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Google Circles and what it Doesn’t Mean for You

Next lets have a look at the code bits this Rohrweck has found – as seen above. This code was, again, found on chúng tôi and has since been taken down. What this means, first of all, is that Google does not want this code to be seen. Second, what it COULD mean is that Circles was a project in the past but is no longer, the code simply left on the page accidentally. Having built more than one rather terribly constructed webpages in the past, I can tell you firsthand that forgetting to delete some useless code is not only possible, it’s MUCH more likely than most other scenarios. What this code appears to do or appears to have done is plain: it allows you to see how your Circles-connected friends are interacting with your profile.

There’s another bit that may be connected to Circles that was tipped back in March: a project called Google Me that was supposed to appear at Google I/O 2011 but never came to fruiting. Google Me has been talked about for months before this newest false appearance, having popped up back in July of 2010 as a social gaming construct, for example. Does this tie the name Google Me to the job listing above?

Then there’s the June 13th report by the same man who found the most recent Circles code. Rohrweck describes what he’d found at that point regarding Circles to be the following:

Google Circles isn’t so much a social network, it is more of a “contact/group management” system that lets you control which information you want to share with who.

Like: Family, Friends, Coworkers, Followers and so on. That’s circles… nothing more and nothing less.

This situation is confirmed, in a sort of sideways manner, by a couple of social communications from around March of 2011. First, according to Liz Gannes of AllThingsD, a Tweet was tweeted by Tim O’Reilly in response to a report that was later sideways-denied by Google on RWW which described Circles as a

“service will offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk.

The tweeted response by Tim O’Reilly read “I’ve seen google circles, and it looks awesome,” but was later deleted, replaced by an email to Liz Gannes of AllThingsD that read:

“It’s not a product, per se, and it’s not a new social network. Just some research-y thinking about how you could better manage social data. Exactly what Chris said. I got fooled by the RWW story into thinking that they’d turned it into something they were going to announce. There’s no story here. Just some labs stuff.”

So what the heck does all this mean?

It means, if you ask me, that Google Circles is a name of a project that might be released in the future that furthers the social connectivity options a person has with their Google account. You’ve already got a Google account if you’ve signed up for Gmail or if you’ve ever downloaded an app from the Android Market. More than likely this will be the same account you’ll be using to move further into the world Google is preparing for you, one we’re currently only able to call Google Circles.

It’s got a nice ring to it, wouldn’t you say? I hope they keep it.

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What Is The Google Home App And How To Use It

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Google Home app is one of the most effective tools for managing your smart home. Given the increasing adoption of smart home devices and Google’s prevalence in that space, the app is increasingly one of the go-to hubs for controlling all aspects of domestic tech.

But what is the Google Home app, how does it work, and what can you do with it? We’ve answered all of these questions in this handy guide.

What can you do with the Google Home app?

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The app can be used to control an almost endless list of smart devices, such as cameras, lights, and speakers. Multiple devices can be activated at once, and you can even set them to be automated. It’s also useful for managing services like calendars, to-do lists, and media subscriptions.

There are dozens of types of devices that can be controlled by the app, and each one has a range of functions that can be performed remotely. This adds up to hundreds of actions you can perform with the app. Listing those functions would be endless, but we’ve summarised the features of the app that you can explore.

Google Home app features

Here’s a rundown of the general features that the Google Home app offers:

Set up Google devices — From the Google Nest Mini to your Google Nest Wi-Fi router, Google Home is the app you use to configure them when you’re first setting them up.

Control and manage compatible devices — Thousands of smart home devices from many brands are compatible with Google Assistant. The Google Home app can detect what type of device they are and give you the means to control them in-app or with your voice. Popular actions include adjusting the thermostat, making calls, changing the music, and much more.

Quick actions — These make controlling your devices easier via shortcuts in the app. This could be a link to your camera feed or access to your smart thermostat. You could also set routines for multiple devices, such as having several lights turn on at a scheduled time in the evening.

Group devices — Your devices can be organized into groups. This could be a connected set of speakers, or it could be every smart device in one room.

Alerts and notifications — The app has a feed of notifications about important device activities and reminders.

Adjust settings — Find and manage settings for all of your devices, services, and home members.

New features

On top of the usual features above, the Google Home app recently got a revamp to include some new additions. You can already preview this version of the app with these new features, some of which are:

Spaces — Quickly view and control groups of similar devices such as compatible lights, cameras, and thermostats.

Media mini player — Be better placed to adjust settings on video playing in your home by actually viewing what’s on the screen through the app.

Automation — Go beyond routines and build your own automation, such as one smart home device detecting movement and triggering the activation of other devices.

The Google Home app is available on your phone or tablet as with any app. It has recently also become an option on the Pixel Watch and other Wear OS 3 wearables.

You’ll then be asked to set up a device, which you can do at this point or any time afterward. You can either select New Device to add a device, or you can link one of your existing devices already previously identified in the app.

When adding a new device, you’ll be asked to give the app permission to detect and connect to nearby Bluetooth devices. Do this and follow the subsequent prompts to locate and add the device or devices of your choosing.

As you add devices, you’ll see them accumulated on your home screen, which should now show your home’s name. To add more devices, create speaker groups, manage your services, and more, you’ll find all of the options you need in the Add and Manage menu. This is accessed by tapping on the + symbol in the top left of the home screen.

Now that you’ve connected your account, created a home, and added your devices, you’re all set. The possibilities from here are limited only by the functionality of your devices.


Yes, the app is free to download and use. But if you are using it to control services that require a subscription such as Spotify, you will have to pay for that subscription.

If you don’t use the app and want to delete it then nothing will happen. If you use it to control your smart home devices then deleting it will remove that ability, and you may lose any settings or configurations from within the app for your smart home devices.

6 Ways Bing Is The Opposite Of Google And What To Do About It

Search has been synonymous with Google for over a decade and a half. Even as search marketers, we are guilty of focusing a disproportionate amount of our time and resources into optimizing our campaigns, websites, and social media to Google. Google dictates what is acceptable and shape content strategies, campaign messaging, even business models.

However, even if Google does dominate nearly three-quarters of all search traffic, we cannot afford to ignore the leftover 25%. In fact, as marketers who hunt down every single percentage point growth in traffic, conversion, and market share, it’s our job to ensure not a single user is left unnoticed and unattended.

This is where Google’s only real challenger enters the picture. Say hello to Bing.

In many ways, Bing was painted as everything Google was not. While it unfortunately did not live up to that promise completely, many strategies for Bing are different from conventionally accepted SEO wisdom – wisdom that is designed nearly entirely on Google’s search algorithms. So, let’s take a look at what sets these two behemoths apart and how to navigate those tricky situations as an SEO professional.

#1 – Reading Between the Lines

Bing is often accused of being too literal for words. The focus on anchor text, keywords, title tags, H1, H2, tags and the like makes Bing seem like Google was about five years ago. The result is user intent is often missed for the actual words being typed in.

Google, on the other hand, changed the way users search with its Hummingbird update in that introduced semantic search. Google identifies natural language patterns and returns results based on the context of the words being keyed into the search bar, and not just the words themselves. Google understands and picks up synonyms, as well as the relationships between keywords instead of focusing on individual keywords.

Balancing Bing and Google

The first step is to get your on-page SEO spot on. Basics like getting your keyword(s) in the page title and headers, ensuring your keywords are visible throughout your page, optimizing your meta descriptions, alt tags, and so on will help ranks in both Bing and Google.

Even if the largest chunk of your time is spent optimizing for Google, make it a point to carve out time for Bing by tracking keywords specific to Bing, tracking your ranking purely for Bing, and so on. Just make sure you don’t get carried away and overstuff your page with keywords – Bing may like keywords, but Google sure will punish you for trying spammy tactics.

#2 – The Backlinks Story

Google’s hallowed PageRank algorithm was based upon the number and quality of backlinks a site receives from other sites. Google counts each ‘clean’ backlink as an ‘upvote’ in the favor of the site. The higher the authority of the sites linking back to your site, the better your search rankings.

In contrast, Bing’s focus on backlinks is not as intense as Google. Yes, you do need backlinks from other sites to rank well, but the quality of sites that link to you trumps quantity with Bing. There are other factors related to the backlinks that count even more. The inbound anchor text needs to exactly or at least partially match your keywords for your backlinks to even count. This is not the case with Google. In fact, Google’s Penguin update was a direct attack on spammy backlinks and over-optimization of keywords and anchor text.

Balancing Bing and Google

So if the quantity of your backlinks matter to Google, give it to them. Work on getting as many valid and clean backlinks as possible. The authority of sites that link back to yours is equally important to both Bing and Google, so work on creating content that even high authority sites won’t mind linking back to. Lastly, since inbound anchor text in your backlinks is so important to Bing, try to get exact match anchor text from high authority sites. Balance these out with non-exact match backlinks from lower authority sites to keep a possible Penguin penalty at bay.

#3 – Crawl Depth

A persistent issue with Bing is that its bots do not read through your entire page to find a relevant keyword. Apparently around 100 kb at the beginning of a web page is what they normally scour. This stands in contrast with Google bots that scan through all the contents of your page – the good, bad and ugly – before making a decision about your search ranking.

When you submit your website to a search engine for being indexed, you probably expect your entire sitemap to find a place in its directories. This does happen with Google, but in the case of Bing, chances are only your homepage will be indexed. The only way the rest of your pages stand a chance of being indexed is if they carry at least one backlink from a high authority site.

Balancing Bing and Google

This one’s pretty straightforward. To stay on the radars of both Google and Bing, make sure you introduce your money keywords near the beginning of your page. Important backlinks ought to find a place near the top of the page to ensure findability by Bing, too. When you start building out your backlink profile, don’t only focus on your homepage. Build high quality links from respected websites to inside pages too. This does not just ensure visibility to your internal pages, it also helps improve your domain authority with Bing.

#4 – Freshness Lowers Authority

This may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but Bing is a firm believer in the adage Old is gold. Sites that sport popular content and that have been around for a while win in the ranking stakes on Bing. The logic here is to reward authoritative content so users get the most accurate answers to their search queries. Another reason for older content getting higher ranks is that Bing takes its time to refreshes site indices, with refreshes happening about once in three months. Once a site is established in Bing’s algorithms as a high authority site, it will be a while before a fresh crawl reveals newer or more authoritative content to take its place.

On the other hand, fresher is nearly always better with Google. Google’s algorithms are tuned to find and display the latest content, all other factors like content relevance, domain authority, link profile, etc. remaining the same.

Balancing Bing and Google

It’s clear that both Bing and Google rank high quality and authoritative content higher than spammy content. So it goes without saying that you need to continually create strong, relevant content that matches the basic ranking criteria for both sites. As long as you publish a steady stream of excellent content, you will rank well on Google. The very fact that your content is good and well-regarded by other sites (strong backlinks) will help you rank well on Bing. Easy peasy!

#5 – Multimedia Rules on Bing

One of the first things that hits you on the Bing homepage is the invariably stunning image of the day that graces the page. Bing takes this same keen eye for aesthetics a little further and builds it into its search. Google is primarily a text driven search engine, which makes sense of images based on the Alt tags that are attached to the images while coding the page. Google bots can’t even see Flash or make any sense of it, which has led to the demise of this once popular website design element.

At the other end of the spectrum is multimedia savvy Bing, which has a much deeper understanding of images, Flash, videos, and their ilk. Bing’s algorithm relies on its ‘entity understanding’ capabilities to recognize what a particular image means or depicts in the overall context of the search query. This translates to more relevant image results on Bing with fewer duplicates or exact matches.

The autosuggest options on Bing’s image search are persistent (unlike Google) at the top of the page as you scroll below the fold.

Recognizing the image-centric nature of social media today, Bing leverages images from social media for a richer and more relevant set of image results.

Balancing Bing and Google

Even though Bing is adept at recognizing and serving up Flash results, you’d do well to avoid Flash in general, considering Google’s absolute inability combined with its gigantic market share. However, Bing offers you a whole picture book of reasons to include crisp, striking, and relevant images across your site. Even if your text content doesn’t rank you very high, your images stand a much stronger chance. While you’re at it, make sure you include alt tags and meta descriptions on your images to keep poor Google happy too.

#6 – Social Signals are Definitely a Big Deal

Google has traditionally flip-flopped on the importance of social media to its SERP rankings. Matt Cutts went so far as to pretty much deny social media had any role to play at all in Google’s scheme of things. While this claim has been disproved to a large extent by empirical evidence, the official stance remains that social media is not a huge ranking factor for Google.

Bing differs distinctly from Google in this regard. It doesn’t just use social signals like shares, tweets and overall popularity as ranking factors, it even integrates results from social media into its search results. Research by Search Metrics corroborates this inference by placing social signals as one of the top five ranking factors for Bing.

Balancing Bing and Google

Social media is here to stay. Even if Bing gave no importance to social media signals, you’d still probably spend a large chunk of your time and efforts on your social media marketing. However, with Bing placing clear importance on social media and Google offering social media the respect it deserves via search rankings (if not in words!), you definitely need to work on making your social media contribute to your SEO.

Let’s say you created an online survey on social media asking users to pitch in with their favorites from your product line. Now, user surveys are a great way of gathering firsthand information that can be applied to improve your site offerings. So why limit the responses to just your fans on social media? You would want this content to surface on relevant web searches, right?

Include URLs to your content in your social media posts, promote your content marketing on social media via both paid and organic posts and work on building a strong social footprint for that authority to rub off on your search rankings.

In Closing

Image Credits

Windows 8: Log On With Taps, Circles, And Lines

Though it’s common not to have a password on a home computer, and some even skip it on their personal mobile devices, it’s the first and most important barrier protecting a company’s data. Windows 8 will provide a number of ways of securing your password, and Microsoft recently talked more about a feature called Picture Password as a new way to authenticate without standard passwords and pins. Will this feature have your business tapping and drawing its way to more secure devices?

Traditionally, authenticating to a device involves typing in a password or PIN. Unfortunately, users tend to choose passwords that are easy to remember, or using characters that they relate to. This makes it easier for attackers who know something about you to guess passwords. Character-based passwords are also vulnerable to keylogging, where malware installed on the device can detect the specific keystrokes and easily reproduce them.

Pattern Passwords

A newer authentication technique involves drawing on a device’s touchscreen. Google has a patent pending on its Android pattern-based unlock screen, in which you connect dots in a nine-dot grid. A drawback of this method is that it tends to leave smudges on the screen, so that an attacker with possession of the device could see the pattern.

Picture Passwords

Microsoft’s Picture Password for the upcoming Windows 8 was designed to avoid the issues that accompany keyboard and pattern-based passwords. The technique starts with you providing a picture. You can position the picture as you like, and are then prompted to make gestures on the picture that become your authentication signature. There are three gesture types you can use; a tap, a circle, and a line. In a demo video at the bottom of this Windows blog post, the demonstrator draws a picture around his father’s head, connects his sister’s noses with a line, and taps on his mother’s nose.

Each gesture you make must be in the correct order and proper position, and have the proper directionality. While a single tap isn’t very secure, offering only 270 acceptable inputs, using eight taps increases the options to over 13 quadrillion inputs. Circles are even more complex, with seven circles providing almost one quintillion options.

The point of Picture Password is not just to increase the complexity of passwords, but to provide a secure login that is faster than on a touch keyboard. With as few as three gestures, a Picture Password can still provide over one trillion combinations, compared with 81,120 for character-based, and 1,000 for numeric, while still taking an average of less than four seconds to complete.

Pictures Password still requires a touchscreen, though Microsoft mentions that it can be utilized with a mouse. So, aren’t smudges still a problem? Yes, you’re still likely to leave smudges on your screen when entering a Picture Password. But, even if your screen were perfectly clean and three gestures were clearly visible on it, order and directionality complicate its replication. Those three specific gestures still have over one billion possible combinations.

Useful to Business?

Picture Password is not a replacement for the traditional text-based password. In fact, you’ll need to enter your password before creating a Picture Password, or if that password is attempted five times incorrectly. Nor will it protect you from someone looking over your shoulder while you log in.

401(K) Matching: What It Is And How It Works

401(k) employer matching is the process through which an employer matches an employee’s contributions to their 401(k) retirement account.

401(k) employer matches can improve employee morale and retention, attract better hires, and provide tax benefits to your company.

When offering 401(k) matching, you should set employer match contribution limits, review the IRS’ contribution limits and include vesting provisions.

This article is for business owners and employers interested in 401(k) matching.

Retirement plans are among the benefits employers most commonly offer their employees. Some employers take their retirement offerings a step further by offering 401(k) employer matching, which incentivizes employees to participate in the company’s 401(k) plan by adding money into their retirement savings based on how much they contribute each pay period.

If you’re thinking about opening retirement accounts for your team, want to improve your existing 401(k) options, or are in need of a new 401(k) plan for a startup, you should consider setting up a 401(k) employer match. Before doing so, though, you need a clear understanding of what 401(k) employer matching is, what the benefits are and how you should operate your matching program.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right employee retirement plan for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

What is 401(k) employer matching?

401(k) employer matching is the process by which an employer contributes to an employee’s retirement account based on the employee’s contributions. Employers tend to set their 401(k) contribution limits based on the employee’s annual salary. In other words, an employer’s contribution rate may be at most a certain percentage of the employee’s salary. For example, an employer may be willing to match 50% of an employee’s contribution, up to 6% of their annual salary. So, if the employee contributed 6% to their 401(k) plan, the employer would contribute an additional 3% to the employee’s retirement savings.

Rarely, some employers instead set a contribution limit of a predetermined dollar amount that’s unrelated to the employee’s annual salary. In either case, these contributions are typically made per pay period and reflected on the employee’s paycheck.

Key Takeaway

401(k) employer matching is when an employer also contributes to an employee’s retirement account based on the amount the employee contributes.

What is the maximum amount you can contribute to 401(k) plans?

When determining how much money you should contribute to an employee’s retirement account, you should also consider the annual contribution limits that the IRS sets for both you and your employee. For 2023, the limit on elective salary deferrals – retirement plan contributions an employee voluntarily makes – is $20,500 for a traditional 401(k) plan. For a SIMPLE 401(k) plan, this limit is lowered to $14,000. Employees age 50 and older can contribute an additional $6,500 in elective salary deferrals to a traditional 401(k) plan or $3,000 to a SIMPLE 401(k) plan.

The total contribution limit a person can make to an employer-sponsored retirement account during a year is the sum of elective salary deferrals, employer contributions and allocations of forfeitures. For 2023, the total contribution limit is $61,000; for an employee with an annual income below $61,000, the limit is whatever their income is. Notably, if an employee has a retirement account with your company and a separate 401(k) they contribute to through side income they generate as an independent contractor, that separate account is unaffected by the limits on the employer-sponsored account.

How does 401(k) vesting relate to your 401(k) matching program?

As an employer, you can take ownership of part or all of your employer match contributions through a practice known as vesting. The legal definition of “vesting” is the right to ownership over a future payment, benefit or asset. When applied to retirement accounts, vesting describes the process of employees earning greater rights to access their employer contributions as time passes. That’s why the vesting schedule you set for your 401(k) employer match is a crucial component of your program.


If you’re considering borrowing from your 401(k), keep in mind you can only borrow against the vested amount of your employer match, not the gross total that includes the non-vested matching funds.

Your vesting schedule can incentivize employees to stay with your company longer because the longer your employees stay with you, the more their nonforfeitable rights to your employer contributions grow. After a set number of years, your employee can leave your company while taking all of your employer matching contributions with them, but employees who leave too soon may forfeit some or all of your employer matching contributions.

Alternatively, offering immediate vesting is an appealing benefit for employees too. They’ll have the comfort and security of knowing that should they leave your company for any reason at any time, their 401(k) funds are going with them regardless of how long they’ve been employed with you. This option is likely to make your business more attractive to new hires.

Key Takeaway

To figure out how your 401(k) matching process will work, determine your employer match contribution limits, familiarize yourself with the IRS-mandated 401(k) contribution limits and determine a vesting schedule that drives employee retention while minimizing your financial risk.

401(k) matching makes financial sense

401(k) matching makes financial sense for employers and employees alike. Employee matching is the best way for employees to maximize their retirement savings, while employers get the benefits that come with investing in their team members’ futures – namely, tax savings and reduced employee turnover. Learn more about employee retirement plans and their features in our buyer’s guide.

Kimberlee Leonard contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.

Squad Packet Loss: What Is It And How To Fix It?

Squad packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?




Squad is a multiplayer tactical FPS that heavily revolves around teamwork and provides its players with realistic combat experiences.

However, like with any other online game on the market, Squad’s players can face connectivity issues from time to time.

Check out our best VPNs that can fix packet loss and improve your gaming experience.

Visit our Gaming VPN Hub to learn more about the benefits of using a VPN while gaming.



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Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

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Squad is a teamwork-based tactical FPS that aims to provide players with an accurate combat experience. The game is set in a present-day warfare setting, so you won’t catch a glimpse of plasma guns or Gatling laser weapons.

What Squad manages to pull off is embossing a sense of virtual camaraderie between same-team players. If you’re expecting something along the lines of Call of Duty, Battlefield, Counter-Strike, or other FPS titles, you’re in for a disappointment.

The bottom line is that you won’t be able to achieve victory on your own. Using a broad range of communication-centered mechanics including planning, coordination, building, tactics, and neatly-integrated VoIP, on the other hand, might give you a fighting chance.

But, here’s the thing. Squad is a multiplayer game, so it requires an Internet connection. And like any other online game, it may be subject to a series of connectivity issues, such as high latency and packet loss.

What is packet loss in Squad

Packet loss behaves almost the same regardless of where you may spot it. It’s described by the inability of data packets to reach their intended destination, which is why packet loss is different than high ping.

High ping/latency – data packets need more time to reach their destination (they’re delayed)

Packet loss – data packets never make it to their destination (they’re usually dropped)

Therefore, it’s somewhat obvious that packet loss is also more severe than high latency. Here is a list of potential symptoms of high packet loss in Squad:

Rubberbanding (freezing and suddenly teleporting someplace else on the map)

Unresponsive menus

Sluggish character movement (often accompanied by rubberbanding)

Delayed text chat (or messages that never make it in the text chat)

Sudden game crashes or server disconnections (by far the most severe symptom)

What causes Squad packet loss

Many are curious as to why packet loss happens, especially in video games. If you were to leak packets while reading a news article, for instance, a simple refresh in your web browser would fix the issue and make you forget it even existed.

However, in certain computer programs and processes, things are somewhat different. And for good reason, too.

Let’s take video games, such as Squad, for example. During a gaming session, your PC establishes a connection to the game server, which also hosts the other players.

Considering that a Squad match supports up to 100 players, it’s safe to assume that playing Squad can put a lot of strain on your connection.

In order for you to enjoy Squad, the connection must be kept alive, so it’s inevitable to encounter certain hiccups such as jitter, high latency, and packet loss (you should notice a packet loss symbol).

Here’s what causes Squad packet loss:

Network congestion (by far the most common cause)

ISP bandwidth throttling

Poor ISP traffic management (routing)

Outdated drivers on your system

Using Wi-Fi instead of wired connections

Having an outdated firmware version on your router

Insufficient bandwidth due to Internet subscription plan

Using high quality settings that the connection can’t accommodate

Server-side issues

And that’s barely scratching the surface. There are a lot of reasons why you might encounter packet loss in Squad. Furthermore, the issue can be on your side, on your ISP’s side, or on the game server host’s side.

Knowing the cause of experiencing packet loss can greatly help you in finding an efficient fix for it.

How to detect packet loss in Squad

Locate the IP address or host address of the Squad server where you suspect leaking packets

Note it down someplace (unless you have an incredible memory)

On your Windows 10 PC, launch a CMD instance

Type pathping chúng tôi in the CMD (replace chúng tôi with the IP you previously noted down)

Wait for the test results

Check each hop’s packet loss values

If you drew the short straw and are leaking packets, you might want to run some tests just to make sure you’re not confusing it with something else.

Each node you see belongs to a part of your connection (i.e. the connection between your PC and the game server).

Rule of thumb: the first hop (zero) always belongs to your PC, and the last one corresponds to the server you run the text against (i.e. chúng tôi the IP you used earlier). If you’re confused, just use the screenshot above for clarification.

That’s it. If you see a high packet loss percentage on any node, it means your connection is experiencing this issue.

How to fix Squad packet loss? 1. Use a VPN

Buy a premium VPN subscription (we recommend Private Internet Access)

Download and install the VPN on your PC

Launch the VPN client and log into your account

Choose an appropriate server and connect to it

Launch Squad

Check if there’s any improvement

Optionally: run the pathping test once more to make sure

Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent VPN service from Kape Technologies and one of the few providers who offer 24/7 live chat support to its customers.

Aside from its privacy and security features, PIA can also fix certain connectivity issues and bypass geoblocking.

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Using a VPN can improve packet loss by routing your traffic away from your ISP’s limited connection. However, as you may have figured out, it will only work if your ISP is to blame for your packet loss situations.

Therefore, using a VPN won’t improve packet loss if the issue is on your side, or the game server’s side. Therefore, make sure to rule out your PC/the server host as causes for your packet leak situation before investing in a VPN.

2. Flush your DNS

On your Windows 10 PC, launch an elevated CMD instance

In the CMD window, run the following commands, one by one:

Restart your PC immediately after running the last command. Once the boot sequence is finished, try launching Squad once more and check if you’re still experiencing packet loss.

More often than not, clearing up cached data build-ups can have a great effect on your connection’s well-being. As it turns out, flushing your DNS can help you achieve just that.

3. Troubleshoot your connection manually

Restart your PC, router, and/or modem, as necessary

Make sure your system drivers, especially network ones, are up-to-date

Restart the game and check if there’s any improvement

Use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi packet loss happens more often)

Upgrade your Internet subscription plan, if possible

Inspect your home network thoroughly for any malfunctioning component

Fix, replace, or upgrade worn-out Ethernet cables

Close any bandwidth-heavy apps or services running on your PC (torrenting, VoIP clients)

Lower Squad’s video/audio quality settings

Call your ISP and ask them if they can take a look and/or fix your issue

Avoid peak hours to eliminate network congestion issues (or use a VPN)

Switch the channel your wireless router broadcasts on

Note that these suggestions won’t necessarily eliminate (or even reduce, for that matter) packet loss, especially if the issue is not on your side.

However, performing maintenance on your connection every once in a while can keep many connectivity issues at bay.

Final thoughts on Squad packet loss

To sum it up, Squad is an awesome game, there’s no way around it. However, occasional packet loss issues might turn Squad into an unpleasant experience for you, especially if you notice a pattern starting to form.

If you want to patch it up quickly, a VPN can come in really handy. On the other hand, this quick fix only works if the packet loss is caused by your ISP (i.e. occurs somewhere between you and the game server, excluding the endpoints).

Last, but not least, you may want to perform a bit of manual troubleshooting. It may not eliminate packet loss like a charm, but at least you’ll have a healthier connection, and you can rule your system out as a potential cause for packet loss.

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