The purpose is to open the Inbound TCP port 44158 (from the Internet towards the Miner) since the Helium network initiate communication towards this destination port. Having this port closed leads to “relayed” status and the Miner cannot be reached so easy. This leads to loss of revenue, mainly because the Miner does not initiate Beacons anymore. A Transmit Rate 1 Miner gets around 0.1 HNT for each beacon and considering that today (22.10.2021) the average daily reward is around 0.25 HNT and a non relayed Miner can send 2-3 Beacons a day, having the port 44158 closed has a big impact.
Opening the TCP Port 44158 can be done very easy with VPN if the VPN Server provides a Public IP Address; this means a simple port forward from the VPN towards the Miner where the port is actually opened.
1st option should always be trying to do a proper port forwarding and getting a STATIC Public IP from your ISP, if this is possible. Based of my short experience with Helium a STATIC Public IP is extremely important since most of the problems I had were related to the Helium network/API being very slowly updated with the new IPs.
Using VPN you can solve the relay issue in all the cases like:
- when using a router with 4G SIM and you get a Private IP
- when using a router that doesn’t properly support port forwarding
- when your fix line ISP doesn’t not provide a Public IP
- when your ISP does NAT/CGNAT
- when your ISP changes the Public IP periodically (some german mobile operators do this every 24 hours due to billing reasons)
- when the ISP provides a Dynamic Public IP that can change at every router restart or during some technical activities in the ISP side. This leads to the Miner being not reachable (not relayed) for a while (it can take hours or even days(?)), until the network is updated with the new IP. Ex. Digi Romania.
VPN is also good when your ISP keep asking question about the traffic going through, or telling you that you spam different ports and so on .