The Security Risks of Mining on Public Networks versus Private Networks


Cryptocurrency mining requires software, hardware components, and an internet connection. Miners can access the internet using private or public networks, connecting their mining rigs to the blockchain they mine on. A stable internet connection is required for the computer to interact with the blockchain, sending and receiving data in real-time.

Although the data consumption varies according to the size, large crypto-mining rigs use between 100 to 200 gigabytes of data daily. This is a major reason miners often opt for public networks, which provide free and often unmetered access to the internet.

In this article, readers will learn what is a public network and a private network and the difference between a private network and public network. You’ll also learn the security risks of mining crypto via public networks.

Public Networks vs. Private Networks: What's the Difference?

A network is a group of computers or devices linked together, exchanging data and connection. Networks are typically private or public. The difference between public and private network connections is that the former is not secure and accessible. Still, the latter is secure and only accessible by authorized users.

Public Network

A public network allows anyone with an internet-enabled device to connect via WiFi or LAN cables (where available). They typically do not require passwords or are made public for anyone to view. Public networks are found in cafes, airports, buses, trains, libraries, and public spaces where anyone can connect.

Public and private networks have basic internet protocols but differ in security protocols.


Private Network

A private network only allows authorized users to connect via passwords or other security protocols implemented. Firewalls protect them, and they are usually localized. Private networks are found in private blockchains, companies, schools, and home connections.


Public Network

Private Network


Open to anyone

Only open to authorized users


Typically not secure

Typically more secure


Typically slower

Typically faster


Less reliable

More reliable


No control over the network

Total control over the network


Security Risks of Mining on Public Networks

Every activity performed on public networks is exposed to risks associated with the low security of public networks. Although cryptocurrency mining is less expensive when connected to public networks, the risks far outweigh any cost.

Some of these risks are:

  • Network vulnerabilities: The absence of fireworks, anti-virus, and anti-malware programs leaves public networks vulnerable to cyberattacks. The vulnerability of public networks makes them unsuitable for mining cryptocurrencies as they provide potential entries for hackers.
  • Hacking and cyber attacks: Hackers can easily access devices connected over public networks even when such devices have firewalls installed. Hackers can steal and manipulate data and perform other activities such as DDoS attacks, phishing, man-in-the-middle, and total lockouts.

DDoS attacks are traffic-focused, increasing the traffic on a network beyond its capacity and causing it to shut down. DDoS attacks can cause downtimes in crypto mining rigs, prolonged failure, and financial losses.

Man-in-the-middle attacks target the communication between users and the network, intercepting data sent from a device to the network and from the network to the device. Hackers can also intercept communication between two users on the network. This is risky for crypto miners as hackers can insert malicious code and edit and delete data to suit their goals. Hackers can redirect mining rewards to their crypto addresses or modify mining software to reduce its performance.

  • Increased risk of malware and viruses: Malware is a computer program designed to interrupt, stop, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer or network. Malware may be sent over public networks, and devices accessing the networks may become infected. This is why a public blockchain is restrictive after malware attacks.

Examples of real-world attacks on public mining networks

Some real-world cases of cyberattacks on public mining networks include:

  • In 2018, hackers launched a DDoS attack on a popular cryptocurrency mining pool, causing it to go offline and stealing millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies.
  • Hackers also infected a group of computers with malware, Coinhive, in 2019. Coinhive mined Monero in the background on people’s computers without their knowledge.
  • In 2020, a group of hackers used a phishing attack to access user details on many mining sites. The hackers used the passwords to move millions in crypto.

The safety of private network vs public network is an important consideration when choosing a network for mining cryptocurrencies.

Security Benefits of Mining on Private Networks

Private and public blockchains are security-conscious, taking proactive steps to prevent network compromise, failure, and permanent damage. Even then, blockchain networks still suffer downtimes and congestion. Crypto miners are always advised to use private networks. Many mining pools make it a condition that miners don’t use public networks for mining.

This is why cryptocurrency hosting firms typically set up and manage their private networks, removing the need to use public networks, which are vulnerable to attacks. Here are some security benefits of mining on private networks.

  • Increased control over network security: private networks give miners on public blockchains autonomy over the security protocols. Private networks allow admins to set up any preferred security protocol, admit or remove users, and protect critical network data. A team of network engineers usually monitors, administers, and protects private networks from external and internal threats.
  • Reduced risk of hacking and cyber attacks: private networks are more difficult to hack or compromise than public networks. Most successful hacking attempts on private networks are possible due to internal factors such as saboteurs, carelessness, and exposure of private keys online. When those are contained, private networks are easily the safest risk-wise.
  • Greater ability to protect against malware and viruses: Private networks are less susceptible to malware than public networks. This is because malware and viruses are typically designed to target public networks, which are more easily accessible to hackers. Private networks are also more easily monitored and controlled, which makes it more difficult for hackers to distribute malware and viruses.
  • Stability: Private networks are often more stable than public networks because they are privately maintained, usually by on-site engineers. Stability is crucial to crypto mining because unstable networks make it harder for miners to add data blocks successfully. Private networks are also faster and can process blockchain transactions faster than public networks.

The difference between private and public networks regarding security measures may look insignificant, but the potential implications are massive; technical, financial, and physical losses may occur.

Crypto mining is more effective and better on private networks for many reasons. Although setting up and maintaining private networks costs more, miners can improve their mining processes and reduce risks.

Public-Networks-vs.-Private Networks

Best Practices for Securing Your Mining Network

Now you know what is private network, how it works, and its benefits. Here are some global best practices to secure your private network for crypto mining/

  • Use of firewalls and antivirus software: Firewalls are security systems that monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic from a system, forming a security partition between secure and unsecured networks. Most computers have built-in firewalls and native anti-virus programs for protection.

Firewalls are extensively used in crypto mining as they enhance the security of mining rigs. Firewalls are also effective for protecting devices connected over public networks, although the risk of hacks significantly increases. Using firewalls and anti-virus software increases your mining network’s stability and security.

  • VPNs and other security measures are used to make a difference between public and private networks; virtual private network (VPN) software is a good example. A VPN creates a virtual tunnel connecting two networks privately over a public network.

Miners using public networks should use VPNs to increase the privacy of their connection and reduce the associated risks. Other security measures include using complex passwords, using offline password managers, educating staff on password security, and using multi-layer firewalls.

  • Regular updates and patches: software providers send out regular updates and patches to fix performance and security issues, plug potential loopholes which hackers may attack, and enhance security protocols. Regular updates are important in securing your private network for crypto mining.

Ensure to update your OS, mining software, VPNs, and other software. You might also need to upgrade some hardware components to meet the increasing demand for data communication.

  • Regular monitoring of network activity: Negligence is a leading factor in the success of cyber attacks. You must monitor activities on your private network regularly to locate potential threats and loopholes. Regular monitoring will help you identify irregular activities such as a user signing in at odd hours, unauthorized password reset requests, and other similar issues.

Keeping your private network secure requires concerted efforts and strategies. Every team admin, manager, architect, and engineer must play their roles well to keep the network secure. Although these actions do not remove the risks associated with internet connections, they reduce them to levels where the system integrity is assured. This provides stability for miners and blockchain networks.


Key Takeaways on Mining Security

Private networks are better for mining cryptocurrencies due to the security protocols they require. Public networks are vulnerable to attacks such as DDoS, malware, and viruses, which may cause data loss and funds.

Private networks offer more security features and are better for crypto miners looking for stability and security. Best practices for securing your network include using anti-virus and anti-malware software, safeguarding passwords and keys, regular updates, and system monitoring.

The difference between public and private networks is their security level. Although they both work well for crypto mining, miners should have their private networks, which they fully control.

Third-party network providers can build customer enterprise network systems to enhance mining operations for crypto mining firms.


Using VPNs to connect with public networks is an effective way for miners to protect themselves. Others include anti-virus and anti-malware software designed to keep unauthorized users out.
Yes. Private networks only permit authorized users through passwords or other security protocols. They are also easier to monitor and administer than public networks.
Cryptocurrencies using public network proof-of-work (PoS) mining protocols are vulnerable to 51% attacks, whereas private networks using hybrid mining algorithms or proof-of-stake protocols are less vulnerable.
Lack of decentralization, high cost, and limited scalability are some challenges associated with private networks for mining. Creative technological solutions can reduce these to improve mining performance.
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