How To Troubleshoot Your Helium Hotspot



Heli­um is a rapid­ly grow­ing and wild ecosys­tem. Like any oth­er new ecosys­tem, things are con­stant­ly chang­ing, and the main sources of infor­ma­tion most new users rely on (Explor­er and the Heli­um app) can be up 48 hours behind. 

That means when you check your Hotspot via Explor­er on Tues­day, you could be look­ing at Sun­day’s infor­ma­tion when it comes to whether or not you’re relayed, or whether your Hotspot is online.

This isn’t because Heli­um lnc likes to be slow, it’s because the whole thing is so pop­u­lar and grew so fast that the report­ing side of things has­n’t caught up yet. That, by the way, is a very non-tech­ni­cal expla­na­tion. The actu­al expla­na­tion is deeply tech­ni­cal. In any event…what do you do when your Hotspot stops working?

What I’ve found with hotspots over the course of con­sult­ing ses­sions with hun­dreds of clients and mod­er­at­ing the offi­cial Heli­um Dis­cord since last spring is 2 main facts:

  1. If you have a prob­lem, you’re prob­a­bly not alone. There IS a solu­tion or at least an expla­na­tion, you just have to find it.
  2. If you haven’t made any adjust­ments and your hotspot sud­den­ly goes offline, the absolute best thing to do is wait, usu­al­ly 48 hours.

With all that said, if you’re absolute­ly dri­ven to do SOMETHING because your hotspot is hav­ing prob­lems, here are a few resources to use as you get it sort­ed out.

Helium Power User Superpower #1

First, and this isn’t what you want to hear, but patience is a super­pow­er when it comes to Heli­um. If you have your hotspot plugged into pow­er and an eth­er­net cable (NOT on WiFi), your next best step to earn max­i­mum HNT is prob­a­bly to go fish­ing for a week. That’s not the way most of us are used to solv­ing prob­lems, but if you’ve got a pro­duc­tion hotspot and you haven’t changed any­thing, there’s not a whole lot to do.

If you DID change some­thing (swapped the anten­na, moved the hotspot, reassert­ed the loca­tion, etc), use Super­pow­er #1.

Helium Power User Superpower #2

Sec­ond, about the only thing you CAN do is open up the port on your router that makes sure your hotspot can talk to the Heli­um Net­work. That port is 44158. There are a few thou­sand pages on the inter­net at this point devot­ed to telling you how to open port 44158 for your Hotspot. 

Helium Power User Superpower #3

Third, the “Search” box on the Offi­cial Heli­um Dis­cord is prob­a­bly the sin­gle most use­ful thing you can use. Are you “unable to ini­ti­ate a ses­sion” when you try to use Dis­cov­ery? Copy/paste that phrase into Dis­cord search; you’ll find the lat­est on what’s going on. 

Helium Power User Superpower #4

Fourth, the sec­ond most use­ful thing after the Search box on Dis­cord is prob­a­bly @BFGNeil’s Heli­um­Sta­tus tool. It runs $2/month to use it, at least as of March 2022.

Helium Power User Superpower #5

As of mid-March 2022, we are start­ing to see an enor­mous growth in apps that help you under­stand the Heli­um Net­work. Here are some of my faves:

  • Watchi­um — Keep track of your Hotspot sta­tus and get basic info on what’s gone wrong
  • Hotspot­ty — Track your fleet and get alerts when a Hotspot goes down
  • Heli­um Ana­lyt­ics — Keep an eye on where you are in the rela­tion to the glob­al average.

What About The Gamers?!

Final­ly, a word about gamers, cheaters, hack­ers and oth­er of those ilk. In gen­er­al, they’re usu­al­ly not worth it for the aver­age Heli­um user to pay atten­tion to. Sure, they’re get­ting sexy dai­ly HNT earn­ings or they have an obvi­ous­ly cheat­ing deploy­ment pat­tern, but for the most part the Heli­um team is shut­ting them down quick­ly or lim­it­ing what they earn. Gam­ing WAS a huge prob­lem; the Modesto clus­ter back in late sum­mer of 2020 was exhib­it A. Now gam­ing is an annoy­ance and dis­trac­tion, but not real­ly a net­work problem.

Heli­um is made up of some of the smartest peo­ple I’ve met; they are NOT unaware that gam­ing exists, they’re work­ing hard to elim­i­nate it, they’re very capa­ble, and they have plen­ty of oth­er things to do that are equal­ly impor­tant when it comes to the health of the network. 

Rules For Helium Mining Success

At the end of the day, your “job” as a Heli­um deploy­er is to take care of what’s in your con­trol. Keep your Hotspot con­nect­ed to pow­er & inter­net by cables (do NOT use WiFi). Get the anten­na high, use a thick enough anten­na cable to lim­it loss, and make sure your anten­na is pro­vid­ing WUPU (wide, unique, prove­able, and use­ful) cov­er­age. That’s how you’ll earn the most.

This shit ain’t com­pli­cat­ed, it’s just hard.

If you need fur­ther help with opti­miz­ing your hotspot, read through the rest of this blog or join the Gris­tle Crüe! 

We’ve helped some of the high­est earn­ers on the Heli­um Net­work go from zero to hero, and we’d love to walk you through how to max­i­mize your Heli­um opportunity.

Rock on!


9 responses to “How To Troubleshoot Your Helium Hotspot”

  1. Charles Davis Avatar
    Charles Davis

    I’m wait­ing for my min­er. From the man­u­fac­tur­er (being patient). Your overview was very stout with fun­da­men­tal advice that I could grasp. I was about to over-sup­ply on anten­na use. Your zen about patience found a home with me, I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the steady hand.

  2. Right on Charles. Patience is a super­pow­er in the world of Helium.

  3. Brand new to this game. Day one my Nebra Out­door was work­ing great with decent earn­ing. Day 2 and onward it’s not con­nect­ed to net­work. If it con­nect­ed via Eth­er­net port to the router and worked for a day , would the router just quit work­ing? Eth ports work for oth­er devices, just no longer my
    Nebra hotspot.

  4. Hi Spencer, what is the Nebra diag­nos­tic tool telling you? Have you checked out the inter­view I did on BFGNeil’s Goes beyond the relay issue and into trou­bleshoot­ing. Nebras in par­tic­u­lar can be a PITA. Care­ful­ly check all the phys­i­cal con­nec­tions in the box; they can be loose. Also look up the Nebra light pat­terns and what they’re telling you.

  5. Thank you. I will start with the video. Just per­plex­ing as it was work­ing and now not. Lights all good with excep­tion of blue flash­ing 4x telling me no net­work con­nec­tion. The real beau­ty of this is the hotspot is at a rel­a­tives and now quite a dis­tance from me. I did try to run a diag­nos­tic check but couldn’t con­nect to the unit via Bluetooth.

  6. Just went through the same thing with a client (4x blue flash). Make sure that port is open on your net­work, then test with Neil’s tool. Do not use Explor­er or the App for up to date info.

  7. Hi Nik,

    I have tried to reach out through the con­tact link on this page. It keeps telling me that my mes­sage isn’t deliv­ered. I would like to dis­cuss your ser­vices for what I hope is basic but just not basic enough for me.
    Thank you

  8. Hi Spencer, that’s odd, I’ve received & replied to a bunch of your emails. You can email me direct­ly at [my first name, spelled cor­rect­ly (no “c”)], then @ and this web­site. Maybe your email provider is block­ing my replies?

    Alter­nate­ly, you can just order the Hotspot Res­cue Ser­vice here.

  9. macbannai Avatar

    So far all my deploy­ments are using WiFi and it struck me when you sug­gest­ed on your deliv­er­ance video that wifi is dis­as­trous, per­haps you can elab­o­rate on why WiFi is so dis­as­trous oth­er than an obvi­ous low band­width sce­nario, for exam­ple what if wifi sig­nal isn’t an issue?

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