How Much HNT Will My Hotspot Earn?

One of the most frequently asked questions in all of the Helium space is: “How much will I earn?”

Here’s how to get to a reasonably accurate prediction for your location. We’ll start with numbers, do some more numbers, do a little educated guessing, and end up with a conservative estimate of how much a given spot will earn.

The Global Average

Starting at the top, the global daily average for a Helium Hotspot that’s online is .091 HNT/day. How did I get that? Math.

I took the share of HNT we Hotspots get monthly (26%), added in the unused HNT from Network Data Transfer, removed the Hotspots that are offline, and came up with a reasonable global average. Just in case you missed it above:

The Global Average For A Helium Hotspot is .091 HNT/day As Of March 6th, 2022.

So, is that YOU will get? On average, probably. Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably above average. In that case, how do we make a reasonable guess for how much YOU will make, in YOUR location. Lemme show ya:

Here’s how I’d do it: Take the Global Average as my start point, see if my Regional Average is higher or lower, take a look at local res 8 hexes, decide whether or not my deployment will be above or below average, and make an educated guess off of that.

If you want help with that, try either of the Helium Courses on this site, or you can join the Gristle Crüe and jump in on weekly calls where you and a bunch of other folks into Helium can learn from me and each other on how to crush it in Helium.

Here are all my sources for this info:

  • Number of Hotspots, DC burned, HNT Price: Helium Explorer
  • Percentage of Hotspots Online: DeWi ETL
  • Number of HNT Distributed Per Month, PoC & Network Data Transfer Percentages: Helium Docs

Here are the resources used in the video:

I’ll finish up with what Helium USED to be like. This was post was initially written in mid-March of 2021. I’m leaving it up mostly for historical purposes (and so some of the older comments make sense.) Rock on!


LEGACY STUFF – READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT HELIUM WAS LIKE IN MAY OF 2021

Oh, the other question you’ll have is along the line of: If I only have XX hotspots in my city, and I own them all, how much can I expect to earn? There are many caveats to this, mostly centering around how many of those hotspots can “see” each other. One SUPER important thing to note from these examples is that most hotspots owners do a poor job of deployment, earning on average 2 HNT/day. An optimized hotspot with good placement should earn at least 8 HNT/day. If you’d like help with doing a much better job, consider hiring me to help you maximize your earnings.

I’ll give you a few real world examples of 7 day earnings. (data here, as of May 9th, 2021).

  • Flagstaff, AZ – 6 hotspots – 79.52 HNT
  • Jerome, AZ – 6 hotspots – 97.91 HNT
  • Midland, TX – 4 hotspots – 57.3 HNT
  • College Station, TX – 4 hotspots – 68.25 HNT
  • Charlottesville, VA – 4 hotspots – 46.15 HNT
  • Erie, PA – 4 hotspots – 25.89 HNT
  • Elfrida, AZ – 3 hotspots – 57.98 HNT
  • Arizona, TX – 2 hotspots – 24.67 HNT
  • Columbus, GA – 2 hotspots, 42.50 HNT
  • Three Rivers, MI – 2 hotspots – 14.26 HNT

For those of you who want to see how I come up with averages and be able to do it themselves, here’s a 10 minute video that uses Sitebot. Sitebot used to be a superb resource, but has degraded and is no longer good for this. Still, I’ll leave this up so you can see the thought process.

This will show you how much HNT you should expect to earn on average, and you’ll learn how to easily refine that number for yourself, in your city.

Before we move on, let me set some expectations. This post was originally written in mid-March of 2021. We only had 22k hotspots on the network at the time. 3 weeks later (April 5th) we had 25k. That number will continue to go up, probably to 200k by the end of the summer of 2021. Within a few weeks of it being written, all the hard numbers in this post will be wrong. Still, you can use the method in the video to calculate what the numbers *should* be for the next few weeks for you.

First, I’ll knock out my assumptions:

I’ll assume that you are NOT going to plug in your hotspot at Mom’s house and walk away. If you do that, you should expect to earn less than .1 HNT a day.

I’ll assume that you’re willing to spend money, time, and effort to optimize your hotspot placement. As in, more time than your friends and family think is “reasonable”.

As I learned long ago from Shawn Alladio (one of only two humans to ever ride a jetski over a 100′ wave) if you want to do awesome things you should be unreasonable. Be like Shawn. She’s rad.

I’ll assume that you understand the general intent of Helium. Psst, it’s to provide as much useful coverage as possible for IoT devices running on the Helium network.

Finally, I’ll assume you’re not contemplating a “lone wolf” placement, which is one where there is no possible way for another hotspot to connect with you via radio signal.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s start high. Like, way high. The top earning hotspot in the world (as of March 14th, 2021) is Rough Chili Bird, in Springdale, Arkansas. Before I tell you how much HNT they’re earning, let’s define “top earning.”

Basically, no Helium data for earnings is useful at anything less than a 7 day cycle. 24 hour, even 48 hour stats are just too variable to be useful. As an example, here are the daily earnings for a reasonably high performing hotspot.

As you can see, they vary wildly day by day, and if you constantly fiddle with it in order to improve, you’ll be responding to noise, not signal.

Helium is all about signal.

Back to the world’s highest earning hotspot, Rough Chili Bird.

The Bird earned 2,850 HNT over the last 30 days. Yeah, that’s a lot. At current HNT prices well, people work a lot harder for a lot less money per month.

Second place is Docile Bone Pony over in Cambridge MA, earning 1,787 HNT in the last 30 days. No, I don’t make these names up, and neither do the hotspot owners. They’re randomly assigned.

Here’s the top 10 earners, pulled off of Sitebot.

So that’s the MOST you’re likely to make. You probably won’t make that much. I went through a few cities (including my own, America’s Finest City) to give you some averages.

For your average hotspot, you’re looking at right around 8 HNT/day.

I got that by going through and weeding out all the hotspots making less than 1 HNT/day. If they’re doing that, it’s pretty obvious they’re not in this to crush, and that’s my goal. CRUSH.

I was curious about the crushers, so I went through the top 1,000 Hotspots in the USA and found the average was more than twice as high; about 23 HNT/day. You can reasonably expect that if you optimize density, elevation, and antenna, in that order.

I went through a few example cities (San Diego, Seattle, London, and Berlin) and then I looked for the answer to the second most popular question I get asked, which is:

“I live in a small city and could buy 5–10 hotspots right now. Should I do it? How much will I make?”

The stats are in the video, here’s the boring stuff for those of us who read.

San Diego has 142 hotspots earning more than 1 HNT/day. The average hotspot earns 9 HNT/day, and the top earner pulled in 1,334 in the last 30 days.

Seattle has 90 hotspots earning more than 1 HNT/day. The average hotspot earns 8 HNT/day, and the top earner pulled in 706 in the last 30 days.

Seattle Helium Hotspot Earnings

London has 188 hotspots earning more than 1 HNT/day. The average hotspot earns 8 HNT/day, and the top earner pulled in 1,266 in the last 30 days.

Berlin has 134 hotspots earning more than 1 HNT/day. The average hotspot earns 12 HNT/day, and the top earner pulled in 1,617 in the last 30 days.

Berlin Helium Hotspot top earner

Finally, I found a small cluster of hotspots that is typical of any small deployment in a city. It was on the south side of Cypress, in Limassol. While there are 10 hotspots deployed there, only 5 have been running for 30 days or more. Those 5 average 16 HNT/day, but the top earner only pulled in 592 in the last 30 days.

Helium Hotspots in Limassol, Cypress

This should help you get a rough idea of how much you’ll make. For more on Helium Hotspot Optimization you can read my guide over here.

If you’d like a different take on earnings with an orientation toward what might happen in the future as the network grows, check out Steve’s article over on DeWi.

Best of luck with your deployments, let’s grow this network together and CRUSH! If you’d like help with a Helium deployment, from a single hotspot to an entire ecosystem, consider hiring me.

None of this is investment advice. Keep reading and learning. You could lose everything. I hope you don’t. I hope you win so big that you track me down and plant a big wet kiss on my cheek and slip a QR code with 10 BTC into my pocket because you just have that much to spare. Here’s to your success!

95 thoughts on “How Much HNT Will My Hotspot Earn?”

  1. How Likely would I be able to put a hotspot on a cell tower, and where would I go to find out more info.

  2. Hi Frank, at the base of most cell towers (or on the fence around cell tower sites) is contact info for the tower owner. Start there. You’re usually better off looking up local WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) and working with them. The big cell tower companies aren’t really set up to do business with individuals, but WISPs are usually Mom ‘n Pop shops that’ll work with you.

  3. Hi Nik,

    I’ve read a few of your articles now and I’ll just lead off by saying thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’m waiting on pre-ordered miners and simply trying to work out as many issues before I even see them delivered. I live in a relatively rural area with a small town 7 miles away and pockets of small subdivisions about 1-2 miles apart from each other. Flat terrain but lots of tall trees surrounding neighborhoods. I plan to place an additional set up at a family members house via roof top antenna. However, I’m worried about how tall I can realistically make the antenna. The home is surrounded by tall trees, approximately 70 feet tall. This property is maybe 3 miles from my home LoS. Is it worth placing a setup there based on trees? I plan to have a roof top antenna at my home, 2 story home. I’ve ordered 5.8 dbi antennas for my planned roof top rigs. I do have friends in most of the surrounding neighborhoods (1-4 miles away range) and plan to sweet talk setups at their properties as well. *Most of those have minimal tree issues.

  4. Hi David, LoRa at 915 will go through 60-100m of dense brush, maybe more in the US with our higher output. I think you’ll be fine over the short distances you’re talking about, but getting your antennas high will be key.

  5. Jonathan Libbrecht

    Hello, I have received my sensecap miner a few days ago, but I have a question. I suppose that the numbers you are using here are not relevant anymore, because with an average of 8HNT/day, you would be looking at 9600 dollars a month. But what would be a good average daily number to be aiming for? (Just so you know, I am from Europe). At the moment, my choises to place the miner are:
    1. in a crowded city with already 10 other miners in my hexagon.
    2. around 10km (6 miles) from a big city without many miners closeby.
    3. around 2km (1.3 miles) from a normal sized city but with a forest of around 150m between me and the city. Sadly, the trees are just to high to go above them.
    (p.s. I am currently using a 6dBi antenna)
    Where would you recommend me to place my miner?
    I really want to thank you for your time!

  6. Hi Jonathan, yes, those numbers are long out of date. Globally, the average hotspot earns .2 HNT/day (as of 26Nov2021).
    None of those are good options. I’d look for other, better locations where you have better density close by.

  7. Hi Nik,
    First of all, great posts, here and on other boards.
    I live at the edge of town out on the edge of burbs. Lot of miners 1-2 per hex through 15 miles of burbs to the north (and more in the downtown beyond that). To the south, none. Farmers. I.e. west, nw, n,ne and east have miners. Sw, s, se nada.
    I just got my antenna and was going to head the roof to get a little higher up. I picked up a high drive because it’s flat and I want to pickup for miles. 2 questions, a) what can I do if anything with my dynamics of all the other hotspots on 1 side and b) is it worth getting up on the roof and putting the antenna up there (vs inside)?
    Thanks sir..let me know I’d you have unix or hadoop questions and I’ll return the favor 🙂

  8. I’d put an omni directional up and get it as high as possible. Now I’ve got to go Google hadoop. 😉

  9. Hi Nik

    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    Tart Maroon Ant here…just started but trying to leverage all I can. Ok seeing .17/day right now and just swapping to a 5.8db antenna in the roof yesterday. Is there anything else I should be doing to critique these numbers? I’m at the highest point in elevation around and there are some getting .34-.49 close by with similar setup and signal(which is .6).

    Any recommendations would be helpful.

    Thanks

  10. Be patient. Once you lock in a location & get it high and gather 7 days of earnings data, that’s going to be what you’ll get unless you make a change.

  11. Thank Nik

    Is there a way to improve transmit scale? I’m showing .60 currently.

    Also internet speed wise I have the best 800mbps(getting 295 wired and 80-130 wireless). Does that make a different? Would I help to add a repeater upstairs to improve the signal up there?

    Thanks again

  12. Hello Mike, glamorous stone wasp here. I just deployed a nebra indoor hotspot with a 12dbi antenna I installed on the roof. House is on a hill in a densely populated city. So far my 2 day total is .6 HNT. There are 5 other hotspots in my hex. Should I do anything different. Thank you!

  13. Shuayb Magan Barre

    Hi Nik
    Thank you for the information and as myself I want to buy some helium miners and I will buy the course soon. I have one question can the miners work any part of the world ex Africa etc, especially undeveloped country
    Thank in advance

  14. Hey Nik, I am halfway between San Diego and LA in Southern California. I’ve been watching and reading so many mixed reviews.
    The internet full of amazing knowledge, but its hard to find the truth. Where can I find legit numbers as far as expectations go? Also, if signal strength is what matters most, how do I go about learning how to optimize signal strength? I looked at the map, and it doesn’t look like anyone is in my hex. There is 2 in the adjacent HEX. Any advice is much appreciated.

  15. Hi John, I’d start with the reading through the blog. As far as expectations, typically you’ll earn the average of your closest 10 hotspots, unless you do something extraordinary. Check out the Helium Basic Course, that’ll give you a bunch of good info in about an hour.

  16. Hi, I’m in a suburban area no hex’s around but I should be able to set up 3 next to each other. Another 1 mile away. Do I need people to actually run a app to mine HNT?

    Can u run two miners next to each other?

    Thanks
    Brian

  17. Hi Brian, short answer: You can, but they won’t earn well. You usually want at least 1,000 meters between miners. If you want to learn everything you need to know about Helium in just under an hour, I’d recommend enrolling in the Helium Basic Course.

  18. So Nik if there is a suburban area and no hex’s are around but I have 4 miners can I put them 300-1,000 meters apart and be able to get more HNT ? How much HNT should I be getting ?

  19. Hi Arlinson,
    That *could* be a good start; how far away are the nearest miners outside the 4 you’re thinking of deploying, and how many are there (roughly)?

  20. Hi, I am up 10 stories in a condo no obstructions overlooking hundreds of hotspots my earnings in November were .54 daily now it’s dropped 2.28 I have an eight DBI antenna what do you think the problem is

  21. Hi Doug, it’s likely that the area is just getting overcrowded. Probably not an antenna issue, though you can go with a lower gain and see what happens. I wouldn’t expect a drastic change there. Most of your earnings are a derivative of your location.

  22. Hi Nik,

    I have a bobcat 300 with an 8dbi rak antenna about 11m high. I’m getting over 100 total witness on average over the past 5 days, 0.62 transmit scale, earnings around 12hnt per month. My question is, I see a guy 2 hexes over (smooth teal ostrich), same transmit scale, running a rakwireless, at 1.2dbi, claiming 0 meters (via explorer) and he’s getting over 17hnt in the last 30 days. He only has 75 witnesses over last 5 days. How is he getting that much with such a setup?

  23. Hey MRon, earnings are a function of location, and a 1.2/0 assertion just means they haven’t updated their details in the app yet. 2 hexes is 1,600-3,000 meters away, which can provide a significantly different coverage. After the max witness number (18) is met, earnings are a function of the quality of the witnesses, not the quantity.

  24. Thank you for all the info. I just bought 3 bobcats and putting them up with in a rural area. Closest other miners are about 20km away. What do you think 3 miners bouncing signals just off each other will make in a day. I am still setting things up as we speak. Can you tell me why one miner gets the normal 3 to 4 challenger rewards a day but the other only see 1 maybe 2 “challenger” rewards. Could this be internet connection related? I am Hooked to Ethernet but I can’t figure out why one isn’t getting the “challenger” as I thought this was supposed to happen roughly 3 to 4 times a day. Sync status is usually at -1. Internet is only 4mps download. However just down the road the internet is maybe 7mps and that machine is working fine. Just wondering what is cutting out my machine from getting it’s “challenger” rewards.

  25. Hi Eric, your hotspot should challenge 1-4 times/day. Interesting that the slower connection of the two isn’t challenging as much. Any way to make it faster?

  26. My hotspot has been online for 4 months but earning next to nothing, tried 3 different antennas, and I can see multiple hotspots near me, but only witnessed one, and they are in the same hex.

  27. Hi, I have a friend in a good sized American city (>1MM<2MM) who owns and / or manages several dozen Air BnB apartments in maybe a dozen buildings. All in a three mile square area in the hopping hip redevelopment part of downtown.

    Since he controls the units and the internet/wifi situation, and each of these buildings will typically have a "top floor" that is roughly as high as all the other buildings in this historic district (3-4 stories), does this seem to be an inherently promising situation for him I know nothing about existing networks or coverage in the area. Lots of tech-savvy hipsters in this part of town.

    I will turn him on to researching this if he would seem to have a comparative advantage perhaps worth his research and/or deployment time. (And refer him to you…)

    Thanks!!

  28. Hi I recently purchased a senscap miner and was having a great deal of trouble getting my hotspot off of relay would you have any advice for establishing the port with an xfinity/comcast account as I am not having much help finding videos.

  29. Thanks Nik! Really great info!

    Question for you, I live in a 2 story house in a suburban city with many hotspots around. I’ve been using the stock 4 dbi antenna and placing mining rig in my attic with the stock antenna sitting on the window sill of the attic window. Bobcat is connected via WiFi (which is why I see the relayed status? Not sure). I have 34 witnesses but average less than .1 HNT/day. I plan on upgrading the antenna to an exterior 4 or 5.8 dbi antenna and mounting it on the roof. My question is, is it better to:

    A) Move the bobcat and Ethernet link it to the router on the first floor and then connect the antenna on the roof via lmr 400 cable. I would need to run about 50 feet of cable?

    B) Keep the bobcat linked via WiFi in the attic and connect antenna using about 10 feet of lmr 400 cable for better signal retention?

    C) Keep the bobcat in the attic and run an HDMI Ethernet cable to the modem along with the LMR cable (about 50 feet) to connect with the modem?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top