I have port 8333 open with 8 outbound and 2 inbound connections.

Is my node transmitting and receiving transactions and blocks from both types of connections? Or does the "inbound" flag mean I am just downloading from that peer, and not sending any information back?

If, for the sake of saving RAM, I set maxconnections to 8, will they all be outbound? Even if port 8333 is open? In this configuration, is my node still "helping" the network?

  • 5
    To the best of my understanding: Inbound means the remote peer initiated the connection to you. Outbound means you made the connection to a remote peer. This is just diagnostic info and doesn't affect behavior. Transactions and blocks can flow in both directions with any peer - unless the peer has the relay bit set to off.
    – Nayuki
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 1:08
  • @NayukiMinase: Feel free to post that as an answer! :)
    – Murch
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 19:12
  • I feel that what I wrote doesn't provide objective evidence to support the statements, and I haven't answered all parts of the OP's question...
    – Nayuki
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


If your node initiated the connection, it's outbound, otherwise it's inbound. Nodes will send and receive data from both types of connections exactly the same way.

maxconnections sets a limit on the total number of connections, so if you set it to eight, your node will probably initiate connections to other eight nodes before any node can initiate a connection to it.

Keep in mind that according to this forum post, each open connection will take only a few kilobytes of RAM, so reducing the number of connections might not save all that much of memory.

EDIT: By running a full node that has no slots for incoming connections, you act as a leecher, and you do more bad than good for the Bitcoin network, as Gavin Andresen said on Reddit. You would help the network if you allowed a few inbound connections. As discussed earlier, that's unlikely to take up any significant amount of RAM.

  • 1
    By running a full node, you still help the network, even if your node has no slot for incoming connections. How? If nothing is using you're node as a trusted source of data, you're just relaying blocks and transactions. More peers, however, means more hops and more validation, which means slower propagation times for both transactions and blocks.
    – morsecoder
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 14:59
  • 1
    @StephenM347 you are correct. I did some extra research and confirmed what you said. Edited the answer, thanks. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 17:42
  • 3
    Why would you automatically be a leecher just because you don't accept inbound connections? Don't honest full nodes send and receive data regardless of who made the connection (outbound or inbound)?
    – B T
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 1:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.