I’ve always loved finding new ways to make money online.
I’ve also been a proponent of creating passive income streams or saving money by using resources that are already readily available to you.
I started a phone farm back in college, which was essentially a bunch of old burner phones that sat on my desk and earned money every day by watching videos/advertisements:
I’ve been slowly winding down my farming operations due to time constraints, although that whole experiment was a fun way to make $500+ in free gift cards.
However, I recently stumbled across another peculiar money making option that anyone can start in a matter of minutes.
That idea is selling internet bandwidth for cash.
Let’s see what this money making idea is all about!
What Is Bandwidth & Why Is It Sold?
According to TechTerms.com, internet bandwidth “describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection.
It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time. For example, a gigabit Ethernet connection has a bandwidth of 1,000 Mbps, (125 megabytes per second).”
As it turns out, most online activities barely come close to maxing out your bandwidth for most residential internet plans.
Unless you’re downloading some hefty files or running many intensive applications at once, you probably have a lot of unused bandwidth at any given time…and this isn’t even considering the hours you spend asleep or out of the house.
So, a handful of companies have made it possible to sell your unused bandwidth to them (since you have a lot of it) in exchange for cash or cryptocurrency.
These companies then rent out your bandwidth and allow other users or companies to use it (through your IP address).
These companies often operate as or sell their services to VPNs, which allow users to access the internet through a different IP address/country than where they reside.
Some of these companies also use unused bandwidth as a type of CDN, which is basically a distributed network of servers that delivers content to users from an optimal geographic location, but VPNs are definitely the main player on the buy side.
The main thing to note here is with these services you are selling your internet usage to other people for their browsing behaviors.
How To Make Money Selling Bandwidth
If you’re ready to earn money by selling internet bandwidth, the following 7 companies are all viable options you can test out.
1. IPRoyal Pawns
One of the best ways to sell internet data and earn money is to use IPRoyal.
This company lets you share bandwidth to earn money, and it’s by far the best-paying and easiest to use company in this space.
For starters, you get a $1 sign up bonus when you sign up as an IPRoyal Pawn.
From there, you get paid $0.20 per gigabyte of data that you share as a proxy node.
You only need $5 to cash out as well, which is much lower than most companies that let you sell internet bandwidth.
IPRoayl Pawns lets you redeem your earnings for:
- Free PayPal money
- Various virtual gift cards
Between the sign up bonus and higher payout-per-gigabyte, you can definitely earn some nice passive income every month with IPRoyal Pawns.
How much you earn for your unused internet depends on your location and how long you keep the application running.
But IPRoyal is available on desktop and for Android devices. And overall, it’s one of the most reliable ways to sell internet data and earn money.
FluidStack is one of the newer players in the bandwidth buying industry, and it operates a CDN to distribute content to users from nearby networks to increase page load times and overall user experience.
Once you signup and install FluidStack’s software, they will detect when your computer is idle and use your bandwidth/CPU to serve content.
The fact that FluidStack uses your CPU instead of GPU helps limit power consumption, and the whole idea of their platform is to only use your computer when it’s idle and to limit how much power you end up using.
In general, here is how its bandwidth speed to payout ratio works:
- >10MB/s upload speed – $5/month
- Faster speeds – $10 per 100MB/s
- 200 MB/s upload speed – $20/month
On their website, FluidStack states that you’re basically guaranteed to earn between $5-$50/month with their software based on your internet speed.
Keep in mind, this is per IP address, so if you have multiple IPs for some reason you could theoretically double dip.
FluidStack pays out through PayPal and all outstanding balances are processed at the end of the month. FluidStack also plans on releasing some additional ways to earn in the future, including video transcoding and geo-proxies, which will pay more.
Additionally, FluidStack will be releasing a cloud gaming feature which will allow powerful gaming rigs to host cloud gaming services for as much as $100/month, although we will have to wait and see how this actually unfolds.
Edit: 03/01/2020: Fluidstack has announced that they are focusing on cloud computer customers with access to machines with GPU’s running Fluidstack on Linux.
This means that most customers running Windows OS to rent bandwidth will no longer be able to make money from Fluidstack. In contrast, Linux machines now have guaranteed monthly payments based on the following models:
Fluidstack supports multi-GPU machines and pays out per GPU. Plus, Fluidstack guarantees utilization of 10% or less per month to help manage electricity costs.
If you have a GPU on your processor and don’t mind running Linux (or already run it), Fluidstack is definitely an excellent way to earn passive income by renting your bandwidth.
However, if you don’t have a GPU and want a viable Fluidstack alternative, checkout the rest of the platforms in this list!
Checkout our Fluidstack review for all the latest info!
PacketStream is another way to sell internet data to earn money.
PacketStream allows users to become nodes in their network from anywhere in the world, provided you have a residential IP address.
If you sell your internet bandwidth through PacketStream, you earn $0.10/GB as the software runs in the background of your computer.
PacketStream charges buyers $1.00/GB, and part of the problem is that free platforms like TOR essentially allow users to browse the web anonymously as well. From what I gather, this means PacketStream is a bit weak on the buy side currently, so your earnings will probably be slow and steady.
Some users are also uninstalling Packetstream due to concerns over how their platform is used by customers, so I’d be a bit careful with this service/do more research.
PacketStream states that their main clients are businesses who need to test web applications/ads without running into IP bans or detection (which is pretty common with VPNs).
You can run PacketStream on Windows, Linux, and Mac, and payouts are done via PayPal once you reach $5.
Read our PacketStream review for all of the details!
With a global user base and the ability to be run on windows and android devices, Honeygain seems pretty appealing at first glance. After all, most software that allows you to sell bandwidth does not work on mobile devices.
However, Honeygain does have a $20 cashout threshold via PayPal, and they only pay $1USD/10GB of bandwidth used.
From what I’ve seen on Reddit, the buy side can be pretty limited, so earning performance is rather volatile. It seems like some users are cashing out $40+ a month while others can barely make a dollar.
Honeygain does allow for multiple devices on the same IP, so if you have some old burner phones it could be worth trying out!
Edit: Be sure to check out the feedback about Honeygain in the comments of this post. It seems like Honeygain is slow to respond, not always paying, and possible getting user IP addresses flagged. I’d be immensely cautious if you’re planning on using this app to sell bandwidth.
Edit 9/30/2019: Honeygain has been removed from the Google Play Store, perhaps temporarily. They alleged it was because a new app version resulted in a data breach, but people have also stated that Honeygain has been being flagged as malware. I’d recommend avoiding this app entirely.
Read our official Honeygain app review for even more info!
Privatix is another method to sell your internet bandwidth for money, although this platform comes with a crypto flavor!
With Privatix, “any user can sell his spare or idle Internet broadband to the Network and get paid for it instantly with crypto. The payments come from buyers, who purchase the bandwidth via third-party applications or directly.”
Privatix software can be run on PCs, Mac, or Linux, and the software is free.
Most of the buyers in Privatix’s network are VPN providers and CDNs from what I gather, and Privatix is attempting to make a secure Ethereum token-based network where this bandwidth can be exchanged.
Privatix issues users PRIX tokens for participating in their blockchain, although their software is still developing and how much you can earn seems to vary quite greatly from what I’ve read.
Currently, one PRIX token is worth roughly $1.48 USD.
6. Mysterium Network
The Mysterium Network provides another option to sell your bandwidth for cryptocurrency, and the concept is incredibly similar to Privatix.
Mysterium functions as a ‘decentralized VPN service,’ with a focus on user privacy/anonymity and end-to-end encryption.
The Mysterium Network is currently running a node pilot project that is available on Windows, Mac, and Raspberry Pi, which is pretty neat if you ask me.
Once you are part of the network, you can rent out your bandwidth for Ethereum. As with Privatix, how much you earn really depends on your upload speed and a variety of other factors (I believe your location might play into it as VPN traffic probably prefers U.S. IPs for many tasks over other countries).
Extra Reading – How To Make $50 A Day – The Best Methods.
LoadTeam is yet another option to make money with bandwidth, and their app allows for multiple computers to run under the same account, which is kinda neat.
You can use the LoadTeam calculator to estimate how much you could earn on a monthly basis.
Your account balance will update periodically as your computer completes tasks, and you can tweak how hard your computer works in the background on this application.
I actually have 0 idea what these ‘tasks’ are, and I’m admittedly sketched out, but this whole post is one weird rabbit hole anywhere so here we are!
Users can cashout via PayPal upon reaching $1 with LoadTeam.
Nanowire is a more recent addition to this list, but if you’re still wondering how to sell internet data and earn money, this platform is certainly worth checking out.
When you sell your bandwidth on Nanowire, you earn Nano, a cryptocurrency that focuses on being fee-free, eco-friendly, and easily transferable.
Like the other options in this list, you have to install the Nanowire desktop application to start selling. You can run this passively in the background of your computer to make money on autopilot.
As for how much you earn, Nanowire makes some bold claims.
According to Nanowire, you earn $5 for every 10GB of data you sell; which is much better than apps like Honeygain.
Now, according to Nanowire, “You should be aware that sharing your internet connection comes with risks as some jurisdictions may hold you responsible for what others do on your internet connection.”
This definitely isn’t a vote of confidence for how secure/safe this platform is, but hey, you’re free to make passive income any way you want.
Personally, I’m going to stick with gig apps like driving for DoorDash or other money making ideas, but I wanted this list to include as many options as possible in case you want to dive into this side hustle!
How Much Money Can You Make?
If you live in an area where your IP address and bandwidth is in demand like the United States or parts of Europe, you might be able to make $5 to $50 per month by selling your internet bandwidth.
However, for many regions of the world, this isn’t a very viable side hustle idea.
This is because without enough demand, you’re only earning pennies for your bandwidth. I live near Toronto, and many apps and websites I tested barely paid at all or flat out didn’t work.
If you want to generate passive income, I think you’re better off trying hustles like renting things out for profit.
For example, Neighbor lets you make money by renting out your spare storage space. You can also try companies like Turo to rent out your vehicle.
There are also plenty of investing options that are way better than trying to sell bandwidth for money.
For example, Fundrise lets you invest in income-generating real estate, and you only need $10 to get started.
When you compare these sorts of investing ideas and rental businesses versus selling bandwidth, I think it’s clear what options are superior.
Plus, you can still earn passive income online if that’s what you prefer.
I mean, these days, you can use a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase to buy and stake different coins.
This lets you earn around 5% APY on your cryptos, and there are plenty of other staking options and crypto interest accounts out there as well.
The bottom line is selling bandwidth is a fun hustle, but I don’t think it’s the best way to generate meaningful passive income.
Extra Reading – How To Make $3,000 Fast.
A Quick Disclaimer – The Risks & Final Thoughts
I’m going to conclude this whole article with an important statement: selling your internet data is a very weird side hustle.
Overall, selling Bandwidth is not something you should do without thought.
Depending on where you live and what ISP you use, you might have more stringent laws surrounding what your IP address is used for.
Companies like FluidStack have stated that they don’t access your data or files and that they even block users from going to malicious/harmful websites, but this is still a risk you have to factor in.
By using these services you are opting in to be part of a network and you have 0 control about how people use it.
Personally, this would be the sort of passive income stream I would 100% use when I was back in college and living in a building with hundreds of people on the same network, but I don’t think I’ll run it on my home network.
You won’t get rich by selling your internet bandwidth, but if you are comfortable with the process and you do your due diligence, you can probably make some quick money and reliable passive income if you have fast upload speed.
A new passive income idea, or a recipe for disaster? Who even knows!
If you want to find even more ways to earn passive income or cashback online that aren’t so out there, I also recommend checking out:
- S`more Lockscreen App – Around $36.50-$50 per year in free gift cards or PayPal money.
- UpVoice – $75 per year just for browsing the web.
- Rakuten – Earn cashback from shopping online at thousands of retailers. Rakuten pays via PayPal. Read my Rakuten review to learn more.
- Capital One Shopping – Automatically apply coupon codes at checkout and earn loyalty credits to redeem a variety of free gift cards.
- Honey – Honey Gold also lets you earn free gift cards and applies coupons automatically. Checkout our Honey Review to learn more!
I’ll catch you guys in the next one! 😉
Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up using the links provided.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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