What is Relay?

In computer networks, Relay is a type of network device or node used to forward data packets from one network to another. Relays are commonly used to connect different networks, acting as a medium for data transmission, allowing data to communicate and exchange between different networks.

The primary function of a relay is to receive data packets from one network and then forward them to another network, achieving data transmission between networks. Relay nodes are usually located at the edge of networks, acting as bridges connecting different networks. They are capable of understanding and forwarding network packets but do not modify or process the data.

Relays play an important role in network communication, especially when building complex network topologies or connecting different types of networks. They can help data traverse different networks, achieving cross-network communication and interconnectivity. In some special cases, relays may also be used for the control, regulation, and monitoring of network traffic.

On Nostr, there is no centralized server that would contain all user data. Instead, there are relays – servers that anyone can set up and start operating. You don't have to run your own relay – you can connect to other public relays and participate on Nostr that way.

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