If you have unlimited or unused internet data, you can potentially monetize it by using Honeygain.
Honeygain makes your data allocation (and your internet bandwidth) available to its business partners, who use it to complete a range of research-based business tasks and, in some cases, to (legally) circumvent location-based website access restrictions.
In exchange for allowing these third parties to use your data and bandwidth, you earn credits, which can be exchanged for cash once a $20 threshold is met.
Honeygain advertises itself as a passive income app, claiming that you just sign up, start sharing and watch the credits roll in. In our assessment, that’s true. But the big question is whether or not it pays enough to make even that little bit of effort worth your while.
In this Honeygain review, we’ll take a look at the details of the service and explain how much data you’d have to share to reach that $20 minimum cash-out.
Note: While we don’t question Honeygain’s legitimacy, no member of our editorial team was comfortable running the Honeygain app on their devices. The company provides little insight into specifically how the data you share is used by its partners, as well as minimal information about how it protects your personal data. This article explains these concerns in more detail in an effort to help you determine whether Honeygain is right for you.
- A true passive income opportunity. Once signed up, no activity is required to earn credits.
- Although a stable internet connection is mandatory, Honeygain users do not need to have a super-high-speed connection to participate.
- Users can earn 10% of their referrals' daily earnings.
- Honeygain claims that its partners are reputable businesses that use your internet for legitimate business reasons, but you can’t control which businesses use your connection, or what sites/data are accessed.
- There is very little information available about Honeygain’s owners and management team.
- The fees associated with the cash-out process are relatively high.
What Is Honeygain?
Honeygain is a platform that allows individuals to become “residential proxies” (i.e., digital middlemen).
When you share your internet connection with Honeygain, the company then shares it with its business partners.
Those partners use your data allocation and bandwidth to complete a range of online tasks, such as looking for unlicensed copies of their products, confirming that their ads are displaying properly, checking to see if their apps and services are running as expected in certain locations, and accessing other (geo-blocked) content from around the globe.
In exchange for sharing your data and bandwidth, you earn credits that accumulate and can eventually be redeemed for cash or cryptocurrency.
To begin earning, you simply need to download, install, and then open the Honeygain app on your internet-connected device. Once you log in with the credentials that were used to sign up, you can allow Honeygain clients to access the web from your location.
How Honeygain Works
To better understand how Honeygain works, let’s discuss residential proxies in general.
Residential or peer-to-peer proxies, like Honeygain, share individual IP addresses with third parties. These entities go through an intermediary server, then the user’s device, to a website.
The businesses can then complete various activities to test aspects of their business and/or gain competitive intelligence using the participant’s IP address and location instead of their own.
You may be wondering what it is they’re testing and why they need someone else’s IP address to do it.
Many websites geo-lock their content so that it can only be accessed from certain regions or countries. Using a residential proxy allows businesses to rotate devices to utilize web scraping software, search for violations of their intellectual property, complete other various competitive analyses and price comparisons, and confirm advertisements and applications are displayed properly in different regions.
In other words, they use your data allocation and bandwidth primarily for ad verification and market research purposes.
Residential proxies make sense for business users, but what’s in it for the individuals who sign up to participate?
Let’s consider Honeygain specifically. In exchange for your participation, you earn three credits (equivalent to $0.003) for every 10 megabytes of traffic that goes through your device.
Users with Windows and macOS devices who want to make their network connectivity available for bandwidth-intensive content can earn twice the amount — six credits ($0.006) — for each hour the device is connected to Honeygain’s servers by opting into the platform’s Content Delivery program.
Signing up multiple devices provides additional earning opportunities. Once a participant connects their device to Honeygain, there is no additional participation required. Therefore, you could theoretically log in through 10 devices, make sure each one is powered on at night, and allow Honeygain clients to use your data and bandwidth while you sleep.
Income opportunities don’t get much more passive than that.
Honeygain Key Questions Answered
Earning credits for participating in the program seems fairly straightforward.
However, participating as a residential user in a proxy program effectively means that you’re letting people you don’t know access the internet from your device.
Given that there are online search terms and practices that could be a catalyst for having your IP address monitored, there are some additional factors to consider before signing up.
Is Honeygain Legit?
Based on Honeygain’s App Store ratings and the extensive research we conducted for this review, we’re comfortable saying that Honeygain is legit in the sense that it can be downloaded and used without major complications, and that users are paid for their participation.
However, I was not able to uncover any concrete details about Honeygain’s ownership, their management, or their business partners when researching for this article — a concerning fact given how much access you’re required to provide the company in order to use the service.
That said, I was also unable to uncover any specific information or warranties from the company regarding inclusions/exclusions of what participating users’ devices will and (more importantly) will not be used for.
Additionally, it is unclear the extent to which you could theoretically be held responsible for the actions taken by the parties using your data allocation, bandwidth and IP address.
While potential illegal and/or unethical activity is certainly a concern, you should also be aware of the potential for inadvertently violating a company’s terms of service.
Here’s just one hypothetical example: Google is well known for having strict rules related to its advertising programs. If a Honeygain client uses your IP address to conduct an activity that violates those rules, you could potentially be held responsible (by Google) for that activity, and thus banned from utilizing the company’s tools. That would be a major problem if you wanted to become a blogger and earn money by showing ads on your website, or if you wanted to start a business and advertise via Google’s ad network.
Can You Control What Your Bandwidth Is Used For?
Users cannot choose which clients, or type of clients, they want to provide access to. Users will also not know which businesses used their device, or what it was used for.
Honeygain says that it works with trustworthy companies. However, there are no criteria listed for what “trustworthy” entails, and users have no way to know which companies are using the service and what their employees may search for.
Does Using Honeygain Put Your Personal Information At Risk?
Honeygain obtains your registration data (email address and Honeygain password), device information (model, IP address, operating system version), and payout method.
The company states that it does not gather data from users and that the app’s connection is encrypted, making private information unattainable.
However, without any specifics about the company and its owners, I’m not sure how meaningful this guarantee is.
What Recourse Do Users Have For Improper Use?
How Much Money Can You Make With Honeygain?
Honeygain’s earnings estimator (available on the company’s homepage) claims that users can make $55 per month if they participate in the optional Content Delivery program for three hours per day, connect three devices, and share six gigabytes of daily traffic.
$55 per month for doing next to nothing seems great, but how realistic is it that you would see similar earnings?
Honeygain measures earnings in credits. Each credit is worth $0.001, and users receive three credits for every 10 megabytes of traffic that goes through the platform. (or six credits for Content Delivery.)
Before cashing out, users need to accumulate $20.
- $1 = 1,000 Honeygain credits.
- $20 (to cash out) = 20,000 credits.
- You get 3 credits for 10 MB (0.01 GB) of shared data.
- At that earning rate, you would need to share 10 MB of data 6,666.66 times to earn 20,000 credits.
- 6,666.66 X 10 MB = 66,666 MB, which is 66.6 GB.
- That means you need to share a whopping 66.6 gigabytes of traffic to cash-out.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to estimate how long it will take you to earn enough credits to cash-out, as earning potential is driven by the laws of supply and demand.
When supply (the number of active Honeygain users who are sharing at any given time) is high, users on average will see less traffic. Similarly, when demand is low, there will be no traffic to send to users, which equates to limited earning opportunities.
There is no way to define the amount of data you want to share. You can’t tell Honeygain, for example, to always share 5 GB of data per day. As a result, there’s no way to formulate a realistic expectation of the app’s earning potential.
To increase your overall earnings, you can try:
- Opting into Content Delivery: Double your earnings to six credits for each hour a device is connected to Honeygain servers through this optional program, which caters to bandwidth-intensive content.
- Using Honeygain’s referral program: You can earn 10% of all your referral’s traffic-related earnings.
- Using multiple devices: You can earn more by using multiple devices with unique IP addresses. Honeygain has a 10-device maximum. Users with more than 10 devices need to sign up for a Swarmbytes account instead.
- Playing Honeygain’s Lucky Pot game: Active users have a chance to click a lottery-like button to earn up to 10,000 bonus credits (worth $10) each day. Per Honeygain, you are considered an active user if you generated “considerable” traffic the previous day.
Honeygain Payout Process and Options
Before requesting a payout, users must earn $20. Once that threshold is met, the payout can be made via PayPal in U.S. dollars. However, users must pay Tipalti (a third-party payment processor) a fee of $1 + 2% of the cash-out amount.
The fee for U.S. residents is capped at $2 per transaction, while the cap for non-residents is $21. Additional PayPal fees, if they apply to the particular transaction, will also be passed through to the user.
After requesting a payout, participants receive an email from Tipalti with an invitation link to sign up for an account and finalize payment.
Honeygain also offers payout options via JumpToken or Bitcoin. Note, however, that Bitcoin payments are currently on hold. The amount of cryptocurrency received will be based on the exchange rate at the time of the payout. There is no additional fee for JumpToken cash outs, but there is a flat fee of $1.50 for each Bitcoin transaction.
If you’re wondering what other passive income apps are out there that can be used with (or instead of) Honeygain, here are a few options that can be used individually or stacked on top of one another to maximize your passive income potential.
- Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel: This app tracks how people use their internet-connected devices. You can earn about $50 per year for allowing the app to collect this data.
- PacketStream: Similar to Honeygain in that users are paid for sharing their bandwidth in a residential proxy network. PacketStream pays 10 cents per GB, whereas Honeygain only pays 3 cents per GB.
- SavvyConnect: Installing SavvyConnect on your device will earn you $5 per month for each connected device. As with Nielsen, this app is tracking you (i.e., collecting usage statistics about your online browsing habits).
Honeygain Review: Final Verdict
Honeygain is a legit passive income app in the sense that if users sign up and share their IP addresses and connection, they will be rewarded with credits.
These credits accumulate over time and, once the $20 threshold is met, will be paid out.
However, users are only paid for the internet data and bandwidth they actively share, and Honeygain does not provide many details about how much traffic a user can reasonably expect to share.
Given the relatively low earning rate and the relatively high amount of data that would need to be shared to reach the $20 cash-out minimum, it’s reasonable to think that it will take months rather than weeks to see a payment.
Given that Honeygain’s ownership and client details are murky — combined with the fact that I was unable to find specific information about what is and isn’t acceptable regarding the content that would be accessed from my device — I was not comfortable downloading and testing the application.
I was also unable to verify details about the degree to which Honeygain slows down your device and/or internet, or about how quickly the program drains your device’s battery. There is anecdotal evidence from other Honeygain reviews that while the effect on your internet speed is minimal, the effect on your device’s battery is substantial.
If you’ve taken the plunge and are (or were) a Honeygain user, I’d love to hear your first-hand experience!