25.10.2021

How to check ping to a mining pool server using stratum ping

To begin with the explanation, it is necessary to clarify what ping is. Ping or latency is the amount of time it takes for data to reach its destination and receive a response. Ping is usually measured in milliseconds.

Accordingly, the lower the ping, the less time and information is required to “travel” between two destinations.

At the same time, the ping itself is named after the so-called network utility Ping .

Now let’s move on to the role of ping for cryptocurrency miners.

The importance of ping is enormous – and it’s easy to explain. The better the connection between the miner and the pool, the faster the mining farm can receive new tasks and the more it offers options for solving the new block. For blockchains with short block times, including Ethereum, this is especially important. If the connection to the pool is not optimal, then the solution found by the rig may come later than necessary. Well, this may end up with finding the so-called uncle-block or orphan-block, or even the absence of any block at all, which in turn will affect earnings.

A good ping is below 100ms . If you are located in the European part of Russia or in Europe and get such a result, then the efficiency of mining on your farms is high.

Ping measurement in Speedtest

What does ping mean for a mining pool

Let’s start with a mistake that many miners make. When they talk about “ping to pool,” they are actually thinking of a standard ping utility of the same name on Windows and Linux platforms that uses special ICMP packets to measure host response times. However, in the context of a mining pool, this is not really about that.

First of all, ICMP is a separate type of protocol that is handled differently in Internet routing. When mining cryptocurrencies, the miner uses TCP / IP. And when connecting to the pool using TCP / IP, it attaches to the software that essentially powers the pool. In most cases, serious mining pools use special tools created by professional programmers. Naturally, here it can behave differently from the low-level component of the operating system that interacts with ICMP responses. If the pool server is too busy, its software may respond slowly to the request, but ICMP pong packets (yes, the ping response is called “pong”) in this case will be sent instantly.

Secondly, the host to which the data is sent, in the case of most large mining pools, is not a real device that processes your miner’s decision. In most cases, this is a so-called load balancer that distributes the load across multiple physical servers or gateways located in your country. It then redirects traffic to and from a real server located elsewhere.

In general, there are commercial and home-made solutions for this, which are widely used to optimize downloads and traffic. One of the ready-made solutions is CloudFlare Spectrum , but there are many similar examples.

By the way, it’s easy enough to check if the mining pool is using CloudFlare Spectrum. For example, Ethermine pool uses this system – and here’s how to make sure of it. First, let’s look at the IP that is used to connect the miner to the pool (and not specifically the website address). For example, the Ethermine EU1 server is responsible for 172.65.207.10 , and your attempts to determine the address may differ. Then we find out the details of the found IP-address – for this we go to a special site . Here we see that the owner of the IP address is CloudFlare, that is, in fact, you are not connecting to the mining pool device itself, but to a specific proxy server.

So while the classic ping can show incredibly fast response times, in reality it can take much longer to transfer data from the gateway server to the real mining pool server.

Stratum ping from the 2Miners pool

In this regard, the 2Miners mining pool team decided to create a tool that would measure the real ping to the mining pool server. It’s called “stratum ping” and is available on the GitHub platform . This is how it works.

Instead of sending ICMP packets, it does exactly what the mining farm does: that is, it joins the pool, sends a login command using the stratum protocol, and waits for a valid response. Then he repeats the same chain several times. As a result, the user gets accurate and honest measurements that cut off all routing tricks and really show how fast or slow the mining pool of your choice is. In general, these numbers should be approximately the same as your mining software shows.

Run 2miners-ping.bat to check the 2Miners pool. And to check another pool, replace the server address and port of the pool you need in the bat-file.

For the most accurate measurements, we recommend focusing on the average test values, since single measurements can differ significantly from each other. It is also worth trying to run the test at different times of the day.

We do not specifically publish any results with personal measurements, since it is better to do this on your own device and with your own ISP and connection, because the routing can be completely different. However, it is really worth a try, since ping and ping are different .

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