What is phone farming?
“Phone farming” is the use of mobile devices to generate passive income, by running money-making apps which require little or no user input.
The golden age of phone farming (circa 2017) saw hardcore practitioners earning hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a month from running up to 200 or so devices.
The optimal strategy for phone farming continuously evolves as go-to apps weaken or die out completely. What worked a year ago could be borderline useless today, as I came to find out.
As popular passive income apps fade from relevancy, new opportunities appear to take their place. If you’re willing to adapt to the current situation, phone farming is still worth considering as one of your side-hustles.
What are the best phone farming apps?
There are four categories of passive income apps which are currently suitable for phone farming:
- Bandwidth selling apps e.g. Peer2Profit & Honeygain
- Paid-to-watch video sites e.g. Hideout TV
- Paid-to-run games via Playtime Rewards
- Cryptocurrency cloud mining apps e.g. CryptoTab
Let’s have a look at these in more detail now:
1. Bandwidth Sellers
At any given moment, the internet connection you’re paying for is likely not being used at its maximum capacity. There are now apps that let you monetise unused data, by selling bandwidth to businesses.
This helps companies who need a proxy to get around geo-blocking in their region- For example, if they need to conduct a price comparison of services in different countries.
My favourite bandwidth selling app is Peer2Profit. This app is delivering impressive earnings of $0.50 per day completely passively. There’s no limit on how many devices you may use- In fact, multiple devices are encouraged.
The only catch is the awkward withdrawal methods, which are largely geared towards a Russian user base. The easiest way to withdraw would probably be in Litecoin, which has a low minimum threshold at $2. You will be able to sell this for real money or convert it to other cryptocurrency on a site like Coinbase.
My second choice for bandwidth selling is Honeygain. Despite having a slower earning rate than Peer2Profit, users can claim a daily login bonus which awards them some extra cents.
It can take quite a while to reach the $20 withdraw limit. Users have a choice of PayPal or Bitcoin payments, but it’s recommend to avoid the PayPal option due to unreasonable fees.
Honeygain limits you to running 1 device per IP address. You may wish to prioritise the PC version, which earns more due to the content delivery feature. I personally use it on my laptop during the daytime, and then on a phone overnight.
If you’d like to try Honeygain, you can get a $5 sign-up bonus by using my referral link.
2. Paid-To-Watch Video Sites
These sites are similar to YouTube, except you get points when adverts are shown. They can run unattended for the most part, thanks to the autoplay feature.
I must admit to initially overlooking their potential, due to traditionally using these sites on a PC, with the annoyance of having half the screen occupied. It turns out that these sites earn equally as well running in a web browser on a spare phone. Remember to disable the auto-lock feature on your phone, so the videos stay on the screen.
Hideout TV is the classic paid-to-view site. In addition to earning from viewing, you can claim a free daily bonus by activating the promo code under the video player.
Hideout TV works almost passively, but you may need to respond to a CAPTCHA every four hours to continue running it.
The optimal way to withdraw from Hideout TV is by transferring your points to their sister site LootUp. Not only does this scale your points up, but you have the opportunity to win earnings boosters on the daily prize wheel. I recommend saving your Hideout TV points until you get the maximum 50% booster. LootUp uses the same login information has Hideout TV; registering on one site grants you access to the other.
Loot TV is a competitor clone of Hideout TV. It works in the same way, and my tests have shown that it earns equally as much.
It’s best to transfer Loot TV points to the rewards platform Freecash. This is because Freecash doesn’t take a commission from your Loot TV earnings. There is a 1:1 conversion ratio of points between these sites. Also, if you send 1000 Loot TV points ($1) to Freecash, you will unlock the first daily streak bonus worth $0.025.
3. Playtime Rewards
Playtime Rewards isn’t a standalone app- It’s a third-party feature which is included in other popular rewards apps, such as Swagbucks.
You can get paid to download and run games apps on your phone. This benefits app developers, who rely on installations to improve their rankings on the Google Play Store.
Apps initially credit you once a minute, but the payout intervals gradually increase. The amount credited each time also increases, but not by enough to offset the reduced frequency. Once a game no longer pays at a satisfactory rate, simply install a new one. There’s a seemingly endless list of bad games to choose from.
The credit you receive is in terms of whichever rewards app you access Playtime Rewards on. It’s best to use apps which credit full units at a time i.e. cents rather than fractions of cents. That’s why I recommend the Swagbucks app for this purpose.
The availability of Playtime Rewards on various rewards platforms is favourable for farming on multiple devices. Using a different Google Play Store account on each device prevents restrictions.
4. Cryptocurrency Cloud Mining
Another use for spare Android phone is mining Bitcoin using the CryptoTab app.
Traditional Bitcoin mining is hardware-intensive, coming with increased electricity bills and even hardware degradation.
The CryptoTab Android app instead utilises “cloud mining’, whereby their own mining equipment is accessed remotely by users, removing the associated risks of traditional mining from the user. Note: This only applies to the phone app, not the PC version.
The free version of the CryptoTab app is monetised by advertising, and users must check in after every 2 hours to continue earning. You can also buy a “Pro” version of the app which removes advertising and extends the check-in interval to 3 hours, in addition to offering a slightly higher mining rate.
I suggest starting off with the free version and seeing how it goes. You may wish to reinvest your earnings into getting the Pro version at a later stage. I waited until it was on sale for £1.99, as the standard price of £4.99 is a bit steep.
How To Get Phones For Phone Farming
I recommend trying to score free phones as far as possible. Maybe you have friends or family who are looking to upgrade their phones soon? Maybe they have old phones lying around in drawers which they can’t be bothered to recycle? Failing that, maybe you can get one for your birthday / Christmas.
When it comes to buying phones, us Brits don’t have the same luxuries as Americans, who can casually stroll into their local Walmart and pick up some cheap Android devices.
Your best bet will be something like eBay or Facebook Marketplace (try posting a “Wanted” advert). Going for pre-owned phones with imperfections such as cracked screens will save you money.
You may wish to start off with one or two phones, and reinvest some of your profits into expanding your farm.
It’s important to consider the longevity each device that you buy. Your phones need to be supported by a recent enough version of the Android operating system to be compatible with modern-day apps. Be sure to do your research when buying different models, or stick with ones that are tried and tested.
I envision that phone farming will continue to be a viable side-hustle for those who are willing to stay informed and make adjustments to their game plan as necessary.
When one phone farming app dies, it creates a gap in the market for a new app to step in. We may have to undergo paradigm shifts to continue earning, but the core principals will remain.
So let’s keep the dream alive, by continuing to generate passive income just by running apps on our phones.