A decentralized internet is a good idea, because it takes power and control out of the hands of large corporations. While no single corporation currently “owns” the internet, the servers where websites and services are hosted — and the internet connection you use to access them — are owned by a relatively small number of companies. That means you are, by default, trusting the ethics and competency of those corporations. Decentralization removes their power, but requires a dispersed network of servers. The new NODE Mini Server V2 is designed to turn a Raspberry Pi into a hardware node to create that infrastructure, and you can build one yourself right now.
There are a lot of possible methods for constructing a decentralized internet, but the most practical way to do so with today’s technology is to disperse websites and services among thousands, or even millions, of individual servers spread out geographically. Those server nodes don’t need to be powerful, because the power comes from the network of many nodes. That means you can build a server node with inexpensive hardware, such as a Raspberry Pi. The NODE Mini Server V2 is intended to make that as easy as possible, and it’s completely open source so you can build or modify it however you like.
The NODE Mini Server V2 is built around the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, which is modified to remove the ports and slim it down. That’s sandwiched in a 3D-printed frame between two PCBs. The top PCB doesn’t have any connections, but is made from aluminum to improve heat dissipation. The bottom PCB acts as an adapter for the other components. The most important of those is a SATA hard drive (either SSD or HDD). There is also a software-controlled cooling fan, relocated USB, Ethernet, and power ports, and a relocated microSD card slot. This design keeps the NODE Mini Server V2 as compact as possible. After setting up the hardware, you can use the Raspberry Pi to run whatever decentralized applications you want — or just use it as a simple low-power server.