Norton Crypto. It's EVEN WORSE than you think....

Norton Crypto, yes that's what
they're actually calling it,

is only available with a
Norton 360 subscription.

So I begrudgingly handed over
my credit card to do something

that we basically tell everyone not to do.

Install Norton.

With that bitter pill swallowed,

we looked for the opt-in prompt,

the one asking if you
want to make some money

while your PC is idling, and we thought,

Hey, seems like a great idea.

Everybody loves free money and clicked it.

But how does it work?

Once it's enabled, after about
a minute of your GPU idling,

the Norton Crypto miner will turn on,

adding your graphics cards
power to an Ethereum mining pool

where it and every other Norton miner goes

to work digging for ether.

When a payout happens,

it gets split equally
amongst those in the pool,

depending on how much hash
rate they've contributed.

Now, this isn't anything new.

The first mining pool,
Slush Pool, came out in 2010

and consolidated machines to mine Bitcoin

in order to give the little guy

an edge over larger operations
by banding together.

Over the years,

more and more mining pool
operations have sprung up

and as long as you have
the computational power,

you're basically free to join.

But Norton had some innovative new ideas.

While most pools and
exchanges take a small one

or 2% cut of your mining profits to share

with the pool operator,

and many mining clients also
have small associated fees.

Norton figured,

Hey, we're already charging
you for Norton 360.

So let's disrupt the status
quo by charging wait,

15 (beep) percent.

Excuse me.

Even ignoring the paid nature
of their software compared

to basically any other
solution, 15% is outrageous.

And the worst part, is
we had to go digging

for this information.

At no point during the setup
process where we informed

of this fee. And we
even tried clicking the,

how does this work button,

but found only a brief FAQ
with basic explanations

for things like,

what is a blockchain?
And, how does mining work?

The fee was actually hidden
away in a support page

for Norton Crypto behind a dropdown.

There's just no respect
for the customer here.

Just a hidden middle finger
waiting to gouge your wallet.

I feel like you should spend your money

on instead.

Look at these sexy wan sweatpants.

It's time to put my feelings aside though.

Not every product is targeted
at enthusiasts like me

and you. So,

let's play a little game and say,

we're already paying for Norton 360

or it came free with
the purchase of our PC,

and we would rather trust
a big name we recognize

like Norton versus spending a
bunch of time doing research.

I mean, it's a couple of
clicks and who cares about 15%

if it's all profit anyway, right?

Why not let your GPU mine while
you're at work or sleeping?

Okay. So the app itself
is actually kind of okay.

It shows you the current US
dollar to Ethereum conversion,

the card that you'll be mining
on, its average hash rate

and both your daily and
monthly expected return.

This all seems great for the most part,

but it ignores some
basics like telling you

how much wattage your GPU is
pulling or more importantly,

factoring those power costs
into it's calculations.

It also doesn't bring up a
client window showing you

what exactly is going on.

When you join a pool on your own

or usually through a third party,

there's typically a client app involved

that shows you important stats
like, among other things,

hash rate, power
consumption, job acceptance

or network info like
latency or dropped packets

and it'll kind of scroll by as
your machine does it's thing.

Maybe that's too scary
for the target audience

or Norton felt it was unnecessary,
but whatever the case,

it's just not here.

Another missing feature
is any sort of optimizer.

Often when you're first
setting up a new minor,

you can run through an
optimization feature

that will try a number
of power, core clock

and memory clock settings
to get the best results

for your specific hardware.

It then saves a config file somewhere

that the miner can read
whenever it's booted up.

And if Norton is doing this
in the background somewhere,

it isn't very good.

You know what else probably
won't be very good?

Water cooling gear from

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Now I know that a lot
of you consider NiceHash

to be controversial.

So we don't work with them in
a sponsored capacity anymore

and we're not promoting their use here.

But we needed a control
that we know is easy to use.

So we fired it up on our test bench,

which will have affiliate
links for down below,

first using NiceHash's QuickMiner

then for another hour with Norton Crypto.

And here's the thing, it's
normal for your return

to fluctuate somehow throughout the day,

but the results were staggering.

With Norton Crypto, our 20 80 super

on an open air test bench, hit 65 degrees,

pulled about, 160 watts
and saw a maximum hash rate

of 37.2 mega hashes per second.

With the QuickMiner,
after running OC tune,

we pulled about a hundred to 105 Watts,

hovered around 50 degrees Celsius

and had a higher hash
rate averaging closer

to 40 or even 45 mega hashes per second.

Now obviously the winner here
doesn't surprise us much.

Do we trust the experts or the newcomers?

But I did not expect a performance gap

the size of the Grand Canyon.

65 degrees might seem fine overall

but we anticipate a lot
of users to be on laptops

with hot components in a
more enclosed environment.

That 65 could easily turn into 80 degrees

or higher in the right
or wrong environment.

And don't forget that power is expensive

in some parts of the world.

So that 30 or $40 of monthly income

could come with a hefty power bill.

And you'll also be paying Gas Fees,

a small or sometimes not small fee

when you want to exchange your Ethereum.

And the best part

is that if the sucky
performance isn't enough

to keep you away,

there are even more problems
with one of the biggest being

how hard it is to remove Norton Crypto

from the rest of Norton 360.

Now actually enabling
the software is optional

but installing it isn't, and
to get rid of it, you need

to temporarily turn off Norton's
tamper protection feature,

then delete the encrypt executable.

Now some other users have
also mentioned things

just not working from time to time

or suddenly empty wallets,
both of which are frustrating

but, at least you can usually
find an answer from Norton

in the comments. So far,

it looks like they only have
plans to mine in Ethereum,

although they will look
at potentially adding

other currencies in the future.

In case you didn't know,

Ethereum is supposed to
go from proof-of-work,

which is what's currently happening

when you joined the mining
pool, to proof-of-stake,

which instead uses staked to Ethereum

to validate blockchains
and add new blocks.

It's meant to be much
more energy efficient,

but to be a staker, you need 32 ether,

about a hundred thousand us dollars worth.

Fear not though, staking
pools are already a thing.

So the little guy isn't
completely shut out

and the full transition has actually

been pushed back a number of times

but once it happens,

there's no telling what
Norton Crypto will do next.

Whatever it is,

I expect that it'll reflect
their obvious attitude over.

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