If you have yet to know, check what is leasing and how it works.
Leasing to a node is a great way to help the community by helping securing the network, with as side bonus a way to earn LTO coins !
To do that you have to lease to a node. But how to choose which one ?
The best way to get informations on a node will be to go to their homepage. But to find them, your two best friends will be:
Each one will give you a different view on the nodes.
Now let's review what you need to pay attention to:
You first have to decide what is your goal with leasing. Do you wish to maximize your holding ? Or get a steady income ?
Once leased to a node, most will then make you a payout at a regular interval, which is great for those wishing a steady stream of LTO. There is great variation on the payment schedule between nodes, choose what suits you best: Weekly, Bi-weekly, monthly, ...
The transaction fee for the payout is paid by the node operator, so taking a node with a quicker payout isn't more costly for you.
On the other hand, some node will auto-compound all your rewards, allowing to maximize your earnings. You will get your earnings only when you request them. This is the best if you plan to hold your LTO for a longer period of time.
There is two downsize:
Nodes take a fee on the earnings to cover the cost of running it. Most will be between 1% to 5%.
While using a node with a 1% fee can be tempting, this is quite low and make it harder to cover the cost of running the node. Be careful to not end with a node closing its doors later on for a lack of incentive.
Check the kind of setup the server has, because a downtime due to hardware failure could cost you block rewards.
Public nodes should be installed on professional equipment with stable internet connection allowing an availability of 99.9% at least.
But some nodes could be scraping on the costs and run it on a home server with a regular internet connection. This could means downtime when a piece of hardware fail, when the server reboot (especially if it's a windows) or a electrical blackout or an internet connection disruption. Unless it's a friend of yours, avoid.
Nodes often have their own micro-community which you can also join. You do not have to, but it's a good practice to at least check it is healthy. A toxic community could be symptomatic of other problems.
A great node could also be running any kind of side events which can be interesting to join.
LTO should be a decentralized blockchain. This means in a perfect world, we should have a great number of nodes, each making up a little part of the lease.
Sadly we have numerous nodes making up nearly 10% of the network.
You can help the blockchain health by prioritizing leasing to small nodes instead of going to the big ones.
You will get this information on ltonod.es.
With ltonod.es you can check how a node behaved since its inception. Use it to check their graph and ensure the node does not have regular outage. Or if leasers aren't leaving the ship, which could be a bad flag.
You'll also know since how much time the node is running. While I would congratulate you to choose a new node, it's also more risky
While the list of things to check can be a little daunting at first, it's mostly because I tried to be exhaustive. Don't hesitate to ask around what other people thinks and you'll get a lot of answers.
Anyway, thanks you for helping the network by trying to lease.