Hosting on the Sia Network

Put your spare storage space to work and make some extra money in the process.

Becoming a Host

Hosting is a serious commitment! Become familiar with the requirements.

Last Updated October 5, 2018

A host is someone who sells their spare storage space on the Sia network. In the Sia-UI, hosting is about as simple as setting a few prices, selecting your storage location, and turning on your host by accepting contracts and announcing your host. Anybody can become a host on Sia, but they should first become familiar with the requirements of doing so.

Hosts are one of the most important parts of the Sia network because renters need to be able to trust that a host is going to be online and actually have their data intact when a renter needs it. Hosts are held to several standards in order to ensure that the Sia network remains a reliable and high-quality system for renters to purchase storage space. For that reason, basic requirements to becoming a host on Sia include:

  • Reliablity: A reliable computer, internet connection, and power/utility service. Hosts must be online at all times.
  • Sia Prerequisites: The Sia-UI Client installed on your host computer, a wallet (created with the Sia client), and a few Siacoins.
  • Storage: Spare hard drive space to rent out, ideally greater than 4 TB.

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you may be unable to host, you may not receive any storage contracts from renters, or you may even risk losing your own Siacoins as a penalty. Hosting is a serious commitment! Too many people try to start hosting without completeing understanding what's involved, so we'd strongly recommend you reivew all available information here before making a decision to become a host.

To find out if your particular configuration is recommended for hosting, visit our Suggested Host Settings page.

Host Pricing

Hosts compete with each other by setting their own prices.

One of the most common questions people have when hosting is how to know what they should set their prices to. There are several areas in which hosts can set pricing:

  • Base Storage Price: Your base price for storage, per Terabyte/Month.
  • Contract Fees: A small, one-time fee per contract to cover network transaction costs.
  • Upload/Download Bandwidth Price: Your price for upload or download bandwidth to/from your host, per Terabyte.
  • Collateral: How many Siacoins you're willing to risk losing as a host if you don't fulfill the rental contract, per Terabyte.

In general, Sia storage for renters is usually priced around the equivalent of $2 per Terabyte per Month. This is on the renter end, though, and since data is uploaded to 3x redundancy, host price settings will generally be about a third of that (about $0.66/TB/Month) because a host will only have 1/3 of a renter's data. Since storage on Sia is priced in Siacoins (SC), you can get a rough idea for a starting point of your storage pricing by dividing $0.66 by the current price of Siacoins. For example, with a current Siacoin price of $0.02, you'd probably want to start with a base storage price around 33 SC/TB/Month. ($0.66 / $0.02 = 33 SC).

For all current suggested starting prices for new hosts, visit our Suggested Host Settings page.

When setting host prices, start with the current average prices, and you can adjust them later if you find you're not getting many contracts as a host. When you change your prices, it will only affect new contracts. Any contracts you had prior to the price change will still be effective at whatever price was set when the contract was created. For this reason, you can experiment with your prices without worrying about angering any current renters you may have. Also, since the price of Siacoin changes over time, you may need to adjust your host prices every now and then in order to remain competitive as a host.

Host Scoring

Increase your odds of receiving contracts by monitoring your host score.

The Sia network ranks all hosts according to an overall Host Score. This score is based on a number of metrics, listed below. Some items can be directly affected, such as metrics related to pricing - you can lower a price to increase your host score. Other metrics are automatic and involve time or reliability. Becoming familiar with the host metrics means that you can work to optimize your host ranking and be more likely to receive new contracts.

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Host Scoring Metrics

These are the current specific metrics your host is scored by. The different numerical ranges of your host score are somewhat arbitrary, but in general, the higher your host score, the better your host is considered to be and the more competitive you are. Any adjustments to your host score explained below follow this rule - if something lowers your host score, it's not good. If something raises your host score, that's great!

Host Uptime

Host uptime is one of the most important metrics. If you're not online when your renters need their data, you're not doing them very much good. You're allowed a small amount of downtime in order to address minor maintenance issues (restarting for updates, etc) which amounts to approximate 14 hours per month, but in general you should plan for your hosting computer to be turned on and online 24/7. If you can't commit to this, you shouldn't try to host on the Sia network.

Warning: If you go offline for too long (less than 95% uptime) or lose renter data (by deleting it or experiencing a hardware failure), you can lose your collateral for active contracts. You can also become responsible for SiaFund fees for each contract.

Below are the exact amounts that your score will change based on your uptime percentage. Greater than 98% uptime results in no penalty, which is the 14 hours a month explained above (2% of 720 hours in a month = 14 hours).

Uptime (Greater than or equal to) Multiply Host Score By % Reduction in Score
100% 1.0 None
98% 1.0 None
95% 0.91 -10%
90% 0.51 -50%
85% 0.16 -85%
80% 0.03 -97%
75% 0.005 -99.5%
70% 0.001 -99.9%
50% 0.000002 -99.9998%

You can see that your score decreases rapidly after you have less than 95% uptime.

Storage Pricing

The price you set for your storage as a host is one of the biggest ways you can affect your host score. You want to set a price that's competitive, but that will still result in a reasonable amount of income for the space you offer. In general, the higher you price your storage, the lower your host score will be. Your host score will increase by a factor of 16 every time you cut your storage price in half. Decreasing your storage cost by even a small amount will have an impact on your score.

Two other pricing factors you have to take into consideration as a host are Contract Fees and Bandwidth Price.

  • A Contract Fee is a one-time fee a renter pays in order to initiate a storage contract with you. It's intended to cover transaction fees on the Sia network related to the creation of the contract and receiving payments as a host. This is normally set for you automatically, but it can be changed via the Terminal/command line. If you change it, you generally don't want to set this more than about 5 SC, as these costs are very low.
  • Bandwidth Price can be set on a basis of SC per Terabyte transferred to/from your host. One price can be set for both upload and download bandwidth via the Sia-UI, or different upload/download prices can be set individually via the Terminal/command line. It's suggested that you price your upload and download bandwidth in relation to your internet connection capabilities. If you have a fast connection such as gigabit fiber, you can price these items very low because a user transferring several Terabytes doesn't impact you very much. If you have a slow connection or data caps, you may want to consider a higher bandwidth price, though this may deter renters.

For all current suggested starting prices for new hosts, visit our Suggested Host Settings page.


As a host, you're required to put up an amount of Siacoins as collateral. Collateral is a guarantee to your renters that you will be online through the storage contract, and that you'll have their data intact at the end of the contract. As a host, this is why you need Siacoins to start hosting. If you go offline for too long or lose renter data, you risk losing your collateral. See Host Uptime for more details on uptime requirements.

You should normally set your collateral to around 2-3x your base storage price as a starting point in order to maximize your host score in this area. For example, if you've priced your storage at 50 SC/TB, you should set your collateral at 100-150 SC/TB.

  • If you set your collateral too low, your host score will be reduced, because renters will have no reason to trust you as a host if you have little or nothing to lose by going offline.
  • If you set your collateral too high, this can also decrease your host score. Renters pay a fee based on a percentage of your collateral that goes towards SiaFunds - if your collateral is set very high, the fee a renter pays as a result will be very high, which can decrease your host score.

For all current suggested starting prices for new hosts, visit our Suggested Host Settings page.

Monitoring Your Collateral

You can get information on your collateral by typing host -v into the Terminal. This will show you a few things:

  • All of your current host settings, as well as details on contracts and expected revenue
  • Locked Collateral - this is the total collateral that's been reserved for contracts that have been created with your host. This amount has been removed from your wallet and is inaccessiable to you.
  • Risked Collateral - this is collateral for data that has actually been uploaded to your host, so you stand to lose it if your host goes offline or loses the data. This amount is a subset of Locked Collateral.
  • Lost Collateral - this is collateral you've lost because you weren't online when a storage proof was due to be submitted, or because you lost a renter's data.

With this information, you can determine how much collateral has been tied up in the process of hosting, and make adjustments to your collateral settings accordingly if necessary.

Storage Remaining

The more free storage space (not total storage space) you have remaining, the less likely you are to form contracts with several renters and then run out of space later, making those contracts useless. The host scoring system takes this into account.

The following table shows the host score penalties for various amounts of free storage space remaining on a host computer. Penalties start at free space under 4 Terabytes; you may not have 4 TB available to rent, so this is a metric that you may not be able to do anything to improve.

Storage Remaining (Less than or equal to) Multiply Host Score By % Reduction in Score
4 TB 0.5 -50%
3 TB 0.25 -75%
2 TB 0.125 -87.5%
1.6 TB 0.0625 -93.75%
800 GB 0.03125 -96.875%
400 GB 0.015625 -98.4375%
300 GB 0.0078125 -99.21875%
200 GB 0.00390625 -99.609375%
100 GB 0.001953125 -99.8046875%
60 GB 0.0009765625 -99.90234375%
40 GB 0.00048828125 -99.951171875%
20 GB 0.000244140625 -99.9755859375%
Host Age

New hosts are considered less trustworthy by the network because they have no history of being online consistently. A host score penalty is applied to new hosts, and is gradually reduced the older the host becomes. There is nothing you can do to improve this metric except to put your host online and then wait.

The table below shows how host scores are affected based on the host's age. Penalties are measured in blocks, and roughly equated to time in days. After you've been a host for 42 days (6 weeks), there is no penalty.

Host Age (Blocks) Less Than Host Age (Days) Less Than Multiply Host Score By % Reduction in Score
6,000 41 0.5 -50%
4,000 28 0.25 -75%
2,000 14 0.125 -87.5%
1,000 7 0.0625 -93.75%
576 4 0.03125 -96.875%
288 2 0.015625 -98.4375%
144 1 0.0078125 -99.21875%
Interaction Weight

Interaction weight is a metric measured between two nodes on the Sia network. For example, if a renter tries to contact your host and you're frequently offline or don't have your wallet unlocked (a pre-requisite to your host being online), your interaction score will decrease with that renter. This score is unique for each node you encounter - it doesn't have an effect on your total host score, but rather with each individual node on the Sia network.

Keeping your host online and your wallet unlocked while hosting will keep this score as high as possible. For instructions on how to automatically unlock your wallet when Sia starts, see this FAQ topic.

Version Adjustment

Your host score is penalized if you're not running the latest version of the Sia-UI client. Sia is constantly under development, and bug fixes and new features are pushed out on a somewhat regular basis. If you're running an older version of the client, your renters may not be able to take advantage of all the latest features of Sia until you upgrade.

As you can see, hosts have several ways in which they compete with other hosts.

Monitoring your Host Score

Once you've started hosting, you'll probably want to keep an eye on your host score and see how you might be able to improve your host ranking. SiaHub is a public host database with lots of information on hosts, including estimated host rankings and host scores. You can locate your host by searching for your host's public IP, and then view your stats. You can also browse top hosts and see what settings they're using, which may give you ideas on how to improve your host score. Note that SiaHub stats are only estimates, but they're the best ones available at this time.

Ready to get started as a host on Sia? Check out our step-by-step Guide to Hosting on Sia! We also have several Hosting FAQs.

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