The original earnings estimator is no longer online, so I’m altering this suggestion to advocate for the return of a realistic earnings estimator. In the mean time SNOs can use this community version to get a good estimate of the earnings potential.

*Please be respectful of others using this sheet. If someone else is looking at their results, give them a moment before overwriting their inputs or copy the sheet to your own Google account to fill in your own inputs. The sheet is protected against edits outside of the input fields. But you can alter your own copy as much as you like.*

The sheet predicts the first 10 years of profit based on a best effort estimation of network activity. Additionally it gives an indication of what the maximum earnings potential is. I update the sheet regularly to match current network behavior.

*Screenshot made on 2020-08-03, estimates may change*

All relevant network statistics used in calculations in this sheet are listed on the right. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for improvements. It’d be nice if Storj chooses to provide an official estimator at some point, but in the mean time I want to do my best to keep this one as realistic as possible.

Below you will find my original post suggesting replacing the previous Storj earnings estimator. Note that this criticism no longer applies as the old estimator has been removed, but I will leave the original post below for reference and context of the original discussion.

*–Original post for historic reference–*

I decided to post this as an idea so it can be voted on. I think we’re seeing a lot of heated debate around payouts that can be remedied by making the earnings estimator more realistic, based on what has been learned about the networks performance thus far. The current version of the estimator is both WAY too optimistic and not optimistic enough depending on the values entered. Bandwidth limits can no longer be set on the node software so they should be an output of the calculation resulting in a minimum requirement instead of an input.

But the biggest flaw is that it doesn’t sufficiently display how earnings will be low for the first few months, but get much better over time. This sets an expectation of immediate income. That expectation is broken and people lose trust in the projected earnings altogether before they even get to the better months. Potential SNOs should be prepared to expect low payouts early on knowing that it will get a LOT better over time, to prevent losing them before it gets interesting for them.

The following is a repost with some small edits from another conversation, with examples of how the current calculator gives the wrong idea.

I don’t think the payout is unfair, but I do think expectations are skewed. The official earnings estimator doesn’t really help here.

https://storj.io/storage-node-estimator/

For example, on a 100mbit (you can’t set it higher) upload, it estimates 8.34TB of egress traffic regardless of how much data you have stored, despite 10% of stored data being downloaded each month being a much more reasonable estimate. The slider for storage goes up to 20TB, but even with that amount stored 8.34TB egress doesn’t seem realistic. It also assumes you will fill up 50% of your storage in the first month and it stays there from that point on. Again, not realistic.

Perhaps it is now possible based on the data collected so far to determine a realistic percentage of egress compared to disk storage. Lets for argument say that’s about 10%. Perhaps it’s also fair to assume you get about 1TB growth per month on a good connection. This would depend on download speed, so you might incorporate that by saying 1TB for 50mbit and lower for lower connection speeds, but not higher for higher speeds as there is no longer an advantage above 50mbit for the most part. We also know that during roughly the first month you only get 5% of traffic due to vetting. Based on this you could build a much more realistic estimator… so I did.

Lets assume these inputs:

- 6TB available storage
- 50mbit download
- 25mbit upload

Storjlabs estimator:

My more realistic alternative:

Most importantly this sets the expectation that earnings will be low during the first few months, but you shouldn’t be discouraged by that because it will get a lot better. However, there are limits to earnings potential in relation to storage size.

For example, if you only share 1TB, it doesn’t matter how fast your connection is, you’re not going to make a lot of money.

Needless to say the official estimator goes a bit nuts on this scenario. Please note, I set it to 1TB, but it assumes only 50% will be used. That’s why it shows 0.5TB.

It also shows that sharing virtually endless storage space doesn’t make you a lot of money right away either. Because it simply takes time to fill that up.

That said, it’s still optimistic on how fast it will fill up. And perhaps egress estimation can be tuned a little. I think this shows that it’s worth it for SNOs to run a node and sets an optimistic enough expectation, without leading to massive disappointment.

I hope something closer to this will be considered. If anyone wants to play with my version of this estimator, I made it available read only at this link. Please copy it to your own account to enter your own values to test with.

*–Link moved to the top of this post. This sheet has been extensively updated, many notes in the original post no longer apply–*

Notes on this sheet: Egress is capped by upload speed in case people have relatively low upload speed. I used a bandwidth calculator to find: 100 Mbit/s is equivalent to 32.8725 Terabytes (TB) per month. So mbit/3 is roughly the max TB egress you could get. But because egress can be spiky and it’s not realistic to assume your entire upload will be used constantly, I went with mbit/10 as a more realistic option. Assuming that about a third of your connection would be used for egress.