Main net, Test net and Private net in Ethereum

The Ethereum is an open source technology and hence useful to many developers who are developing their applications on top of it. During the development, they need to test their product onto the Ethereum network. In order to do that, Ethereum is providing them three types of networks – Main net, Test net and Private net. So, the developers can easily test their applications on either of the networks they wish to.
You can connect to any of the Ethereum networks by using some of the wallets present like ‘MyEtherWallet’ or the ‘Metamask’ wallet.

Main net

The Main net is the actual Ethereum global network where all the “real-valued” things happen. And by real-valued I mean all the Ethers are real, and can be converted to any other cryptocurrency other the fiat money. The miners are also most active and are great in number as they get real ethers after mining the blocks.

How to connect to Main net via MyEtherWallet:
  •      Download MyEtherWallet from here
  •      Start MyEtherWallet
  •      Create account and start creating, sending and receiving cryptocurrencies

Test net

As the name suggests, the test net is the actual ethereum global network, only the difference is that, all the ethers and the cryptocurrencies aren’t real. They don’t have any real value and so cannot be traded against any real cryptocurrencies or fiat money. And hence, the miners are also comparatively less in number and are usually less active since the reward they get mining the blocks aren’t worth anything as such.

Ethereum available Test nets:

  •         Rinkeby (geth only)
  •         Ropsten (geth and Parity)
  •         Kovan (Parity only)
How to connect to Ethereum Rinkeby Test net:
  • Download MyEtherWallet from here
  • Download geth from here
  • Go to folder where you want to start your blockchain
  • Start command prompt there
  • Start another command prompt there
  • Start MyEtherWallet (ensure that it opens in rinkeby test net)
  • Create account and start creating, sending and receiving cryptocurrencies

Type command: geth --rinkeby --fast--cache=1024
Type command: geth --datadir=/.rinkeby attach

In order to use testnet and create your own cryptocurrency, you need to have some ether to your account. You can get this ether from some of the Ethereum test net Faucets.

How to get some Ether for your Rinkeby Test net:

  • Go to your Google+, Tweeter or Facebook account and make a public post/tweet with your Ethereum account address pasted into the contents (surrounding text doesn’t matter).
  • Copy-paste the post/tweet URL into the provided input box and get your ether.

Private net

As it says, this network is completely a private network which is only on your personal machine and is NOT connected to outer Ethereum network in any way. This is the best network for you if you have just started playing around with Ethereum. You do not need to have any real ether or request them from any faucet as you are the sole miner of your own private net.

Also, as this network rests only on your machine, you cannot send the ether or created cryptocurrencies to any other address other than your machine.

How to connect to Ethereum Rinkeby Test net:

  •       Download MyEtherWallet from here
  •       Download geth from here
  •       Go to folder where you want to start your blockchain
  •       Start command prompt there
  •       Start another command prompt there
  •       Start MyEtherWallet (ensure that it opens in rinkeby test net)
  •       Create account and start creating, sending and receiving cryptocurrencies
  •       To start mining:
  •       To start mining:
                                         i. Type command: mkdir chaindata
                                         ii. geth --datadir=./chaindata init genesis.json
                                         iii. geth --datadir=./chaindata --fast --cache=1024

Type command: geth attach
Type command: miner.start(3);
Type command: miner.stop(3);

In this way, you can connect to and use any of the above Test nets as you wish. So go ahead, start playing around with Ethereum networks, and create your own cryptocurrencies!


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