Top 5 Facts About Bandwidth Sharing

Keith Cagney
August 26, 2022
App News

High-bandwidth jobs allow Chefs to process video streams with their idle internet connections alongside other earnings activity. To help you decide whether to share bandwidth, check out these important facts and considerations about our newest flavor of compute cuisine.

1. Does My Internet Connection Matter?

The earning rate for bandwidth-sharing workloads is computed as a function of many factors, including required uptime, network traffic, and video specifications such as frames per second, output resolution, and encoded compression rate.

Since there's no telling when a stream will happen, Salad's control plane (i.e., Mother Brain) creates a priority queue that arranges bandwidth-sharing machines by the quality of their connections. Whenever Salad hears about new jobs, workloads will be assigned in order to whichever Chefs have the lowest ping and greatest available bandwidth at the time.

Due to the nature of the workloads and the sporadic timing of their arrival, high-bandwidth jobs will produce better, more consistent results for Salad Chefs with high-speed internet connections. You may check your actual connection quality using any online speed test.

2. Am I Supporting Piracy?

Much like blockchain and cryptocurrency, virtual private networks (VPNs) are sometimes associated with nefarious activity. While someone could choose to use a VPN to conduct illegal business, most people use them to escape internet censorship, access information outlawed by restrictive governments, and eliminate arbitrary boundaries between the world's webizens.

To prevent any inappropriate traffic from passing through your PC, Salad's high-bandwidth jobs only stream video for a limited selection of streaming services. Anytime you share bandwidth, you are supporting a real person with a paid streaming subscription, who may be using a virtual private network to watch something that is currently unavailable in their region. (This also occurs when you log in to a streaming service while outside your home country.)

Chefs who choose to share bandwidth will only facilitate this kind of ephemeral viewing. Salad does not and will never support the downloading or distribution of protected intellectual property.

Because all video traffic is protected by VPN encryptions, Salad cannot estimate how many high-bandwidth jobs represent streams from viewers accessing geolocked content.

3. Can I Get in Trouble?

Since video content can be licensed by different companies throughout the world, streaming services often limit access to their content library based on a viewer's location, and they'll sometimes enforce moderation policies on those who don't stick to their regionale fare.

Though we haven't seen adverse outcomes in any of our internal tests or public beta trials, it is possible that sharing bandwidth may result in temporary content restrictions on one or more premium streaming platforms. Such moderation actions may potentially limit your viewing choices for several days or more, typically by restricting your account to selections from a default "global library" that contains no regionally licensed media.

Our SaladCloud partners implement industry-leading privacy safeguards to anonymize and secure any identifying information from both viewers and host devices—but it's still worth weighing the risks before choosing to share bandwidth. Certain streaming platforms reserve the right to blacklist specific IP addresses from accessing their services after repeat offenses.

If you find yourself blocked from viewing region-locked content after servicing high-bandwidth jobs on Salad, please contact our Support team.

4. Network Diagnostic Modules

From time to time, your Salad app may need to run a lightweight utility called a network diagnostic module (NDM). Because these bite-sized (usually less than 5 MB) network checks are treated as ephemeral Salad workloads, you'll continue to earn Salad Balance as normal during their momentary operation.

Salad runs NDM checks periodically to refine our latency predictions and improve Salad's real-time workload orchestration (the logic that helps us figure out the most profitable job for your PC). During these checks, Salad gathers no additional data about your hardware; NDM tests simply report your actual ping and the quality of your connection to the Kitchen.

  • Example: If you use Auto Start to Chop while you're snoozing (and why wouldn't you?), Salad may run a network diagnostic module at some point during the night to see if your connection quality has improved since you first started earning. If there appears to be a significant difference in ping or connection speed, Salad may elevate your PC in the queue for more advanced (and more profitable) workloads in order to switch over as they become available.

These tests are performed infrequently. Chefs who opt into High-bandwidth Jobs may Chop NDMs more often than Chefs who only share compute cycles from their GPU and/or CPU.

5. About ISP Data Caps

Some internet service providers (ISPs) apply monthly "data caps" to customers on their networks. Since providers monitor your typical data usage, they may choose to throttle your connection for the remainder of the month in the rare cases your usage exceeds this threshold.

Throttling artificially reduces your effective transfer speed to control the amount of data you're able to consume in a given period.Restrictions typically last until the start of the next billing cycle. Under certain plans, you may be required to pay additional fees for exceeding a data cap. Internet service providers claim that added fees and throttling are methods for ensuring "fair use" across all customers on their networks.

  • Example: Suppose that your bandwidth was fixed at 100 Mbps. Roughly translated to a download speed of 12.5 MBps, that means you could theoretically transfer a whopping 1,080,000 MB (or 1.08 TB) of data in a single day with continuous usage.

Most folks don't maintain a sustained connection throughout the day—which is why our privacy partners are happy to send you Salad Balance for letting them borrow a few megabits. Before enabling bandwidth sharing, it may be wise to consider your average household usage, or see where your internet service provider ranks on a list of data-capped services.

Because fiber-optic internet infrastructure has become far more affordable in recent years, data caps are mostly a concern for those using cable and satellite services, but certain premium fiber-optic plans may impose arbitrary limitations on particularly high-usage households.

Check out these posts to learn more about the concepts covered in this article:

For digestible refreshers on more tech topics, please visit our Salad Guide collection.