Now that you already know about the best Bitcoin mining hardware, we’re going to talk about Bitcoin mining software.
Bitcoin mining hardware handles the actual Bitcoin mining process, but:
Bitcoin mining software is equally as important.
|Braiins OS+||Best Overall||1-2% depending on pool|| |
|Hive OS||Best For MacOS||$2/month per device||Amazing mobile app|
Mining is not the fastest way to get bitcoins.
Buying bitcoin is the fastest way.
The main job of the software is to deliver the mining hardware’s work to the rest of the Bitcoin network and to receive the completed work from other miners on the network.
Bitcoin mining software monitors this input and output of your miner while also displaying statistics such as the speed of your miner, hashrate, fan speed and the temperature.
One of the most important things you will need before using any kind of Bitcoin mining software is a wallet.
This is because all Bitcoin mining software will ask you for a Bitcoin address that will be used to send your mining rewards and payouts. Once you create or download a wallet you will be able to get a Bitcoin address from your wallet.
Check out our guide on how to add funds to your wallet.
There are many Bitcoin wallets, but these are the ones we recommend if you are just starting out:
Now that we understand mining software and how it helps in the mining process, and you have your Bitcoin wallet and address, let’s look at different software on different operating systems.
Disclaimer: Mining Bitcoin is NOT the best way to get bitcoins. Buying Bitcoin is.
To buy bitcoin in your country, check our country guides:
…or visit our exchange finder if your country is not listed above.
So which software should you choose?
Let's go over all the most important info for each mining software.
By the end, you should be able to pick the best bitcoin mining software for you.
Braiins OS is part of Satoshi Labs and is the creation of the original inventor of mining pools, Marek “Slush” Palatinus. You may also know Marek for his invention of the Trezor, the world’s first hardware wallet.
Unlike many other mining software and operating systems, Braiins is completely free. Satoshi Labs makes money off of Braiins OS by offering you incentives to join their Slush mining pool, although this is not required to use their software.
Braains OS+ currently supports Antminer S9, S9i and S9j. Support for Antminer S17 and T17 are coming soon. Thankfully, Braiins OS+ makes the S9 family so much more efficient, that it can extend the life of your Antminer S9 ASICs. It achieves this life increase through better mining efficiency, which we will cover next.
With Braiins OS, you can increase the hashrate of your S9 up to 17+ Terrahashes per second.
Braiins OS+ can also take an S9 on low power mode and deliver 20% better performance than even an S9i.
For aging hardware like the S9 family, this is a crazy performance boost, so we can’t wait to see what Braiin’s will be able to do once they launch support for next gen Antminers like the S17 and T17.
While there is no up front cost to buying the software, you will need to pay Slushpool dev fees by directing 2% of your hashing power to their pool regardless of which pool you end up mining on. However, if you choose to mine with Slushpool for all 100% of your hashing power, that rate drops to 1%.
This is how Satoshi Labs makes money off of Braiins OS.
Braiins OS boasts many features, such as:
For the more traditional, tech-savvy users, Braiins offers a simple but robust command line interface for their mining software in addition to the more common graphical user interface that most people are used to. Both have their advantages, but many are more comfortable issuing commands with a keyboard instead of mouse clicks.
According to Slushpool,
Every important change made to a user account requires email verification. We furthermore recommend enabling two-factor authentication using either TOTP mobile app or a hardware token (U2F). For even better protection, there is a possibility to lock your payout address so it can be only changed in future by a signed message from said address.
Slushpool takes the security of your earnings very seriously, which means a robust set of two-factor authentication options are at your disposal.
Braiin’s OS comes with some of the best documentation of all the mining software. If that doesn’t answer you questions you can reach out to Braiins for help or join their telegram.
Braiins OS+ has also implemented its Stratum V2 communication protocol. This protocol offers truly advanced features for power miners such as bandwidth load reductions, hash rate variance control, and hash rate hijacking protection.
It also comes with a nifty Proxy so that you can still use Stratum on other pools even if it isn’t supported by them.
There is no one more experienced in mining software than Satoshi Labs, so you really can’t go wrong. These guys are constantly innovating, so even if you are running Linux, you won’t be disappointed in choosing Braiins.
That being said, if you don’t plan to start mining with Slushpool, be aware that you will essentially pay a 2% fee to Slushpool (in the form of redirecting 2% of your hashing power to them). By mining with Slushpool, that cuts in half and becomes very attractive.
For more info on mining pools and how to pick one, see our complete guide on mining pools.
Hive OS is a dashboard which allows miners to monitor and control all of their ASIC mining and GPUs from one centralized location. Doesn’t matter if they are made by Avalon or Nvidia - Hive OS has you covered.
Centralization is a scary word in crypto but in this case it’s great. Instead of having to monitor miners with different programs, it’s now possible to keep track of everything using Hive’s beautiful, one-stop dashboard.
Hive OS supports Bitcoin (BTC), Eth (ETH), Bcash (BCH), (XMR) and many other coins.
Whether you have three rigs or a thousand, Hive OS can easily integrate with all of them. Installation is easy as Hive OS automatically detects mining rigs and adds them to the dashboard.
Mining or buying bitcoins? You can't do either without a Bitcoin wallet.
Our guide on the best bitcoin wallets will help you pick one.
Read Our Wallets Guide
As a full feature dashboard Hive OS allows miners to track a number of different metrics. That includes but is not limited to,
What’s great about Hive is that all of this information can be accessed from anywhere in the world. That means that you can manage a mining operation from anywhere, you don’t have to be physically connected to the miners. You can even use Hive OS to update ASICs (all at one time, it’s not necessary to update them individually) or restart a GPU if it has frozen.
Mining is not the fastest way to get bitcoins.
Buying bitcoin is the fastest way.
Besides updating their rigs Hive OS allows miners to do the following,
No matter what coins you’d like to mine Hive OS has you covered. They support more than 500 different currencies as well as 85 different mining rigs. To increase the efficiency of your miners Hive OS has firmware that can boost hash rates as well as cut down on energy usage by as much as 25%.
Hive OS is surprisingly affordable at $2 per month per ASIC. For larger operations Hive offers discounts to any business with more than 500 miners. It’s also possible to receive Hive for free if you purchase the Hive firmware upgrade for your rigs.
There are a couple of other discounts available. If you deposit three months worth of funds into your account Hive will give you a 30% bonus on your purchase. You have to make the deposit all at once but otherwise there are few restriction on what it takes to qualify. There is also an additional 3% bonus if you make the deposit using a stablecoin like USDT or TUSD.
Setup is super simple with HIVE OS. All you have to do is download the software and it will automatically detect your rig and add them to the management dashboard.
For Ethereum miners Hive hosts its own mining pool which they claim is one of the most profitable anywhere. Hive mentions that due to their worldwide servers their pool is secure, efficient and also has a high payout. As of publication the expected daily earnings are $1.35 (0.00794 ETH) per 100 MH/s.
The minimum payout for the pool is 0.1 ETH and currently the pool charges no commission fee. There are three servers available. One in Russia, one in Europe and one in North America.
Using mining software is not the fastest way to get bitcoins.
Try an exchange below for the fastest way to get bitcoins.
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One of the great things about Hive OS is that they have a mobile app that allows you to execute all of the same functions and monitor all of the same metrics as the dashboard. With some recent updates the app also appears to function well, based on user reviews.
In the Google Play store the app has 4.4 review score and although there is not yet an Apple iPhone app, Hive has indicated that they plan to release one soon.
One of the cool things about Hive OS is that even if you’ve not yet signed up for the service you can get an idea of who is using it. On the Hive statistics page there is a bunch of relevant data that miners may be interested in. For instance as of publication:
If you’re in the business of cryptocurrency mining Hive OS can offer a real advantage in terms of efficiency, setup speed and ease of use. The centralized dashboard is well thought out and beautiful to look at. What used to be difficult is now easy with essentially plug and play mining for Ethereum, Bitcoin and hundreds of other coins.
Whether you’ve already got the equipment or you’re considering a new investment, Hive OS is definitely worth checking out as an all-in-one mining dashboard.
Hive OS is a dashboard which allows miners to monitor and control all of their ASIC mining and GPU mining activity from one centralized location.
Now that we’ve talked about the best mining software, let’s talk about the best computer operating system to have when using a mining software.
This is really a matter of taste as a lot of the big mining software developers support multiple platforms (MacOS, Windows, Linux, etc.).
However, if you had to choose one OS over all the others, Linux is probably going to be the best bet. Nearly all mining software supports some version of Linux so you have flexibility to try multiple mining software suites.
On top of that, Linux is by far the most open OS, which means you can make changes to it if you feel confident enough to do that.
For those that want a more traditional OS experience, windows is probably the way to go.
You may be wondering why I left out mobile OS’s like Android.
Well…that’s because it really makes no sense to use mining apps on mobile devices to mine cryptocurrency.
There is just not enough power on your mobile device to mine bitcoin profitably.
You’ll just bog down your device and waste our battery.
If you are serious about mining, you need to:
Be aware that a lot of cryptomining software may try to steal your bitcoins. Be sure to read reviews on any software you download.
Make sure you are downloading from the actual site and not a copy-cat site.
It’s also worth noting that you can use Tor to route your traffic through to remain especially anonymous while mining.
Once you have this setup and are mining, you may need to cash out some of your coins in order to pay off your expenses such as electricity.
Below are some of our most asked questions by readers.
If you're wondering about a topic on this page, odds are we have the answer here.
Bitcoin mining rigs and systems have come a long way since the beginning. The first Bitcoin miners made do with the tools they had at their disposal and set up various software to control the mining hardware in their rigs.
While these make-shift solutions were better than nothing, they didn’t exactly work efficiently. Not only did that slow down the mining process, but it also made it difficult for newcomers to join in on the fun.
Necessity is the mother of all invention, so along came solutions like Awesome Miner, ethOS, and SimpleMining that streamlined the mining process. Let’s briefly review some of these early solutions.
CGMiner is an open source ASIC/FPGA mining software written in C designed for several platforms - Windows, OS X and Linux. CGMiner is one of the oldest bitcoin mining software and it has the ability to run on any computer and is compatible with multiple mining hardware.
BFGMiner is designed for FPGA and ASIC mining. BFGMiner offers advanced users the opportunity to mine multiple cryptocurrencies by simultaneously hashing on mining algorithms like Scrypt and SHA256d. BFGMiner has remote interface capabilities.
Awesome miner is a total software suite to manage your mining operation. It features support for as little as one and as many as 200,000 miners. Users can also use the ‘profit switching’ feature to switch which coins your miners are mining in real time, based on revenue and power consumption. Users of Awesome Miner can expect 10% higher performance for their Antminer S9s and a whopping 40% for Antminer S17.
@@ -451,36 +472,64 @@ But many users of the existing systems still experience issues with:
FPGA stands for ‘Field Programmable Gate Array’. According to BH Miner, the company that produces FPGA mining hardware, FPGA chips supposedly deliver higher hash power at lower rates of energy consumption compared to ASICs. However, given than these are multi-algorithm mining hardware, you should be very skeptical that these claims actually bear out.
GPU involves using a Graphics Processing Unit (normally used to play video games on PC) to mine cryptocurrencies. GPU mining was very popular in Bitcoin mining a few years ago, but that is no longer profitable due to highly advanced ASIC miners. Now, GPU mining is mainly done on Ethereum and Monero.
GPU involves using a Central Processing Unit (normally used to run desktop PCs) to mine cryptocurrencies. Almost no one uses their CPU to mine any coins today, but it can be a god way to learn how mining works without spending much money.
EasyMiner is another free open-source mining software available to anyone who wants to use it and mine using their GPU or CPU.
You can, but you will lose lots of money doing this. The cost of the electricity will cost more than the tiny amount of Bitcoin you are able to mine with a modern GPU.
Even if you have the very best GPU on the market, it will never compete with the ASICs that are specially developed to mine Bitcoins.
You are really just better off buying Bitcoin than mining it at home. If you don’t believe us, just use our cryptomining profitability calculator to see for yourself!
Unless you live in a country with free electricity like Iran or Venezuela, you really can’t mine cryptocurrency for free.
In fact, even if you did live in those places, you’d still need to buy some kind of mining hardware in order to mine Bitcoins.
So really, there is no place on Earth where you can mine cryptocurrency for free!