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The first question asked when someone is considering building a mining rig is “How much electricity will it use?” The second: “How much internet bandwidth will a mining rig use?” Most of the answers are incredibly vague, including brief responses like “not much” and “very little.”

Without any reference point at all, that isn’t all that helpful. So, we thought we actually figure out the most straightforward and cost-effective way to monitor both the upload and download bandwidth being used by one of our miners. Here we go.

Measuring mining rig Internet bandwidth use for free

Every time we undertake something with cryptocurrency mining we try to strike a balance. What we’re doing needs to be effective but it also needs to be inexpensive. Just about every non-essential cost we introduce into the mining equation takes away from profits. On top of those two criteria, a distant third is easy. Luckily we’ve conquered all three for this exercise.

We’re going to assume that you don’t have a fancy router that provides granular measurement. If you did you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. So, we know we’re looking for a cheap solution. There’s no room (or need) for a hardware expense which is goo. We can do what we need to, for free, with software.

Meet BitMeter OS

First, don’t let the name fool you. BitMeter OS is not an operating system. The O and S stand for Open Source. And BitMeter, it’s the program that does precisely what we want: It records data transfer both upstream and downstream from your GPU miner.

A few reason we really like BitMeter:

  • BitMeter OS is free (we had to mention it again)
  • There is a version for Windows, Linux and Macintosh mining rigs
  • It’s incredibly easy to install
  • Data use is captured and easily viewed in a variety of useful ways

Installing BitMeter OS is the first thing you’ll need to do. Here’s the (easy) instructions:

1. Using a web browser on your mining rig navigate to https://codebox.net/pages/bitmeteros
2. Download the right version for your platform
3. Launch the installer and follow the directions

Monitoring mining rig data usage

At the end of the installation process the BItMeter suggests viewing activity through a web browser. We went ahead and tried it although we didn’t think there would be anything to see yet. We were wrong.

Our installation was on Windows 10. We’re not sure if the IP address and port are the same on other operating systems (or version for that matter). We were told we could see BitMeter’s dashboard by navigating to localhost:2605/index.html. Head there, or wherever BitMeter suggested you go, and you should see a live-view of your rig’s bandwidth use. It will look something like what you see below:

Monitor GPU Mining Rig Data Use

Bitmeter OS: Monitoring GPU Mining Rig Data Use

Our mining rig’s data consumption

The mining rig that we installed BitMeter OS on is a Windows 10 6 GPU mining rig that was mining Ethereum and Library Credits using Claymore’s Dual Miner (version 11). Here’s our data use for seven days:

Day Download Upload
1  66.08 MB  12.33 MB
2  70.44 MB  11.14 MB
3  98.38 MB  13.06 MB
4  79.04 MB  11.09 MB
5  61.14 MB  12.36 MB
Average  75.02 MB  12.00 MB

So, now we know. We’re really concerned with the bandwidth download, not upload. Numbers are just numbers. We need a point of comparison to understand how much bandwidth the miner is using.

Mining rig bandwidth use in perspective

Let’s look at something that we’ve all done before: streaming a movie over the Internet. Here’s how much bandwidth would be consumed by a 1080p movie as well as one at a lower, 720p quality:

Movie Quality File Size
1080p 4-7 GB
720p 2-4 GB

For our comparison let’s use a medium sized 1080p movie at 5 GB. So, in the hour-and-a-half of watching that movie 5 GB would be downloaded. First we’ll convert GB to MB. There is 1024 MB to a GB.

5 GB x 1,024 MB = 5,120 MB

Now let’s put it all together. For the miner’s consumption we’ll use the average daily bandwidth: 75.02 MB/day. That means the bandwidth used in watching a single high-quality movie is equivalent to around 68 days worth of cryptocurrency mining!

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