A Beginner’s Guide To Helium Miner

With the passage of time, wireless technology has become more advanced then ever before. Ever since wireless technology first came into existence, a growing number of products and gadgets still continue to implement it, especially when it comes to smartphones which have many different bands for wireless networks such as WIFI, Bluetooth, 5G, NFC and even charging.

At this time, as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have become popular, it seems that wireless technology has also managed to carve a path into the crypto space through the likes of Helium/Hotspot mining. In this guide, we will learn about what helium mining is, how it works and what you can expect from it if you spend time on it.

What are Hotspots?

In very basic terms, a Hotspot is a piece of hardware that utilizes the power of radio to conduct Helium network minting and gives out Helium network tokens for those who participate. More on the Helium network in the next section. The mining process proves authenticity of transactions performed on blockchain networks, for example Ethereum.

Mining can basically farm cryptocurrencies using computer hardware including personal computers, using specific mining rigs commonly called as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and even modern smartphones.

All these computers can be noted as nodes that contribute to a whole network, but what separates Helium mining from traditional mining is that through Hotspots, mining can be done wirelessly, basically deeming different wireless hotspots as nodes on a network.

Now that we have understood about Hotspots, let’s move towards learning more about the helium network.

About the Helium Network

The Helium network consists of an entire Hotspot network that provides wireless capabilities to devices that are based on the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s great about it is that the scale of this functionality spreads across the whole world and can be used anyone around the world. The way that these devices connect to each other is through the Long-Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) technology.

Any device that is supported can be used to establish a connection and exchange data, and in some cases, even devices in your home like smart bells, alarms and door locks have potential.

Different devices can establish a connection thus allowing them to share data and resources, basically providing a range connection that is considered far superior to the very popular WIFI.

The Helium network is also connected to its very own Helium blockchain that was specifically designed and made to promote the concept of decentralized wireless networking.

Not only does this concept bring a completely new way of working, but it also allows anyone earn something out of it. Any person interested can utilize a hotspot in order to make and work on their very own wireless network via Helium.

Due to the nature of Hotspot devices being trivial to set up, its properties contribute towards its superiority over WIFI.

Miners that utilize Hotspots are generally focused on developing the People’s Network, which is basically a very large network that gives resources to different IoT devices and in return receives the native Helium network tokens (HNT).

The good thing about this entire idea is that the levels of power consumption depend upon the device being used, meaning that both low powered and high-powered devices can join the network, thus making it an attractive and efficient option for those having concerns over energy usage.

As of today, Hotspots are available from many third-party manufacturers, making them easily accessible.

The main algorithm utilized by the Helium Blockchain is the Proof-of-Coverage (PoC), which helps to figure out and verify the operating nodes, pickup their exact location and the amount of wireless coverage coming from them.

As mentioned before, this type of mining requires radio waves, and the subsequent hotspots are given out their share for their contribution in solving different Proof-of-Coverage problems and exchanging data.

The current most popular utility for analyzing data connected to the algorithm is known as the Helium network explorer. Many will question why anyone would go with Helium over other established internet service providers?

Since Helium is powered by blockchain, it has a way higher level of security because of complete encryption, while also being much cheaper, enabling miners to gain a massive earning source.

Additional reasons might be the exclusion of other extra costs such as SIM cards and data consumption, as users are charged with only what data they have used to establish connections via the Helium console. More on the Helium console later.

About Helium Miner

Miners interested in Helium utilize Hotspots to contribute wireless network coverage. How users can become Helium miners is that firstly, they will have to get their hands or built a WHIP-compliant Hotspot, then they will have to stake on a token submission in consonant with the number of different miners that are located in the vicinity.

Taking about WHIP, it is basically a type of protocol that is utilized by Helium which hosts a combination of several contributors instead of a single one, providing features like bi-directional data exchange among wireless tech and the internet.

Applications that purchase encrypted data, named routers from miners must confirm to the Hotspots the data was successfully transferred to the correct point so the miners involved can be rewarded accordingly.

There are also different types of Hotspots which will be discussed in the coming sections.

Working of Helium Mining

Compared to traditional computer hardware such as ASICs, Helium mining is done through Radio waves and fusing it with blockchain technology gives birth to a strong wireless network which is not only more secure, but also consistent in comparison to networks that already exist.

The hotspots are used to contribute coverage by utilizing hardware, specifically LoRaWAN transmitters.

Performing mining and growing the People’s Network gives miners the opportunity to get their hands on HNT tokens. The number of tokens received is directly proportional to the level of data they exchange. The network has an automated system that randomly delivers PoC testing in order to confirm where Hotspots are present.

Validators give out problems or objectives, mainly called beacons to hotspots so that they can exchange it with neighboring hotspots and contribute in the PoC process. A minor problem with this process is that miners having very less, or no neighbors are not rewarded as much compared to those hotspots boasting many neighbors.

Furthermore, every single working device requires data credits (DCs) in order to deliver data onto the internet. Data credits are made through HNT burning and perform a burn and mint equilibrium (BME) that effects the complete HNT token supply.

BME is generally considered a concept of charging, however instead of straight payments to an entity, token burning is required.

Establishing a Helium Miner

To make a Helium miner there are 7 primary pieces of equipment required, however we will only be focusing on a Helium miner made through the use of the Helium application. The required things are as follows:

  • Hotspot Miner
  • Antenna (with location)
  • Wires
  • Smartphone
  • Router
  • Internet Connection
  • Ethernet (preferred but optional)

Now that these are collected. We must see how it all works out. It is recommended to keep all this setup indoors, because it is much secure, cost efficient and requires minimal wiring, but if you do not have much space inside, then an outdoor setup can be established.

Also keep in mind weather conditions so that your setup is secure from any potential damage. Proceed by following the steps mentioned below.

  1. Helium Console

The Helium console boasts a strong collection of different management utilities that networking functionalities which help in rapid exchange of data among the wireless hardware and the Helium network.

The Helium console is also utilized by developers to take care devices, the relevant charges associated and analyzing data exchange activities.

  1. Access to Helium Application

After the Helium console, you must download the Helium smartphone application from an app store. The Helium application is available for download on both the App Store on Apple’s IOS and the Google Play Store on Android. After that you will have to create an account on the application.

Once the account is made, a wallet for the user will be made by the app for data storage. In addition to the account creation, the application will also provide a seed phrase and a pin code used for account recovery.

  1. Launching a miner

After the downloading the app and creating an account, the next move is to generate a Helium miner, and for that you will need to find a plus icon. Once a miner is selected it must be connected to function and a small red light will signal connection status.

After that take the device and perform a Bluetooth connection, while also setting up the WIFI by selecting from the defaults in the Helium application. This also updates the firmware of the device.

  1. Choosing and Setting a Hotspot

Once that is done, press on the Hotspot option which will proceed to confirm the addition of the Hotspot and the location of the Hotspot will be confirmed.

The initial submission is fee of cost; however, any additional submissions will be charged upon. Setting a location can be delayed using the “skip” option. Once that is done the Hotspot will be confirmed and can be configured using the application.

There are three types of Hotspots that you will have to choose from.

  1. Full Hotspot

In a full hotspot, a complete clone of the Helium network blockchain is present and this hotspot is eligible to be rewarded for each and every contribution, which also includes PoC.

  1. Light Hotspot

Light Hotspots utilize the Light Hotspot Software. Light Hotspots require validators to take part acting as full hotspots but are not required to have a clone of the HNT blockchain. Shares are given out according to the level of coverage and the number of data exchange tasks performed.

  1. Data Hotspot

These hotspots are very similar to light hotspots, as they require validators to receive data regarding the HNT blockchain. The only thing differentiating this hotspot is that shares are only given out for the number of data exchange tasks and not any sort of coverage.

  1. Setting an Antenna

When you are setting the hotspot location, you will also need to setup the antenna so that the coverage is working properly. The higher the antenna is, the stronger connection is established, thus increasing mining performance and returns.

Another thing to take care of is that the wires you select should be properly shielded so that there are no interruptions or loss of signals. Most recommend 200-grade, but 400-grade is required for longer wires.

Other ways of Establishing a Wallet

In addition to setting up a Helium through the use of the Helium application wallet, there are two additional wallets than can also be used. The two wallet methods are as follows:

  1. CLI Wallet

The Command Line Interface method is technically considered to be the most adaptable, however requires a lot of technical experience and is generally not advised to be used by new players.

  1. Helium Ledger Wallet

This is basically a strong hardware wallet that has the Helium software already present and functional on it. A limiting function of this wallet is that it only allows exchanging Helium tokens, so any different type of token cannot be exchanged through it.

Should you spend time on this?

In all honesty, taking in terms of the crypto space, there are not any solid results that can expected every time, mainly because of the issue of volatility that is still plaguing the market.

Helium network does provide quite a unique way of mining tokens utilizes Hotspots to exchange data and develop the concept of a decentralized wireless network, so if you are at work or spending time outside, you will always be able to track your performance and earnings through the convenient Helium application.

But despite all these factors it is very important to see how much one can earn through the use of this type of method, so that you know that your previous investment has bloomed any flowers or not. Details about returns are further discussed in the next section of this guide.

Helium Mining Returns

It is pretty obvious that the greater number of users join this type of mining strategy, the more its value will increase. But this is not the only factor affecting the earn rate.

You location is also a key factor in how much you can make from Helium mining. If there are a good number of participating notes around your area at a certain range, then the rewards will be greater.

According to a report, back in the start of 2022, a contributor stated that he managed to make around $400 each month from this method, but this value could be much more by now.

Additionally, the better the coverage, the better the rewards. Helium itself stated that you should select a hotspot location in which there is another hotspot at least 300 meters away.

But in the case where hotspots ate located less than the 300-meter range, then the PoC problems and rewards are decreased because of the rise in number of hotspots looking to compete with each other.

Your antenna is also another huge factor in determining your reward levels. The angle of your antenna and its location is vital for establishing a proper connection so that data exchange is faster.

As previously mentioned, the higher you can setup your antenna, the better chances you get at mining more and gaining more Helium tokens.

Keep in mind that a higher antenna in a hilly area does not guarantee the best connection, so it is advised to do proper research about the area you choose, so that your investment makes a good return, without any significant loss.

The Helium explorer is an excellent way of checking the number of hotspots around you. Not only that, but the explorer also shows the history of the tokens that have been successfully generated in an area. This type of information can greatly help you in selecting a location that is both efficient and profitable.

Conclusion

On a concluding note, the Helium network brings a very unique way of minting their native HNT tokens for interested users around the world to make something out of.

The uniqueness provided by Helium is mainly from its push in promoting the concept of decentralized wireless networking through the use of different wireless technologies like Hotspots, mobile devices, antennas and others. There are different types of Hotspots to use which depends upon your preferences.

Through the use of its explorer utility, you can easily research about the best location, thus providing you a very straight forward way of making an earning by investing in the equipment required.

The crypto space has its shortcomings, but there is still a lot of potential and advantages that are to be explored when it comes to digital finance. Rewards are never guaranteed but having a good chance can definitely bring something for you to work around and develop a source of revenue.

Editorial credit: Maurice NORBERT / Shutterstock.com

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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