Bitcoins entered our lives as hurricane. Nobody heard about them just five years ago, now 1 BTC costs about $0 and keeps on rising. The best thing about Bitcoins is that you can get them absolutely for free. If your computer hardware is powerful enough, it can bring you money. Let's see how this can be done using one of the most popular mining pools - NiceHash.
First you need to get the NiceHash mining software. It will not ask you for any passwords and private data, moreover, its source code is available on GitHub, so, if you are a software developer, you can review the code and see that for yourself.
Go to the NiceHash website and use the Sell Hashing Power button at their main page. The page will be opened where you need to click the NiceHash Miner Free Windows software for CPU/GPU mining button. Then use Download and finally the Download now button in the opened window.
The program will download and it will take some time (not too much in any case) depending on your internet connection speed. Once done, unpack the downloaded archive file to some place and go to the unpacked folder.
NiceHashMiner.exe file. It will open and start downloading the files necessary for mining.
Sometimes there can be an error about the missing
OpenCL.dll file, just ignore it, as it means that mining with that library is not supported on your hardware and other mining type will be used.
When it is finished, the program main window will be presented to you:
Click the Settings button. In the opened window enter your Bitcoin wallet address, worker name (you can leave the default one, if you do not want to change it), select the service location closer to your own location for better connection:
If you do not have a Bitcoin wallet address, you can go to Coinbase to get one for you.
You can also select some optimizations in this tab. E.g. if your computer has AMD processor and video card, you will not need NVIDIA detection and use, so can disable them. All the settings have explanations next to them, no need to worry that they are too complicated.
The Advanced tab has the algorithm fine tuning parameters and usually you leave them as is. You can try and change them for fine tuning your video card, if you mess the settings, you can always use the Default button to restore the original program settings.
The last but not the least is the Devices/Algorithms tab. Here you can select your computer devices you want to use for mining (CPU, video card - GPU) and enable or disable algorithms used for the mining:
Please note, that some of the algorithms can overload or overheat your hardware. If that is the case, disable them in this window.
Once done, click the Save and Close button to apply the changes and close the settings window.
Now that you configured all the settings, you will need to benchmark the algorithms used to mine before you start the mining itself. To do that click the Benchmark button. The benchmarking window will be opened:
Select the devices and algorithms you want to benchmark, set the Benchmark Type to Standard (as it is more precise than Quick but not so long as Precise and is quite enough in most cases) and click the Start button.
The benchmarking process can take quite a long time depending on the number of algorithms available for your hardware and selected in the window. Please do not leave your hardware unattended during the tests (it is advised that you use some temperature control utility when the tests are performed), as you will be able to see if there are any problems with the hardware with certain algorithms and will be able to disable them.
When all the tests are over, click the Close button.
Now you are ready to start mining. Click the Start button and the mining process will begin. The program will select the most profitable algorithm and run it with the set parameters.
During the mining process the program will automatically switch among the selected algorithms to select the most profitable at the current moment.