When you mine bitcoins, you may or may not be the first one to solve the block, which means that your profits are not guaranteed.
It’s getting progressively harder for individual miners, especially if their hardware is a bit weaker to compete with people who have a more powerful hardware. Keep in mind that everything here is based on chance, or average values.
The fact that your hardware can generate a smaller number of hashes (the piece of code needed to consider a block solved and move to the next one) doesn’t mean that it won’t do it in a few minutes even if the average estimate is days, or even weeks. It simply means that the likelihood for that is much smaller.
In order to get around all of this, some miners have decided to create something called a bitcoin mining pool.
The mining pool sums up the efforts of more than one miner in order to achieve results faster, and then the profit is split based on the computational power you’ve provided to the pool. This means that you will not be getting all the profit from the solved block, but you will be getting paid more consistently.
When you think about bitcoin mining pool vs solo, you need to consider what would you prefer – a more risky approach where you get more, but less frequently, or a safer approach where you get less but more frequently. It is worth to mention that most miners consider the latter option better, which is why most of them work in pools.
It’s important to properly research a pool before joining them. Some pools require a fee to work with them, while others don’t. There are different rules you will have to comply with, and the payouts are also different.
If you want to be a solo bitcoin miner, that’s fine, but if you want to join a pool it’s a good idea to do your homework well before that.
In most cases you will have to maintain a proper connection to the bitcoin mining pool server so make sure that you have a good internet service provider before you begin.
If you have frequent connectivity issues, then it’s a bad idea to start before improving that aspect.
Also make sure that your hardware runs well, otherwise you may have problems along the way. All in all, it’s a good idea to join a pool but do your research beforehand.