Here’s a glossary of terms for the uninitiated. 🙂 This will grow over time. Something you think we should add? Get in touch.

  • Antenna – available as internal or external and measured in ‘gain’. External antenna can help improve coverage.
  • Antenna Gain – is the ability of the antenna to radiate more or less in any direction compared to a theoretical antenna. Gain is measured in dBi.
  • AU915 – the frequency band that Australian Helium and LoRaWAN devices operate on – 915Mhz
  • dBi – Decibel relative to isotrope. A ratio that effectively describes the ‘power’ an antenna provides to a hotspot/miner. Note: that with an increase in gain, the signal may reach further, but the patter of signal will be narrower. See the illustration here.
  • Data Credits – Helium Token (HNT) is ‘burned’ to create Data Credits. Data Credits are purchased by operators planning to use the Helium network. Data Credits get consumed based on the volume of data transmitted across the network by the operator’s devices.
  • DC – Data Credits
  • He – Chemical symbol Helium – a noble gas and the second element on the Periodic Table of Elements
  • Hexes – This is a method of dividing up the world into geospatial areas using hexagons. Helium uses the number of hotspots within a hex, and around the hex as a way of determining Reward Scale. Hexagons can be viewed at different resolutions.
  • Host – Someone who hosts a hotspot on their property on behalf of someone else
  • HNT – Helium Token – This is the cryptocurrency that is paid out as rewards for helping build the Helium network
  • Hotspot – A Helium network device (or miner) which provides longfi wireless coverage to LoRaWAN devices and provides a bridge for those devices to the Internet
  • Miner – This can mean the physical hotspot, or a name for the owner of the hotspot involved in mining (providing coverage)
  • Omnidirectional – A term used to describe an antenna that provides coverage in all directions
  • Proof of Coverage – The mechanism by which hotspot owners are rewarded. Unlike other cryptocurrency mining say for Ethereum which uses ‘Proof of Work’ (essentially, maths and power intensive number crunching) to reward mining, Helium’s Proof of Coverage algorithm rewards people building the network/mining.
  • Relayed – Your hotspot becomes “relayed” when other hotspots cannot connect to it directly, and hence it relays all it’s messages through another member of the network
  • Reward Scale – How Helium rewards hotspot owners. Reward Scale is calculated based on the number of hotspots in the vicinity. Maximum reward scale is 1.0.
  • RF – is an abbreviation for Radio Frequency
  • Port Forwarding – the process of opening a port on a firewall and forwarding a certain kind of internet traffic coming in on that port to a particular device on an internal network. Normally all ports are closed. Helium hotspots often need TCP Port 44158 forwarded. Some great guides on how to do this with most common routers at
  • Witness – the act of one hotspot verifying (witnessing) the presence and coverage of another nearby hotspot on the Helium network. It’s through witnessing that the integrity and actual performance of the network can be verified and hotspot owners appropriately rewarded.
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If you find this content informative, or if it has helped you out in some way, here’s my Helium wallet address.  A coffee, a beer or a little bit of HNT to offset some of the operating costs is always appreciated! Thanks.