The good and the bad

Last week, NortonLifelock introduced that the Norton 360 antivirus suite would quickly be capable to mine Ethereum cryptocurrency whereas the laptop is idle. In this text, we go hands-on with the new ‘Norton Crypto’ function to indicate what’s good about it and what’s bad.

The Norton Crypto function is first being launched in Norton’s Early Adopter Program (EAP) that permits subscribers to get early entry to new options.

The Norton Crypto announcement was met with a variety of responses, starting from ridicule to exasperation, that an antivirus software program would supply cryptocurrency mining.

However, as miners, wallets, and cryptocurrency utilities are generally flagged as malicious by antivirus software program, Norton’s argument was to offer a secure different to Ethereum mining that doesn’t require you to show off antivirus software program.

To check this function, BleepingComputer bought a license for Norton 360 and joined the EAP program for instance how the new function works.

The good

The good factor about Norton Crypto is that it’s easy to make use of and can permit Norton 360’s 50 million robust consumer base to get began mining Ethereum rapidly.

To use Norton Crypto, customers should be from an English-speaking nation, have a GPU with a minimal of 3GB reminiscence, an NVIDIA 1050 3GB or above, a Windows PC, and join Norton’s Early Adopter Program (EAP).

Once they be part of the EAP program and replace Norton 360, the My Norton display screen will show a message stating, “Turn your PC’s idle time into money.”

My Norton screen offering the Norton Crypto feature
My Norton display screen providing the Norton Crypto function

Clicking on the ‘Show me how’ hyperlink will open a web page asking customers to comply with the Norton and Norton Crypto license settlement. Once you comply with the settlement, you may be proven the essential Norton Crypto display screen, the place you possibly can allow mining, as proven beneath.


Once you begin mining, Norton Crypto will use your GPU to mine for Ethereum, and you’ll rapidly hear your followers rev up as the function makes use of 100% of your GPU processing energy.

100% GPU utilizing while mining with Norton Crypto
100% GPU using whereas mining with Norton Crypto

However, as solely the GPU is used for mining, we didn’t discover the function using any further CPU processing pace, which was a priority for a lot of customers when information of this function broke.

Little CPU overhead when using Norton Crypto
Little CPU overhead when utilizing Norton Crypto

With Norton 360 put in, getting on top of things and putting in Ethereum took about 10 minutes, which consisted of becoming a member of the EAP program, restarting after putting in the new model of Norton 360, and restarting Windows.

While it was simple to arrange, there are some issues, which I’ve famous beneath.

The bad

There had been three points that we noticed whereas utilizing Norton Crypto.

Norton Crypto is meant to solely mine whereas your PC is idle, but we discovered that the program continued to point that it was mining after we launched a sport (Days Gone).

With that mentioned, Days Gone ran completely, so this can be a beauty situation and not an precise utilization drawback.

The different situation we noticed with Norton Crypto is that we didn’t earn a single penny in the 36 hours we examined the function.

Norton Crypto wallet
Norton Crypto pockets

As mining Ethereum by your self is simply too troublesome, many miners be part of a pool the place everybody combines their GPU processing energy, or hash charge, to strive and mine a block collectively.

If the pool mines a block, the Ethereum reward is then cut up amongst all the miners primarily based on how a lot they contributed, with the mining swimming pools taking an administrative charge starting from 1% to 7% of your reward.

Norton Crypto additionally makes use of its personal mining pool, however it’s only obtainable in the Early Adopter’s Program (EAP), which has a a lot smaller consumer base. Due to this, there’s possible not a variety of mixed hash charges obtainable to compete towards the bigger swimming pools and efficiently mine blocks.

While this may enhance as extra customers begin utilizing Norton Crypto, for now, customers will possible not see many rewards as bigger swimming pools mine the majority of the Ethereum blocks.

Finally, Norton Crypto’s miner makes use of 100% of your GPU, with no method to specify a distinct quantity. This might cut back the longevity of the graphics card resulting from prolonged use and excessive temperatures, and finally use a variety of electrical energy.

The ugly

When utilizing a mining pool, the pool takes an administrative charge from all funds. These charges usually vary from 0% on new swimming pools, seeking to entice miners, to as excessive as 2.5-3% for bigger swimming pools.

Some of the largest Ethereum mining swimming pools, like Spark Pool and EtherMine, solely take a 1% charge from funds.

On the different hand, Norton Crypto costs a monstrous 15% mining really feel when paying Ethereum rewards.

“Rewards of crypto earned by the pool, if any, are allotted to you primarily based on the timing of your participation, the variety of shares you might be credited by your contributions, and how a lot Ether is generated primarily based on these shares,” explains Norton Crypto’s Terms of Service.

“We will periodically switch your allocation of crypto, if any, to a digital pockets that We create for you. Each of those transfers (generally often known as “payouts”) is topic to Our charge for offering the Norton Crypto mining software program.”

Our charge is presently 15% of the crypto transferred to you. We will notify you forward of time of any adjustments in the charges charged,” with the bolded emphasis added by BleepingComputer.

As the largest Ethereum swimming pools solely cost a 1% charge, that further 14% could make an enormous distinction in payouts, particularly when it’s possible you’ll solely get payouts of some {dollars} at a time.

Using real-world numbers, in case your mining reward is $5 on Spark Pool and Ethermine, your charge is simply $0.05. However, Norton’s mining pool would cost a charge of $0.75, a $0.70 distinction.

Over time, this extensive discrepancy in charges might add as much as fairly a bit of cash, making it not worthwhile to make use of the Norton Crypto function. 

Finally, Ethereum is slated to maneuver from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake mining process, which rewards customers with blocks relying on what number of cash they stake on the blockchain.

Once Ethereum transfers to a Proof-of-Stake mining course of, Norton Crypto will not be helpful, making it unusual so as to add the function so late in the sport.

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About the Author: Daniel