Running a Smart Node requires a stable internet connection and enough computing resources to run the software. Rather than having to buy a computer and dedicate it to running a Smart Node, a Node owner can rent a VPS (Virtual Private Server) as a computer to use.
A VPS is a virtual computer that people can rent for a fixed monthly price. A VPS provider takes a large, powerful computer and splits it into smaller less powerful virtual computers. People can customize their computer based on the needs of the node network.
It is often more cost effective to rent a VPS, rather than spending the money to buy a dedicated machine for each Smart Node. Pricing can vary based on provider, but a reputable provider can offer much better uptime than hosting at home. This is because there is a large infrastructure in place to keep the servers running, even through a power outage. Some Smart Node owners may have bad internet connection or inconsistent power, so using a VPS may be the best option for them.
If you choose to run your Switch Smart Node or Lite Node on a VPS you can find instructions on how to set it up correctly HERE for Block Fabric (formerly Node Engine).
To set up your Switch Node on Vultr, see this article.
For a quick video explanation: Click Here
For a quick video explanation of the difference between a VPS and Node Software: Click Here