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I understand there is a difference between the two. But how can I tell?

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A full node is a node that validates all network rules, regardless of whether it listens for incoming connections or not. Bitcoin Core is full node software which always does this.

To see whether you can be reached by others, look at the network view and see if you have any incoming connections. Note that it may takes hours to days before your IP address is sufficiently well known to others on the network to make connections to you.

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  • Thank you. I marked it as 'answered' as you effectively answered my question. I do wonder though, how then does one run a 'listening node'. Is that even possible with Bitcoin Core? Jan 26 at 15:18
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    Bitcoin Core will listen for other connections, yes. Whether that works depends on whether you have a publicly-reachable IP (not behind a NAT, or a NAT that can be configured to forward), and whether connections can get through (e.g. firewall settings). Jan 26 at 15:22
  • Thanks again. One last question, is there any benefit of running a 'listening node'? I guess to explore transactions without the need to validate anything? Jan 26 at 16:18
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    Bitcoin Core always validates everything. Listening means that other nodes can connect to you. To explore transactions you need an explorer (software or website); Bitcoin Core doesn't offer this, but it is entirely independent from whether you accept connections from other nodes or not. All nodes learn everything. Jan 26 at 16:54
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    It functions as a wallet, it does not function as an explorer (in the sense that explorers allow you to quickly browse any transactions or address). In fact, it doesn't have any "address balance" functionality at all - it only offers a wallet balance, for your own wallet. It does offer fee estimation too. Jan 26 at 21:02

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