So what is actually going on with Norton crypto mining? Is it worth it or are you just better off without this extra “feature” on your computer? The answer to these - and many other - questions are laid out below in this article so that by the time you finish reading this you will understand everything you need to know about mining cryptocurrencies on your computer and whether or not you want to help improve Norton’s bottom line with your own financial input.
Yes, you can read that last part again, because as will soon become clear, Norton crypto mining will turn out to be a cleverly marketed “feature” which will be beneficial to Norton in the first place and not necessarily to you as a (paying) customer.
But before we continue there’s a disclaimer I need to state. Nothing in this article is financial advice and everything you read here is for educational and entertainment purposes only. I am not a financial advisor. What I am though is a certified IT professional who makes a living providing professional IT consultancy to businesses and individuals and who has been around long enough to understand the mechanics of software marketing and architecture of computer applications. You can check my about me page here if you want to find out more about my credentials and qualifications.
On top of that I’ve been dabbling with crypto mining rigs more than enough so that I can paint a clear picture of crypto mining performance expectations and how Norton crypto mining earnings will compare to other (cheaper) solutions out there.
You can consider this a Norton crypto mining review if you so please, but if you need financial advice I’d encourage you to consult a financial advisor instead.
With that out of the way, let’s move on and explore what Norton crypto mining is all about.
Since I can’t know where you come from when it comes to the concept of crypto mining, let me first give a brief explanation of what crypto mining is.
If you haven’t heard of crypto mining before, let me quickly bring you up to speed. You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin and how Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to maintain a public ledger which contains all Bitcoin transactions. Every Bitcoin transaction is stored together with a number of other transactions in a block, which is linked to the previously generated block of transactions in the chain (hence the name blockchain). New Bitcoin blockchain blocks are “mined” approximately every ten minutes (as defined in the protocol) and as long as the blockchain keeps humming along and produces a new block every ten minutes, everything is good.
Now in order to create (or mine) a new block containing transactions we require a certain amount of computational power. Computers all over the world (yes, even yours) can join in and use their computing power to “find” new blocks of transactions that are then added to the blockchain. Because there are basically no barriers of entry and everyone’s computer is free to join the network, we call this a permissionless system.
The computational power that is required to produce new blocks of transactions can also be considered as an amount of “work” that needs to be done to solve some kind of puzzle. That’s why this type of blockchain is also sometimes called a “proof of work” blockchain.
Every time a computer manages to find a new block, the owner gets a reward in the form of a certain amount of Bitcoin (which will vary over time), which incentives new computers to join the network.
To fully explain all the details of a proof of work blockchain is beyond the scope of this article, but if you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to watch the video below which does an excellent job of explaining the concept.
Also, you don’t need to know every single detail about it in order to understand whether Norton crypto mining is any good or how much you can make (we’ll come to that in a minute).
What you do need to know going forward is what you can expect in terms of Norton crypto hashrate. The computational power that is required to mine new blocks in the blockchain is expressed in hashrate. The more hashrate your computer has, the more likely it is to solve the puzzle (or part of the puzzle) to mine a new block. In theory a home computer might be able to come up with a correct solution to create a new block, but in practice you are up against very powerful machines, all competing to find the solution to create the next block in the blockchain.
That is why mining pools exist. Mining pools are organizations where the little guys can join together and combine their hashrate in order to stand a chance of finding the next block in the chain. Whenever a new block is found, the reward is then split among the members of the mining pool, usually along some kind of proportion of the hashrate that is contributed to the pool. The mining pool organization will also usually take a mining pool network fee, which is a percentage of the earnings (usually around 3 percent or so).
Three things are important when it comes to Norton crypto earnings and how much you can expect to earn.
You need to have an idea of your computer’s hashrate if you want to know how much you can make with Norton crypto mining. It’s not so much your CPU (Central Processing Unit) which is well-suited to be used for crypto mining but rather your GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). That is why gaming PC’s are usually better suited for crypto mining than Office computers
The hashrate that you can expect from standard computers isn’t very high. Unless your computer looks like this.
Especially if you are working on a laptop, chances are that the hashrate will not be high enough to generate any significant earnings. If you do happen to have a computer with a high-end GPU or gaming card, it might be worth looking into how much you can make mining crypto’s. A good place to start is https://whattomine.com/ where you can get an overview of GPU profitability. It’s also important to note that almost always you will be able to tweak your GPU by modifying power limiters, memory and core clock settings in order to increase its performance versus default settings.
If you ask anyone who is serious about crypto mining, they will almost always tell you that being able to tweak clock settings of your GPU is essential if you want to optimize your hashrate.
Unfortunately, Norton crypto mining currently doesn’t offer any options to tweak your GPU to optimize your hashrate.
Tweaking your GPU will also help you to prevent it from overheating when hashing.
And that brings me to the second point.
At first sight, temperature might not look like something that will have an impact on how much you can earn with Norton crypto mining, but it will soon become clear that temperature definitely is a factor when it comes to mining profitability.
Typically, GPU’s will produce a substantial amount of heat while doing hashrate calculations. That’s another reason why laptops are usually not a good match with Norton crypto mining. You won’t enjoy working on a laptop which is running hot while it’s mining for crypto’s and in addition to that the heat production and energy consumption will reduce battery life considerably.
It's the energy consumption which also plays a role in your bottom line. And that takes us to the third point.
3. Energy Consumtion
Crypto mining is an energy-hungry activity that might affect your energy bill. If your energy bill goes up the same amount as what you are able to bring in mining crypto’s (or more), you might be better off with crypto mining disabled.
You need to get a clear understanding about the extra energy consumption that is caused by Norton crypto mining vs your income potential in order to evaluate whether or not mining crypto's will be profitable in your particular case.
The Norton crypto network fee is another factor you need to consider if you want to find out how much you can make. As mentioned before, crypto mining pools typically charge a network fee of around 3 percent (see ethermine.org or minerpool.org for examples).
The Norton crypto mining network fee is no less than fifteen percent. That immediately puts you back considerably if you’re trying to compete with other miners who are running their optimized rigs in a network where they only pay a fraction of that.
When you are researching Norton crypto mining you may discover that it’s set up to mine Ethereum rather than Bitcoin. That in itself is not a problem. Ethereum is - after Bitcoin - the largest cryptocurrency in market cap and offers heaps of value when it comes to NFT’s (Non Fungible Tokens) and Defi (Decentralized Finance) applications. Both NFT’s and Defi are exciting new developments in our digital lives but they are outside the scope of this article. T
he bottom line is that Ethereum is certainly not a bad choice if you want to start experimenting with crypto mining. At the time of writing Ethereum sits at the top of most profitable cryptocurrencies on whattomine.com.
However, the Ethereum developers are working hard on transitioning the blockchain from proof of work to proof of stake, which means that Ethereum won’t be mineable any more in the near future (or may already be switched to proof of stake by the time you are reading this).
I guess we’ll have to see where Norton crypto mining will turn when that happens (In Norton’s defense I have to admit that there are plenty other viable candidates when it comes to proof of work mining cryptocurrencies).
Nicehash is another approach you can take if you want to harness your computer’s processing power to start mining cryptocurrencies. Nicehash offers a relatively easy way with low technical barriers if you want to dip your toes in the crypto mining waters.
Generally speaking you should be able to produce better results (read: more income) running Nicehash than what you can expect from Norton crypto mining profitability. One of the most important reasons for this is that with Nicehash you will avoid the absurd fifteen percent network fee of the Norton crypto mining network.
While Norton crypto vs Nicehash may give you less profitable results this doesn’t mean that Nicehash is automatically your best bet if you want to start mining cryptocurrencies. There are a few other mining projects that might be interesting to look at. For example T-Rex and NBMiner are highly optimized mining softwares that you can use and that may give you more profitable results than Nicehash. You can find these on Github along with other specialized mining software solutions. It should be noted though that setting up a miner via one of these programs might require slightly more technical skills, especially if you want to fine-tune the clock and power settings of your GPU.
Now that we have touched on mining software like T-Rex miner and NBMiner, it’s worth pointing out that Norton antivirus products have a very low tolerance for competing mining products altogether.
As you can see in the image below, when you actually try to use another crypto mining program on your computer, Norton will block it and try to scare you away from using it.
With all of the above in mind, if you decide that you want to remove Norton crypto from your computer, you might find yourself in a difficult situation. It is possible to remove Norton crypto from the rest of Norton 360, but removing it feels kind of clunky. Enabling the software is optional but installing it isn’t. And to get rid of it you need to temporarily turn off Norton tamper protection feature.
Then, with Norton tamper protection disabled, you need to manually delete the NCrypt program file, which usually sits in the Program Files\Norton Security\Engine\your-version-number folder.
Don’t forget to re-enable the tamper protection feature after that and then you should have successfully removed Norton crypto from your computer.
When it comes to comparing Norton crypto mining to alternative crypto mining solutions (some of which have already been mentioned above), it should be noted that Norton has low tolerance for competing products.
Even though competing products may offer you better profitability, Norton will try to scare you away from trying them as they will be called out as dangerous and will be blocked by Norton 360.
Norton crypto mining looks more like a cleverly marketed strategy to increase Norton’s bottom line at the expense of the end user rather than a serious way to engage people to enter the permissionless universe of cryptocurrency mining and maybe even turn a profit in doing so.
After all, you pay for the hardware, the electricity bill and the Norton software (while competing mining software is free) and on top of that Norton takes a 15 percent fee of your mined Ethereum where normal mining fees hover around the three percent range.
Competing (more profitable) products are marked as dangerous and blocked by Norton 360, effectively ruling out other products that would otherwise allow you to explore the world of cryptocurrencies in a potentially more open fashion.