What is Anti Mining VPN?

Is it really useful?

When shopping for a VPN, you may occasionally come across a service that claims to be an anti-mining VPN. But what is an anti-mining VPN and is it an important consideration when considering a purchase?

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What does “Anti-Mining” mean in VPNs?

Anti-cryptomining VPNs are VPNs that claim to be able to prevent third parties from using your computer to mine cryptocurrency.

This is a fairly common problem, although less so in 2023 now that the price of cryptocurrencies has fallen. In any case, how VPNs can actually help combat the problem is questionable due to the way both mining and VPNs work.

To clear this up, let's take a look at mining. Cryptocurrency mining is the only way anyone can obtain so-called “proof-of-work” coins, cryptocurrencies that require solving complex equations to mint new cryptocurrencies. How mining works s? A short answer is that the more coins of a particular cryptocurrency are in circulation, the more complex the equations are to get more of them.

As a result, increasingly powerful computers are needed to solve these equations. For example, when Bitcoin first appeared, you could mine new blocks with a low-tech laptop. Now that it's been around for a while, you probably need racks upon racks of processors to crack the next block and get rich.

This has led to a bit of an arms race, with people buying more and more GPUs and CPUs to compete. GPUs are in high demand thanks to their ability to perform many operations simultaneously. In recent years, their price has skyrocketed as cryptocurrencies bought up the market – although their price has plummeted since the crypto winter began.

Cryptojacking and other violations

This massive rise in GPU prices caused a small crime wave as gangs around the world expanded what they were willing to do to get more and more GPUs. Things were stolen from factories, warehouses were broken into and there were even armed robberies.

However, smart criminals didn't just steal GPUs, they also figured out very quickly that you could hack into someone's computer and have that machine run part of the equation-solving algorithm for the gang. This is called cryptojacking and it has become a small global problem that plagues millions of people.

Ο τρόπος που λειτουργεί είναι ότι η συμμορία θα ψαρέψει ένα ανυποψίαστο θύμα στέλνοντάς του ένα email με έναν ύποπτο σύνδεσμο, το θύμα θα πατήσει τον σύνδεσμο και θα εγκατασταθεί κρυφά κάποιο κακόβουλο λογισμικό στη συσκευή του. Χωρίς να το γνωρίζει το θύμα, το κακόβουλο πρόγραμμα θα αρχίσει να εκτελείται στο , προσφέροντας την υπολογιστική ισχύ της συσκευής στις προσπάθειες των εγκληματιών να εξορύξουν κρυπτογράφημα.

While it may not seem like a huge issue, it can lead to serious problems. First, malware eats up a lot of processing power and internet bandwidth, slowing down your computer significantly. At the same time, it also reduces the life expectancy of your device as it drains your processor and GPU.

VPN and Anti-Cryptojacking

Therefore, you really want to make sure that you don't have this kind of mining malware on your devices. Fortunately, there is plenty of anti-mining software specifically designed to prevent crypto-attack.

Among the programs that claim to be able to combat cryptojacking and other forms of non-consensual crypto-mining are VPNs, with several claiming to be anti-mining VPNs that can prevent you from falling victim to cryptojackers. Of these, Urban VPN is perhaps the most vocal, with an entire website dedicated to explaining how VPNs can prevent your computer from being hijacked.

Do VPNs work against Anti-Mining?

However, there's a small problem with anti-mining VPNs: it's a bit unclear how exactly they can prevent surreptitious crypto mining. If you read any VPN page, you'll realize that while they claim they can protect you from mining, at no point do they explain exactly how they do it.

The reason for this is simple: VPNs cannot help you against cryptomining. Why becomes clear when you learn how a VPN works. VPNs redirect your connection through a server to a separate remote location, making it appear that you are there rather than on or your office. At the same time, a VPN also encrypts your connection so that no one can trace your online activity to you.

VPNs are very smart, but they can't help much with malware, which you usually download to your hard drive.

How can I combat Cryptojacking?

As a result, a VPN is almost useless in preventing your computer from being enslaved to a mining network. Instead, you should use software that blocks miners - such as anti-virus software or specialized browser extensions.

If your VPN provider already has some of these tools in their arsenal, that's of course perfectly fine, but be wary of any service that claims to be an anti-mining VPN without anti-malware tools.

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Cryptojacking, Anti Mining VPN

Written by Anastasis Vasileiadis

Translations are like women. When they are beautiful they are not faithful and when they are faithful they are not beautiful.

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