The Complete Guide on How to Fix a Relayed Helium Miner Hotspot
The quickest and easiest way to discover the health of your Helium Hotspot is to use Hotspotty.net’s “Real Time Status Check” feature. By simply entering the three-word name of your Helium Hotspot in the search function, navigating to “Status” and selecting “Status Check” you will receive a realtime update of your Helium hotspot’s health.
With individual Helium Hotspot relay issues compounding as the network rapidly grows heading into 2022 along with decreasing rewards by as much as 50% as a result of being relayed, it’s worth spending the time to fix the relay problem. A relayed Hotspot is not directly connected to the internet, but through another Hotspot on the network. All relayed Hotspots can be identified in Explorer. The “Needs Attention” label is a warning for a device that is “Relayed”, ”Offline”, ”Not Syncing” or in the process of ”Syncing”.
There are three main components to solving the Helium Hotspot Relay problem. Not all are required all the time but addressing each will ensure the Relay problem disappears for good.
- Open inbound and outbound ports 44158.
- Open outbound ports 22 and 443.
- Set a static IP address, stopping your IP from rotating.
In Helium Explorer Relayed Hotspots are linked to basic troubleshooting found here. Below I outline the best ways I have found to cure the Relay problem. I have removed the Relay issue for hundreds of devices in North America and Europe using several techniques. I have found the easiest way to rid my Hotspots of Relay is if you have the luxury of owning a third party router. Third party routers often come with a user friendly app providing an intuitive user experience to open and close ports. If you are non technical and reading instructions scare you, the next best thing will be to call your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Depending on what ISP you have and what customer support person you reach will depend on how much service you get. The responses come back ranging from “I don’t know what you are talking about” to helpful staff that seem quite technical in their abilities. The final option would be doing it yourself, which at times can be frustrating, especially when the ISP directions are not clear.
It’s important to note while many blog and form posts referencing opening ports 44158 there are multiple other variables at play. The below is a concise summary of how to address the problem.
Port Forwarding 44158:
- Aftermarket routers often offer an iOS or Google Play app which easily facilitates the ability to open and restrict ports.
- Ask your ISP (ie. Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, etc…) to help open 44158 ports. When calling, ask for technical support. Assuming the customer support person understands what you are asking they will either walk you through how to open the ports yourself or they will do it for you. Don’t forget to ask them to stop rotating your IP address.
- Follow the instructions associated with your ISP provided router at portforward.com or simply google “Port Forwarding <insert the name of your router>”
If your Helium Hotspot is consistently falling offline, see our post about replacing your hotspot’s SD card to keep it online and consistently generating rewards.
Follow the “Do It Yourself” port forwarding video tutorial with a Bobcat miner as the example. Applies to all Helium miners regardless of the manufacturer.
Ports 22 and 443:
For Helium support and firmware updates, you will need to open outbound ports 22 and 443. This is more common with newer Helium Hotspots.
Creating a Static IP Address:
You’ll want to look up your routing/DHCP allocation settings then find the MAC address of your connected miner regardless of wireless or Ethernet connection. One you identify the MAC address, change the allocation config to Static and assign a specific IP. You should be able to find the MAC address on a sticker on the device itself. Once you’ve given the device a Static IP on your local router as described above, find your NAT settings page which is usually under Firewall settings.
Check your Helium Diagnostics:
To access the Helium Bluetooth diagnostics, your hotspot needs to be in pairing mode. Normally, your hotspot is in pairing mode directly after startup but you can initiate pairing mode manually by pressing the pair button on the back or side of your hotspot for several seconds. In the Helium app click on the cog symbol on the top right corner (next to the flag icon) and a new menu will appear. Choose Pair. Assuming there is only one Hotspot plugged into your location, only one device will appear.
When looking at the Helium diagnostics you want to verify the below:
- Peer-to-Peer Connections: Here you can see if your hotspot has successful Outbound and Inbound connections. It will take 15 minutes to a few hours to update this information. If you have no inbound connections, this is an indicator that your hotspot is being Relayed. Review the port forwarding instructions to ensure you took the right steps to open your ports.
- Blockchain Sync: The sync status is not always up-to-date and will show as 100% even though the Hotspot still might be syncing. This is where we advise using the Helium app diagnostics page or Hotspotty “Real Time Status” Check for more accurate information.
- Wi-Fi MAC: Will display the Wi-Fi MAC address of your Hotspot.
- Ethernet MAC: Will display the Ethernet MAC address of your Hotspot. It is a unique identifier for your device and should always be kept private.
- NAT Type: Displays the NAT type of your Hotspot. This can also notify you if your Hotspot is Relayed. You want your NAT-type to show “none” and “unknown”. “Restricted” means that the port is blocked. A symmetric NAT-type shares an IP address with others, so port forwarding may not be possible. It can be resolved by asking your ISP for a unique (static) IPv4 address.
Once you have completed all of the above, I like to re-pair my Hotspot with Bluetooth then reestablish my wifi network by forgetting the existing Wifi connection and adding it again for extra thoroughness. Any changes made to ports or IP addresses may take a few hours and up to one day to see the result of your changes.
What exchanges can I hold and trade Helium [HNT] on?