Casa Node Update – April 19, 2019
We've got a huge update this week that's been in the works for a long time!
Tor support, improvements to the UI for use in mobile web browsers, new Connections screen, Lightning Channel backups, bug fixes, and more.
Note: After running this update, you may need to restart your node in order to access it again from your browser. Unplug/replug the node, wait a few minutes for it to fully boot up, then you should be good to go.
Tor - now on Casa Node
One of our most heavily requested features is now live: running your node on Tor. Many of our users may not be familiar with the Tor Network, so you can learn more in our Tor Support for Casa Node article.
Here's the quick rundown on benefits of using Tor with your Casa Node:
- Tor provides increased privacy when running your Bitcoin and Lightning node, so you don't have to provide your home IP address to other nodes as part of your connection code
- Enabling Tor and using a Tor browser allows you to securely access your Casa Node dashboard from outside your home network
- With Tor on, you don't have to worry about setting up port forwarding to allow others to open Lightning channels to you. Cheers to that one. 🍻
Not sure how to enable Tor on your Casa Node? Check out our Node Tutorial for Running Tor with Casa Node for help.
New Connections Screen
As part of the Tor update, we realized we needed a central place to handle all of your node's network connection info. We've moved all of the connection codes, IP addresses, and Tor toggles to the new Connections screen, which is accessed from the System card on your dashboard. Having all of the network settings in one place should make them much easier to find and adjust as necessary.
Mobile Web Updates
Now that you can access your dashboard outside your home network with Tor, we knew people would be using the Casa Node from their phone more often. We've gone through every screen and optimized it for mobile, so it's now easier to use your Node on the go (or from the couch when you don't want to get up and find your laptop - you know it's true!).
To help people recover their Lightning channel data in case of hard drive data loss, we added a backup feature to regularly backup the Casa Node's channel data to the SD card! This is a different solution than Lightning Labs static channel backups. We weren't sure when they would release, so we found a way to deliver this independent of their solution.
Now that LND v0.6 is officially released, we'll be transitioning to using the full static channel backup feature supported in Lightning. For now you'll get channel backups with our solution, and we plan to evaluate and update this further with v0.6 support in the next few weeks.
Other Changes and Bug Fixes
- We added an upper limit of 50 channels in the autopilot settings. We've found that 50-70 channels is the general range for optimal performance on the Casa Node. This won't affect already open channels, and doesn't affect custom channels.
- Moved seed phrase validation to one step earlier in the setup process, so we'll stop you from importing an invalid seed phrase earlier. We previously validated on the password screen, which was confusing.
- Bitcoin node incoming connections can now be forwarded through any port. If you aren't using Tor and already have a different Bitcoin node forwarded through port 8333 on your network, you can now forward the Casa Bitcoin Node through a different port.
- Fixed a bug where transaction history would only show the first 100 invoices. Power users rejoice!
- Fixed a bug where some pending and completed receive transactions wouldn't show in the transaction history.