A packet node is an unattended packet radio station running sophisticated software supporting functions such as multiple node routing protocols, BPQ Packet Switch, Net/Rom, and TheNet. Also, nodes may provide other services and functions: BBS, Bulletins, Store & Forward eMail, Winlink Gateways, APRS, DX Cluster, and many more as configured. Packet nodes linked together, by radio or by Internet, form a packet node network.
The G8BPQ packet switch software is the most sophisticated of programs readily and freely available. "BPQ", as it is known, is the operating software of choice for Emcomm allowing direct or store & forward messaging and Winlink connectivity. This advanced networking software interconnects multiple radio, telnet and Internet paths to ordinary packet radio stations. Some packet node stations are configured to be used as a digipeater and as well as a node.