Sia hosting guidelines

Pixeldrain uses Sia to offload files which are not requested often, but still need to be kept. Sia is a free storage market where any host can choose their own pricing. Because of this the users of the network need to be careful when choosing the hosts to make contracts with.

Because pixeldrain is fairly cost-constrained we are forced to set some hard requirements on storage and bandwidth pricing for Sia hosts.


We will only make contracts with hosts that fullfill all these requirements. Keep in mind that these are maximums, you are allowed to go lower.

Requirement Max rate EUR Max rate SC
Storage price per month € 1.50 / TB 496.7 SC / TB
Download price € 2.00 / TB 662.3 SC / TB
Upload price € 1.50 / TB 662.3 SC / TB
Contract formation price € 0.10 33.11 SC

Based on exchange rates from Kraken. Explanation of units.

This may seem low, but keep in mind that these prices are before redundancy. We have to upload all our data three times to the Sia network in order to reach high availability. If you multiply everything by three it becomes much more reasonable.

We also can’t guarantee that your host will be picked when it fulfills these requirements. If there is enough supply we will only pick the most reliable hosts available.

Other settings we pay attention to:

Setting Recommended value
Max contract duration At least 4 months
Proof window duration 1 day
Download batch size At least 16 MiB
Revision batch size At least 16 MiB

Tips and tricks for becoming a better host

Use a stable Linux or BSD-based operating system

Sia is known to run better on Linux or BSD based operating systems. Windows is discouraged due to I/O reliability issues. Windows often sacrifices reliability for better performance, because of this crashes are more common on Windows and also have a greater chance of resulting is data loss. Forced updates and other interruping system processes are also likely to harm hosting uptime and performance.

We can recommend Debian, CentOS or Ubuntu LTS for hosting. These are systems which are known to be able to run uninterruped for decades. They are also regularly patched with security updates which don’t even require restarting most of the time. This makes these systems perfect for the role of hosting on Sia.

Enable TCP BBR and other network stack optimizations

BBR is a new congestion control agorithm which dramatically decreases the time needed for a TCP connection to ramp up to maximum speed. It also contains improvements to counter other problems like router buffer bloat which causes network latency spikes. Here’s an in-depth analysis of the benefits of enabling BBR.

To enable BBR you need you have kernel version 4.9 or higher. See your kernel version with uname -a. On Ubuntu you can upgrade to a newer kernel by enabling HWE.

Create a file called /etc/sysctl.d/60-bbr.conf with the following contents:

net.core.default_qdisc = fq_codel
net.ipv4.tcp_congestion_control = bbr
net.ipv4.tcp_notsent_lowat = 16384
net.ipv4.tcp_slow_start_after_idle = 0

After doing that you can run sysctl -p or reboot to apply the changes. Verify that it’s working with this command: sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_congestion_control. It should return bbr.

Here’s a more in-depth guide to the configuration of the linux network stack.

Use Sia Host Manager to configure your host

SiaCentral’s Host Manager is a great tool for monitoring and configuring your host. It explains all the settings in detail, gives an option to set prices in any currency you like and gives detailed insights into your contracts and revenue stream.

Sign up for SiaStats host alerts

When your host is configured properly SiaStats will monitor its uptime and performance. These stats are important for renters to discover good hosts and to get an overview into the state of the hosting network.

If your host has been online for a while it will show up on SiaStats’ hosting page. If you search for your host there will be an option to sign up for hosting alerts.

IPv6 capability is encouraged

Pixeldrain makes heavy use of IPv6 across its systems. We do this because we believe that IPv6 is a critical component for the free internet. The old IPv4 requires terrible hacks like NAT to work at a large scale. IPv4 addresses are also scarce and expensive to rent. All this money is thrown away on a legacy system for which a replacement has already existed for over a decade. NAT limits the growth of peer-to-peer software by making it impossible for applications to communicate freely over the internet. Instead we need to add more hacks on top like port forwarding to make it work. This has harmed the growth of the open internet a lot over the decades and will harm it more if we keep going like this.

So enable IPv6. If you don’t have IPv6, call your ISP and ask them why not.

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