've read the docs and like the idea of non-reliance on 3rd party node operators to access the network.

To those who already operate node(s) - have you found any unexpected benefits from doing so?

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Running your own node can have several practical benefits:

  1. Fast and virtually free RPC access. Providers like Alchemy, Infura or Llama have an RPC call limit or charge per call which can quickly be exhausted if you have to do a lot of calls, running your own let's you make as many calls as you like for virtually free.
  2. Integrity of data. If you're running really critical infrastructure like an exchange you need to ensure that you have an accurate view of the chain. You can only guarantee this if you're verifying the state of the chain yourself. Relying on external providers leaves you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where an RPC provider could give you false data about the state of the chain.
  3. Running a validator. If you want to do home staking and participate in Ethereum consensus you'll need your own full node setup so you can track the chain and know what to attest to and when to build blocks.
  4. Censorship Resistance. Similar to data integrity if you're being censored, expect to be or interacting with on-chain applications that may be censored mainstream RPC providers may actually prevent you from correctly interacting with the chain. Only with your own full node can you guarantee unhampered interaction with the blockchain.
  5. Collecting Mem-pool data. Whether for research or different MEV strategies you might want to run a full-node so you can listen in and leverage transactions that are being gossiped across the network before having been confirmed. Trying to access mem-pool data via RPCs can be cumbersome to impossible and mem-pool data providers can charge a lot for their APIs.
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To those who already operate node(s) - have you found any unexpected benefits from doing so?

There are no benefits unless you are a software developer who needs its own node.

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