A Review of the Rak Helium Miner

Sara Nuss
November 29, 2021

A Review of the Rak Helium Miner

Rak has two Helium miners, an indoor and an outdoor model. They are one of the most popular third-party Helium partners and have sold a lot of indoor and outdoor miners. Their miners are: 

  • RAK Hotspot Miner
  • High-Power Outdoor Small Cell Radio

These models are quite distinct, something that is notable from the price differences. The Rak Hotspot miner is around $400 while the outdoor radio comes in at around $5000. Rak sells an outdoor bundle that allows you to weatherproof their hotspot miner and set it up outside. At this time their website does not have any reviews, but the general consensus on the web is positive. 

Their small cell radio is the next step in Helium’s operational plan, providing network coverage to 5G devices in the area. We will discuss the radio and its utility, but it is something separate from Rak’s Helium miner. Rewards from the small cell radio will outweigh the rewards from your hotspot miner through its interaction with Helium’s 5G network, as the Rak miner works on their LongFi network. 

RAK Hotspot Miner

Features include:

  • Raspberry Pi 4
  • Helps build the LongFi™-based People’s Network
  • Comes in three different frequency variants: EU868, US915, AU915, AS923, and KR920
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Low Power Consumption: Uses only about 5 Watts of Power (less than your standard internet router)
  • 3dBi LoRa antenna
  • Helium hotspot onboarding fee included ($40)  
  • First location assert fee included ($10)

The Rak Hotspot Miner is a ready-to-use indoor miner that uses Helium’s network to mine HNT and output network coverage. This model has a long range of connectivity, increasing the amount of HNT earned each day. These devices come with a one-year warranty and is very easy to set up. There is a $10 fee when moving the miner from one location to another (it is covered for the first-time setup) but it is worth figuring out the best position in your home prior to setting it up for the first time. For more info on the best place to set up your Rak Helium miner, read on! 

High-Power Outdoor Small Cell Radio

Features include:

  • Only works in the United States
  • Plug-and-play with FreedomFi 5G Helium Hotspot
  • LTE TDD Band 48 with partial 42 and 43
  • Excellent Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) coverage
  • Up to 220 Mbps download and 56 Mbps upload

The High-Power Outdoor Small Cell Radio is the new and shiny tech for Helium’s network. Regular Helium miners use their Long-Fi network to communicate while this unit works on a 5G network. Its 5G network capabilities mean that it is able to transmit data at lightning speeds across the network and properly installed 5G hotspots gain increased mining rewards from Helium. 

  • Indoor small-cell radios receive 1x rewards
  • Outdoor small-cell radios receive 2.5x rewards
  • High-power outdoor small-cell radios receive 4x rewards

If you are able to hook up a high-power outdoor radio you are set to start raking in serious rewards relative to the average miner. The main barrier to entry for these small-cell radios is the cost. Five thousand dollars is a lot to ask as backing for this project. If you look at Helium miners strictly as a way to receive some passive income then we do not recommend investing in one of these radios. There is a chance that you will make a good return on your investment, break even, and then start making money, but there are too many risks involved. Helium is a fantastic company working for something new and exciting, but their sailing has not always been smooth. There are better ways to invest $5000 if you are looking for a source of passive income. 

If, however, you wish to invest in the success of the company and have that money to spend then this is a great way to do so! Every small cell radio unit that comes online bolsters its network’s strength and coverage and brings them closer to being able to market their network as an alternative to traditional wireless companies like Verizon and Mint Mobile. 

User Reviews

There are not a lot of user reviews of Rak helium miners on the internet, which is both a good and bad thing. A few reviews on Reddit talk about problems with their units, but they are few and far between. Rak’s miner on Amazon has 3.6 stars out of five with 23 reviews, ranging from inconvenience to disaster and then all the way back to satisfaction. It seems that Rak does not have the best customer service in the event that something does go wrong, but is able to, most of the time, provide a product that works well and does not need any service. 

One of the best parts about Rak Helium miners is how easy they are to assemble and get mining. These units are able to come online within minutes and from there it is almost completely hands-off. 


Rak Helium miner’s performance is up to par with the rest of the third-party Helium miners. One big bottleneck is not the brand of the miner but the area in which you mine. If an area is overcrowded with miners or does not receive much traffic, it is unlikely that your miner will mine much HNT. One great thing about Helium is that the playing field is fairly level when it comes to the technology people are using. There is no sense in buying up dozens of Helium miners and setting them all up in your home. A lot of people have a bunch, but they have to spread them out for them to be mining at full capacity. 

When you choose your Helium miner, keep in mind that location is everything. First, we recommend checking out Helium Explorer to see how populated your area is with Helium miners, and if you get one make sure that it is in the absolute best place in your house!

What is Crypto Mining? 

Bitcoin has created an entirely new term for mining crypto. Helium is one of many companies to follow this model.

The giant of Bitcoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies that popularized the term crypto mining. This process is how networks on a blockchain generate and release their cryptocurrency as a reward for some activity. This mining involves huge decentralized networks of processors that are constantly verifying and securing their network. For a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, their mining works through their computers computing exceedingly large equations over and over to verify and record transactions on the system, securing the blockchain as they do it. 

Bitcoin is mined by using as much computing power as the system can get its hands on. There is one more hitch in the Bitcoin mining program, and it is that the system that is able to successfully “solve” the latest hex number receives an additional reward. That latest number is added to the chain, and the winner receives a set amount of coins. 

Helium Mining vs. Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining and Helium mining share one key similarity and one key difference. The key similarity is the verification of the blockchain. Bitcoin’s mining works as a near-constant verification of the blockchain, and that crypto mining effectively keeps it secure. Helium does something similar in that the hotspots are constantly pinging one another to verify that they remain active. Helium’s verification is a lot more concrete than Bitcoin’s, as there is a bit of a binary answer to each “challenge,” as they call it. If there are two miners near one another, one, at a time randomly decided by the system, will challenge the other and check if it's active. If so, it outputs a “yes” signal, and if not it receives no signal at all. From there, Helium is able to update its network with the knowledge that as of the present time both of those hotspots are active. 

Every time a hotspot challenges another, is challenged, or witnesses a challenge it receives a reward. The major difference between Helium and Bitcoin mining is the limiting factor of the miners. A Bitcoin miner can mine anywhere, and now most of the mining is done by groups or companies that have pooled their resources to fill a warehouse with miners. If one miner mines 1 Bitcoin every year then 100 miners mine 100 Bitcoin every year. That is not true for Helium! The most important factor in how much HNT your miner mines is its location. The most successful miners are those that happen to find the sweet spot between other miners in order to partake in a lot of challenges and are in a high-traffic area, but both of those things are subject to change as time goes on. 

What do I do with HNT?

Helium’s token, HNT, functions the same as any other cryptocurrency! There are, in essence, three things that you can do with cryptocurrency.

  • You can purchase cryptocurrency on various exchanges. Helium’s coin can be bought and sold on just about any exchange. 
  • You can receive cryptocurrency as a payment for certain services. In a way, Helium gives users HNT as a payment!
  • Cryptocurrency can be mined, which is the most common way it is produced and distributed. 

With HNT specifically, there is another major use, and that’s to create data credits! The interaction between HNT and data credits is one that is unique to multi-token economies and is called the burn-and-mint equilibrium. HNT you receive from your Rak Helium miner can be converted into data credits, and those credits are used to transfer data on Helium’s network. Users are able to transfer data using these credits, and they are received by “burning” HNT, which takes it permanently out of circulation. 

Return on Investment Rak Helium Miner

The return on investment for a Rak Helium miner is subject to change. There are people who make their $500 back within the first year and are able to start making passive income after that, and there are those who make pennies for long enough that they decide to disconnect their devices. Unfortunately, every investment into a Helium miner runs the risk of little to no return on investment. Passive income is the major incentive for Helium miners, but there is no way to be certain. 

There is a novelty to owning a Rak Helium miner and knowing that you are contributing to a new project, regardless of the HNT that your miner is outputting. There are bumps in the road, and we recommend purchasing a Rak Helium miner if and only if you are willing to invest $500 in this company and are prepared to receive nothing in return. Going in with a money-making mindset is dangerous, especially because there is nothing you can do to increase the output if your miner is placed optimally within your home. For better and for worse, you cannot put in any extra effort to increase the mining rate of your Rak Helium miner. 

Helium’s Network and the Internet of Things

The internet of things (IoT) is the overarching term to describe every object that is connected to the internet. There are billions and billions of devices around the globe that have internet connectivity, and a lot of those devices transfer data, if only a little. It is that data transference that Helium was initially after. Their Long-Fi network is designed to transfer the data of those devices at a fraction of the cost of other ways. 

Rak Helium Mining on the Internet of Things

Rak Helium miners allow data to transfer on this internet of things network. These miners are able to transfer data efficiently and with much less power consumed than conventional means, meaning that the IoT network could become much more efficient with the adoption of a decentralized wireless network like Helium. Helium may not be the network that eventually becomes the major network, but they have done a lot of good things over the past couple of years to grow and strengthen their network. 

Rak Helium Miners Data Transference

Rak Helium miners transfer data through connections to the internet. If you were looking with a particularly keen eye you may have noticed that Rak’s Helium miner has a way to connect to the internet. All Helium miners connect to the internet, be it through Bluetooth, ethernet, or Wi-Fi. They use that connection to spread their radio frequency net. In what will be (we promise) our final Bitcoin comparison, think about it like this. Bitcoin converts energy and processing power into mined coins. Helium converts internet and verification into coins. Helium miners use a lot of data, but that’s because they are using it constantly.

Helium miners use around 30 GB of data each month, but they don’t take up a lot of bandwidth. You don’t have to worry about the Rak Helium miner slowing down internet speeds throughout your home because it is only ever using, at most, 20 Kbps. 

How do Rak Helium Miners Work? 

Rak Helium miners work by creating a frequency web around your home that can connect with other hotspots and transfer data from one location to another. It is through this data transfer that miners mine HNT. Well, it is one of the ways. The other major way is through Helium’s proof of coverage system which involves the challenges and the witnesses. 

Helium miners connect to your home internet and use it to create a little network of their own to transfer data and increase Helium’s coverage around the globe. There are hundreds of thousands of these little hotspots dotting the globe, and it creates a very impressive coverage map, allowing Helium to transfer a ton of data on their worldwide networks while all of their users get to share in the profit! 

Key Takeaways

We hope that this article (and this cute dog) have helped you answer all your Rak Helium miner-based questions! Above all else, we believe it is important to understand what Helium is and how it works before you make any purchase on its network. It may seem silly, but there is always the option of investing the amount of money a miner costs on HNT and purchasing your stake in the company that way. Regardless, we hope that you are now well-equipped with information and ready to make your decision on whether or not you want to join Helium’s growing network! Remember: 

  • Rak Helium miners are fairly well-reviewed across all platforms, but there is a very small sample size of reviewers
  • The major complaints are hardware issues that stop their hotspot from mining HNT
  • All of the Helium miners use similar technology, meaning that there is no one model that is better than all the rest

There are variables outside of the miner that dictates how much HNT your miner outputs each day.

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.
Select your area of interest

your questions,

Does this phone service work everywhere?

Yep, we offer premium wireless service on the T-Mobile® 5G Network, the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in our dewi coverage areas, you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

Is there a contract?

Nope, it’s pay as you go.

Is this prepaid?

Yeah! You put your card on file and prepay each month so that you never experience any disruption.

Does my phone need to be unlocked?

Yep, but it’s super easy to unlock your device as long as it’s paid off. Chat with us and a real human can help you here.

What if I want a new phone?

We have some recommendations on what we think you should get, from iPhones to Droids. Check out our list here which includes affordable places online to get a good deal.

What does decentralized wireless (DeWi) mean?

It means we are building a phone network that is powered by the people. Your neighbors put small radios on their roof and help extend the phone network to cover deadzones™ and get even faster speeds. Right now our DeWi network is available in Austin, but we’ll be expanding to other cities REALLY soon. Learn more about DeWi here.

How many SIMs will I be installing?

Great question. If you’re in Austin, TX, you’ll install 2 new SIMs. The REALLY nationwide SIM as your first SIM, which will give you voice / text & data on the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network powered by T-Mobile®. Your 2nd SIM will give you access to the REALLY DeWi network in Austin, TX, which you’ll prioritize when available so that you get even faster speeds and better coverage. Depending on your device, you may be able to install eSIMs via a QR code.

Can I keep my phone number?

Yep, we are powered by T-Mobile®, the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in Austin, TX you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

How much data do you get on the unlimited plan?

The plan is unlimited, but once you reach 20GB you may experience slower speeds depending on network usage.

How much hotspot data do you get on the unlimited plan?

You get 10GB of hotspot data per month, but can add more if you need to.

How do I add more data to my plan?

You can chat with us, text us, or login to your account to top off. It only takes a few seconds.

start building a new era of connectivity

join REALLY DeWi