Testnets (from the words test- and nets-, networks) are the way we at Desmos use to test all the features our blockchain should have before launching it publicly.
In other words, they are the playground that you can use to start learning about Desmos, its features and how you can use them to create your own decentralized social networks.
There are two different types of testnets:
- Public testnets
- Local testnets
Public testnets existing only one at a time, and are a preview of what the Desmos mainnet will actually be.
Testnet's validators are publicly known and developers from all the world can write and read transactions from them.
Public testnets are, in short, the real playground on which you can test the integration of your app (or your validator's setup) without worrying too much about security, but being sure to always be up to date with the latest stable changes.
If you want to know more about how to join the currently running public testnet, please refer to the Join the public testnet page.
Local testnets exist only on the machine that is used to running it. This means that none, except you, can actually access the data you store.
Local testnets are perfect if you want to quickly setup a Desmos blockchain instance without worrying too much about setting up a public validator machine.
They also might be particularly useful to developers that do not want to write on the public net but want first to try out their app's integration locally to make sure everything works properly.
If you want to know more about how creating a local testnet, please refer to the Create a local testnet page.