Popular Bitcoin & Altcoin Mining Pools & Information on how to use them
What is a Mining Pool?
It's a place where many people mine BTC or Altcoin blocks together by combining their hashing power instead of going solo.
Of course the more power you put in the more money you will get out compared to the rest in the pool. This is by far the most popular way to mine now, due to the price to power ratio for mining, certainly with Bitcoin, sometimes newer altcoins are solo mined by many at 1st due to the low amount of power needs for the begining blocks, but as time goes on, just like Bitcoin has, those blocks will get smaller in reward while becoming harder to solve and requiring more power both in electricity and hash rate.
How can I mine in a mining pool?
You will need special hardware, and depending on the type of altcoin or bitcoin you want to mine, you will need a certain kind, that mines using the same algorithm of the altcoin you wanted. So, if you wanted to mine bitcoin, you'd need a miner that uses the SHA256 algorithm, and if you wanted to mine litecoin, you'd need the SCRYPT algorithm.
Can I use my computer?
We don't recommend it, back when the difficulty was low for bitcoin and litecoin, many people would mine using their Graphic cards for bitcoin and their CPUs for litecoin, they quickly found out, it destroys your machine afterwards, it's just alot of heat. That is why many hardware miners sold today, have such large heatsinks. So, story short, No, don't use your computer to mine bitcoin, or altcoins, you're better off and more efficient mining altcoins with a newer specifically designed miner.