FAQs

What is "The Internet of WE"?

IoWE or "The Internet of We" is a partner network of LoRa access points (similar to WiFi routers) operating on the Helium LongFi network. Helium provides low-power, long-distance, low-bandwidth internet connectivity to network compatible IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

What is Helium?

How does IoWE make money?

Helium access points (gateways, often referred to as "hotspots") are rewarded in the native network token - HNT - for providing network coverage at their given location. In exchange for allowing us to home one of our devices at your location, IoWE splits the earnings generated with you according to our earnings policies.

What is required of me as a host?

  1. Provide authority (that you have legal right to bestow) to place one of our access points at your location.

  2. Authorize and maintain use of power (5w) and internet access (no bandwidth requirements).

  3. Please be respectful & courteous of the hardware! We make money when you make money!

Are there any network security concerns?

The security of the network and Hotspot owners is of the utmost importance to us.  While the internet connection is necessary, it is only used to provide backhaul to the Hotspot for blockchain peer-to-peer and LongFi networking.  As security concerns are ever present, here is what we have done, and are doing, to combat potential risks:

  • Security is built-in since devices using the network have AES private key encryption at the chip level.  

  • The most common attack vector to get into a device like the Hotspot is inbound ports.  The Helium Hotspot only requires one port open in both directions (TCP Port 44158), so all other inbound ports can be secured behind a firewall per your personal security needs.  

  • Helium hardware and network comply with all FCC regulations for operating in the unlicensed 902-928MHz spectrum.

  • Expected bandwidth utilized by devices is a meager 1-5kb/s, about the size of a long text message, and devices communicate with the Hotspot over LongFi, not IP (Internet Protocol).

While very reasonable in price, using the Helium network is not free. This is inherently a deterrent for potential scammers.  Helium wallets (included within the Helium App) use asymmetric keys to keep your private key secure. 

We will be diligent in our approach to maintaining and improving all aspects of the network’s security to help ensure that you, The People who constitute The People’s Network, can continue to help define a new era of IoT. 

What is the approval criteria? When will I get a hotspot?

 

Our fellow Helium community developers and hotspot placement experts at HotspotRF put it best:

"Over the past 6 months, one of our biggest struggles has been trying to choose optimal locations for our hotspots. Choosing a location is an opaque and difficult process. Not to mention the costs and time that go along with recalling an underperforming hotspot and finding it a new home. Or worse yet sticking one of our valuable hotspots at a mediocre place when it could be earning 2-3x at a better location and providing better coverage to the network.
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The initial response we have received from the community has been overwhelming to say the least and beyond any of our wildest expectations -- to say the demand for hotspot placement has far outstripped the supply of available hotspots would be a serious understatement.

 

Because the availability of hotspots meets just a fraction of the number of applications we have received, we've been forced to prioritize deployments to the best locations that will best enable us to quickly grow inventories and fulfill as many applications as possible. This means we must be very calculated in our approach to application approvals while supply catches up with demand; rest assured we are consistently re-evaluating our existing application queue and re-prioritizing based on evolving market conditions and hotspot placements. Our host application now leverages HotspotRF's earnings estimate modeling technology to provide the most data-driven, objective screening process possible, and help us to ensure each applicant is being provided with an equal opportunity. You can find the most current earning potential requirements on our application page.

 

In short -- we are working as quickly as possible to get to everyone, but must prioritize the best performing locations to most quickly work through the queue. Just because you are not approved today does not mean you will be rejected outright! We recommend you try out HotspotRF yourself to get a better idea of the quality of your chosen location(s), and apply for alternative, higher-potential placement locations to be more highly prioritized. We are working on tools to improve the visibility into our selection process and make the criteria more transparent on a consistent basis, so be sure to follow our periodic site member emails and website for further details -- we appreciate your patience and hope to serve you soon!