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If you’re planning to custom-build a gaming computer, you should consider two types of motherboards – ATX and EATX. They are similar on the surface, but quite different in more ways than one.
Choosing one over the other depends on the type of PC you’re building, and what you plan to use it for. You see, purchasing the wrong motherboard could lead to compatibility issues, and the same goes for space if it can’t fit inside the tower.
With this in mind, you must have all the necessary information at hand before moving forward with choosing a motherboard for your new computer.What is ATX
ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended, and it is a popular specification used to plan motherboard configurations along with dimensions that will improve standardization. This technology was first released back in July 1995 by Intel, and since then, the ATX platform has seen several revisions.
Now, it took a year after release for ATX boards to really push forward into the market. Soon after they would replace Baby-AT motherboards. As it stands right now, ATX motherboards are the most used around the world, and that’s because it satisfies the needs of most computer users.What is EATX
EATX stands for Extended Advanced Technology eXtended, or just Extended ATX for short. So, in many ways, EATX is the same as ATX but with added length and features for those who want to create custom computers with that extra power.
With the extended size, EATX motherboards tend to come with more ATA ports, M.2 slots, PCI-E slots, and more RAM slots. Quite impressive if you ask us, but only a small percentage of PC users will choose to custom-build a system with this standard due to cost.ATX vs EATX motherboards: Main differences
The differences between ATX and EATX are basically the cost, features, and the overall size. Potential users must consider these before jumping in.
The Price1] The Size
One of the first things you should consider when planning to buy an EATX or ATX motherboard is the size. In fact, the size is the first differentiator you will notice when looking at these motherboards for the first time.
You see, the EATX motherboard is noticeably larger than the ATX. In most cases, a standard ATX motherboard will measure around 12 by 9.5 inches, while an EATX motherboard measures 12 by 13 inches. So, as it stands, a specialized case will be needed if you plan on investing in an EATX motherboard because it will not be able to fit inside a standard case.
An EATX motherboard is great for those planning to build a computer for professional or enthusiastic reasons. A great option for a computer that demands power, which in turn means a need for greater airflow. The large case would definitely aid in that regard, and there is no way for an ATX build to compare.
Now, we should take nothing away from ATX because it is the most popular motherboard format since 2023. We are not surprised because it provides a good balance between expandability and affordability.2] The Functions
ATX motherboards can do a lot, some will even say everything that a person needs from a typical computer. However, the EATX motherboard takes this a step further due to its larger size. Users will have access to around 8 RAM slots, more AIO liquid headers and fan headers, and more USB headers.
EATX is clearly designed for those who want to build the ultimate machine or have enough room for many upgrades in the future. ATX motherboards, on the other hand, are a Jack of all Trades, and perfect for most situations.3] The Price
Based on what we have discussed above, it is clear that ATX will come out as the most affordable when compared to EATX. This is because ATX boards use fewer materials than their EATX counterparts, and manufacturers are willing to price EATX boards higher because they are more targeted by professionals and enthusiasts.
Additionally, EATX boards are more feature-packed when compared to ATX motherboards, so no matter how you spin it, there will always be a wide price margin between the two motherboards, and that’s not going to change for a long time, if ever.
READ: Motherboard is not getting PowerHow many RAM slots does an ATX motherboard have?
Most ATX motherboards tend to come with a maximum of 4 RAM slots, and around 3 to 4 PCIe slots. If you want more than what’s on offer here, then you’ll need to invest in an EATX motherboard, just expect to spend more.Is EATX better than ATX?
Yes, an EATX motherboard will always be better than its ATX counterpart, and that’s due to the larger size and additional hardware features. The only downside is the price, but if that’s not a problem, then we suggest choosing an EATX board for the best possible gaming computer build.
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Many users probing the market for a good computer might be confused about whether to buy a Chromebook or a Laptop. We are here to sort the confusion out for you as we are going to see Chromebook vs Laptop – What are the differences. So, let’s get started.
Chromebooks are nothing but laptops running Google’s web-based browser, Chrome OS. Whereas, Laptops can have much more powerful Windows and macOS, which are better equipped for professionals.Chromebook vs Laptop
Chromebooks are targeted toward a certain niche. Chrome OS is a web-based browser, and is usually used to surf sites, type in Google Docs, and do all kinds of work – but on the web. So, the limitations behind Chrome OS can not be ignored.
Now, manufacturers don’t need to pack powerful and expensive internals as Chrome OS is lightweight and doesn’t require much power to run.
On the other hand, Laptops, be it Windows or macOS, do have Browsers but all the other functions and features, depending on the configuration you are going for. You can edit videos, play games, write codes, and execute them. With the introduction of new more efficient chips, manufacturers can pack enough power in a small form-factor of a laptop, so, you may not even have to spend tons of money on a desktop.What’s the difference between a Chromebook and a Laptop
Technically, Chromebooks are nothing but laptops running Chrome OS. Google with its smart marketing team, has tried differentiating Chromebooks from regular Laptops running Windows and macOS.
The Chromebook is optimized for Google’s online apps, which include Google Drive, Google Calendar and Gmail. Windows laptops too offer smooth connectivity with Windows Store. However, when it comes to using some of these apps offline, then Windows laptops score an additional point. You will be able to watch your favorite movies and TV shows offline on Windows laptops; but not on Chromebooks. Chromebooks, by default, need internet connectivity at all times!
However, keeping them in different domains is good positioning. Chromebooks works on the belief that most users don’t need the kind of power that a laptop has.
Most users use Laptops for browsing, writing emails, visiting social sites, and doing using a browser. Google in its wisdom has tried creating a device that is inexpensive and will get your laptop chores done but without spending tons of money.Why should you go for a Chromebook?
A moment of truth, Chromebooks will always be less powerful than a Laptop running Windows or macOS. Having said that, most of the time you don’t need all that power. So, let us see some of the reasons why you should go for a Chromebook.
A Better Cloud Storage
Now, let us talk about them in detail1] Inexpensive
Since Chromebooks pack less power, they are relatively inexpensive as compared to laptops. You can get a budget Chromebook at $200 and a higher-end one will cost you anywhere between $300-400.2] Fast Boot
Since Chromebooks uses SSD instead of normal HDD and have a light OS, the booting speed is express. The average booting time of a regular Chromebook is 8 sec, which is super quick.3] A Better Cloud Storage
Now, this can be debatable as for many of you, Google Drive vs OneDrive and Google Drive vs Dropbox will be a topic of utmost interest.
One thing which is not debatable is that you also are getting 100GB of free Google Drive storage with Chromebook.What are the limitations of a Chromebook?
The million-dollar question, what all you can’t do on a Chromebook. The following are some of the limitations of the Chromebook that may want to consider before making your decision.
Not for Gaming
Not Ideal for Video Editing
Bad Office Experience
So, let us talk about them in detail.1] Limited Storage
Chromebook relies on the Internet for most of its chores, even for storage. You can’t a TB of HDD or SDD with Chromebook, instead, you have to use Google Drive to save your files.
There are two sides to this coin. On one hand, they can make the device cheaper and enable seamless sync between all your Google Account.
On the other hand, you won’t be able to access these files if you don’t have an Internet connection. So, depending on the type of person you are, you can decide which camp you are in.2] Not for Gaming
Pretty self-explanatory, Chromebooks are not meant to game on. They don’t possess powerful chips, tons of RAM, and other frills to run demanding titles. That’s why they are inexpensive. So, if gaming is your primary need, cut Chromebook off your list.
Chromebook certainly isn’t a high-powered, graphics-rich gaming notebook. You can play games but are limited to the games that are available on the Chrome Web store. Besides, Chromebooks’ graphics processing ability is limited, and hence, you won’t be able to play online games which require high leveled graphic processing power. On the other hand, Windows laptops offer both online and offline gaming.3] Not Ideal for Video/Image Editing
As mentioned earlier, Chromebooks don’t have powerful chips. So, they are not ideal for video editing as it requires a lot of CPU and GPU strength to process and render videos. However, you can do some minor tweaking online with the help of some online tools, but the machine won’t be apt enough to carry out professional-level video editing.
If your job involves image editing tasks frequently then Chromebook may not solve your purpose completely. With Chromebook, you can use web-based image editing alternatives. Chromebook certainly isn’t the device for hardcore image editors whose job involves complex image editing tasks.4] Bad Office Experience
If you want to use Microsoft Office to the fullest, a Chromebook is not what you need. You may have to rely on a web-based solution, which lacks some features.5] File structure and placement of documents
Most of your files such as documents, videos, or pictures need to be uploaded on a cloud when using Chromebooks. However, with Windows laptops you can choose the placement of your documents. Besides, those habitual with Windows PC’s file structure may find Chromebook file structure messy and unorganized.6] Skype, iTunes and other such programs won’t run natively
Those connected with their friends, family, and colleagues through Skype, won’t be able to go for Chromebook as Skype doesn’t natively run on Chromebooks. Similarly, other essential programs such as iTunes, Quicker and many more don’t run on Chromebook at all. For these, you will have to go for Windows laptops.7] Printers and Scanners
The Chromebooks need Google Cloud Print-ready printers. Other printers won’t work on Chrome. Hence for any printing job, you will need a Windows PC, laptop or Mac device. In fact, Chromebooks can’t connect many other peripheral devices directly, such as scanners.
Read: Laptop vs Desktop – Which is better?Chrome OS vs Windows vs macOS
Apart from Hardware, Software can be a deciding factor in your selection. So, let us see what are the differences between Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS.
Chrome OS is a web-based operating system and is unlike the two. It is lightweight, a simple interface with the ability to make it personal by customizing the layout. It doesn’t require a lot of power to run Chrome OS, hence it runs less demanding apps. To download supported applications and tools, you can use Chrome Web Store and PlayStore.
Windows is one of the veterans in the OS realm and has ruled the market for decades. Microsoft Windows has covered most of the market and has all the bells and whistles that a desktop operating system should have. Windows 10 with its simple and modern UI became a fan favorite and they will be hoping for Windows 11 to continue the same streak.
macOS, is just like Windows and gives you a complete desktop experience. It is a part of Apple’s closed and insulated but alluring ecosystem. So, this has its pros and cons.
We can say that ChromeOS is a lightweight OS, best suited for people who do most of their work on a browser. Whereas, both macOS and Windows are for professionals whose work is beyond a browser.Chromebook or Laptop, which is better?
So, let us conclude this and see who should buy Chromebook and who should buy a Laptop.
If you know that you are not going to be editing videos, playing games, editing images, using Office, or attaching your computer to a server then you can save a few bucks and get yourself a Chromebook. It is apt enough to get the job done without stuttering or breaking the bank.
Whereas, with Laptop, you can customize the specification depending on your needs and your budget. So, they can be as powerful as a Desktop, when they need to be (but thermal throttling will eventually slow them down).
If you don’t want all those power then Chromebooks are a lucrative option for you. But if you want power or are uncertain about your needs then go for Laptops.
VPN vs GPN: What are the differences?
When it comes to the difference between a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and a GPN (Gamers Private Network), you will see that they are nothing alike.
A VPN is a great solution if you want to bypass geo-blocking and surf the web anonymously and securely, since it masks your IP and encrypts your traffic.
A GPN relays traffic to the target server and it tunnels only real-time game communications, so it’s a good option for gamers since it helps reduce latency.
If you want to find more about how the two compare and differ, follow our review and you’ll understand what purpose and features each of them has.
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Although you might be tempted to think that VPNs and GPNs are similar given that their acronyms differ by only one letter, actually the two are quite dissimilar and were made for different purposes.
A VPN (virtual private network) is a service that – after you connect to one of its secure servers – routes all your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel that no one can look into, not even your ISP (internet service provider).
In addition, it masks your ISP-provided IP and spoofs your current physical location by replacing it with a new virtual geo-location. This is done by assigning you a new IP depending on the country and specific location of the server you connect to.
This way, you can conduct your online sensitive businesses (e.g. online banking) in a very secure way, you shouldn’t worry anymore about third parties spying on you, and you’ll also be able to access websites, streaming services, games, apps, etc. that are not available in your country or region.
A GPN (gamers private network), on the other hand, does not provide any of the above mentioned VPN features, but it is specifically optimized for improving your online gaming experience.
What a GPN actually does is it relays your traffic as it is to the target gaming server while also prioritizing the speed between your device and that server during your online gaming sessions.
The GPN only handles online game traffic and tunnels only selected real-time game communications in order to provide you with the fastest route to the gaming servers. It does not encrypt your traffic or hide your activity, nor does it assign you a new IP to allow you circumvent geo-restrictions.
GPNs are only targeted at optimizing your online connections. By redirecting your real-time game data to an optimized path to the game server, the GPN will increase your gaming speed and help you reduce latency, ping, jitter and packet loss which often annoy you and frustrate you big time.
Furthermore, we invite you to go through our comparison/versus guide to experience more in-depth – both with written and visual examples – the differences between a VPN and a GPN so that you can easily decide what service to choose, depending on what you want to obtain.VPN vs GPN – which is the best and for what? VPN: best solution for geo-blocking, online anonymity and security
UI & Design
In addition to the features a VPN offers, it’s very important for the common user to be able to enjoy them and use the client without difficulty, and therefore, the user interface (UI) and design are important factors when choosing a product.
VPN services come in different versions for different devices and operating systems, and while they do vary as far as the user interface (UI) and design are concerned, they also serve their primary purpose, no matter what platform you’re using them on.
Whether you want to use a VPN on your PC, laptop, phone, tablet, TV, etc., there are software applications that you can download, install and use on most devices.
Once you installed the client on your device, you can use it right away to quickly connect to a server. When there’s no available client that you can install, you can do a manual configuration in order to use the service.
Usually, setting up a VPN on your device – especially those that come with automatic configuration – should be an easy task for most of you, as it does not require you to be any tech-savvy.
Some clients have a very easy-to-use interface, while others may sometimes give you a hard time if you want to dissect them, that is, change or configure certain settings or use some features of which you know nothing.
Anyway, we’ll get into details regarding the settings and features later. Once you understand the purpose of each feature, you’ll have no problems using your VPN regardless of whether it has a user-friendly client or not.
After you launch a VPN on your system, you’ll generally see a main window or dashboard from where you can quickly connect to a recommended or previously used server or you can go to the list of all the other available servers and pick one from there.
Then, you can go to the menu and access certain tabs such as settings, preferences, account, etc. From there you can enable or disable certain features, configure your preferred settings, etc.
It is recommended – for a smooth and hassle-free experience – that you only modify settings or enable features that you’re familiar with. Otherwise, you may experience issues with your VPN.
All of the VPN applications shown above are designed for desktop or laptop devices; the system they’re operating on does not matter that much design-wise, as the clients are pretty similar in Graphical User Interface (GUI).
There are also VPN extensions that you can add to your browser. They are pretty minimalist in design and features compared to traditional VPN applications, and can be easily used by enabling them in the browser and connecting to a server as you would normally do.
Unlike the other VPNs which route all the other traffic to and from your device through the VPN server, VPN extensions only route traffic going to and from your web browser.
Therefore, VPN extensions only apply to one single browser – the one you use them on – and all the other browsers, apps, tools, games, etc. will use a direct, unencrypted internet connection.
Furthermore, most of the VPN service providers also developed applications for mobile devices, which usually come with a user-friendly interface so anyone can set them up and use easily.
Given that so many users now prefer smartphones for their common online activities instead of laptop and desktop PCs, they can use VPNs on them either to bypass geo-restrictions or for privacy and security purposes.
VPNs for phones and tablets have a more simplistic UI compared to their PC counterparts, and while they do offer many of the general features that come with a certain plan, some of them are missing for the mobile versions.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t worry anymore about what kind of device you’re using, as most of the decent VPN services existent on the market have integrations for multiple platforms.
Also, as you’ve already seen with the above examples, the VPN design and user interface are generally user-friendly with most of the services, especially if you choose a well-reputed product.
Settings & Features
Although VPN services share many features, there are others that can only be found in certain products, versions, platforms, etc.
Depending on the provider and its associated client, you can modify, enable, disable certain features and configure the VPN according to your specific needs.
Generally this can be done by accessing the settings/preferences sections as shown in the images below with different VPN clients.
VPN servers are a very important aspect to consider when choosing a VPN service since their primary function is to allow you bypass geo-blocking and online censorship in certain regions.
Top VPN providers usually offer a generous list of available servers from which you can choose to connect. The more countries, locations and servers a VPN offers, the better it is for you since you’ll have more options and your chances of accessing geo-blocked content will increase substantially.
Whether you want to access websites, stream movies, TV shows, music, play online games that are unavailable in your country or region, just go to the list of VPN servers, select one, connect to it and start surfing the web boundlessly.
Many VPN clients have a quick connect option which allows you to connect to a recommended or previously used server.
Encryption plays a very important role when you use a VPN since it ensures your online security and data protection. This is particularly important when you conduct sensitive business online.
The VPN routes your internet traffic through a secure VPN tunnel, and therefore, an encrypted connection is established between you and the destination on the web. In addition to encrypting your data, the VPN also hides your IP address and location.
When your traffic is encrypted, you shouldn’t worry anymore about your data being intercepted and compromised. ISPs, governments, hackers won’t be able to read it even if they intercept it.
As such, you’ll be able to surf the web in a very secure and private way, that is, you’ll no longer be spied on by third parties and also not prone to cyberattacks.
Top VPN providers use military-grade VPN encryption such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which is the most secure and is also used by governments, militaries and top secret agencies.
This is a great feature since it adds an extra layer of security and privacy. Unfortunately, multi-hop is not at all common among the VPN providers, thus only a few of them have it. This might be due to the fact that the connection can become slower when traffic goes via two VPN servers.
VPN protocols determine how your data is routed through a connection. In other words, they represent the sets of instructions and processes that VPN service providers use so that you can benefit from stable and secure client-server communications.
In fact, VPN protocols are a combination of transmission protocols and encryption standards. Some providers use more protocols than others; however, you’ll find the most common protocols with the majority of VPN services, and you’ll also be able to switch between them.
Among the major VPN protocols currently existing we have PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), OpenVPN, SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol), IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2), and the newer WireGuard.
OpenVPN is by far the most popular VPN protocol which is used by many VPN providers. Although you might experience slower speeds with OpenVPN, this protocol is very reliable and secure.
With OpenVPN you can also select the connection type, namely, choose between the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) communications/transmission protocols.
OpenVPN uses UDP by default since it functions best over it, so although you can choose between UDP and TCP, you should stick to the default settings unless there’s a concrete reason to not do so.
WireGuard, on the other hand, is a newer VPN protocol which is still being developed and is expected to have a better performance than OpenVPN or other protocols.
VPNs use different ports to establish a secured connection over the internet, so depending on the type of protocols a VPN uses, you can switch between different protocols for various reasons.
You may want to change port numbers in order to increase performance or unblock the connection if a certain port/protocol combination is blocked.
All in all, since protocols are important for the overall performance of a VPN, you should definitely look at what protocols a certain service offers before picking one.
Depending on the specific VPN service, you may find the kill switch feature under different names such as VPN kill switch/killswitch, network lock, firewall, etc.
Regardless of how it’s called, the VPN kill switch basically has the same function, namely, to automatically disconnect your device from the internet when your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. Your internet traffic will remain blocked until the VPN connection is restored.
When you enable the kill switch feature, you can rest assured that neither your IP will get accidentally exposed nor your online security and anonymity will be compromised, because all traffic entering or leaving your device will be stopped immediately.
In addition to turning the kill switch on or off, there are situations – depending on the VPN service – in which you can choose when to use the kill switch.
For example, you can use the kill switch system-wide, in which case it will block all internet traffic when the VPN connection fails, or you can use it only at the application level by specifying which applications should be blocked in case the connection to the server drops.
By providing you with these security measures, the kill switch is a great feature, so you might want to take it into account and check beforehand whether the VPN you want to choose offers it or not.
When you’re connected to a VPN server, all your traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel in order to get the maximum protection and privacy. However, with the split tunneling feature you can choose to split or divide your traffic depending on specific circumstances.
Split tunneling allows you to divide traffic by routing some of it through an encrypted VPN tunnel while the rest will be routed through a separate tunnel on the open network.
This way, you can keep part of your traffic secure and private and access foreign geo-blocked content while at the same time you can access web services from local IP addresses.
In addition to allowing you to access local and foreign networks at the same time, split tunneling is also helpful in saving bandwidth since routing all your data through the VPN uses more of it.
Of course, there’s also the risk of third parties accessing your traffic if you use split tunneling in order to exclude certain websites or apps from the protection of your VPN. Overall, we do think it’s a great feature and more VPN services should implement it.
Port forwarding allows incoming internet connections to reach certain devices and applications on a private network. The private network can be made up of all the devices connected to the WiFi router or all the users connected to a VPN.
With port forwarding, internet data that is going to a specific port is then forwarded to another port. In other words, it reroutes the incoming connections so as to bypass the NAT firewall which sends those connections to the devices that requested them and also blocks unwanted incoming data.
So, if you want to remotely access your home devices from other devices, you have to set up port forwarding which allows unsolicited connections through the NAT firewall on specific ports.
Port forwarding works with VPNs as well, but many providers do not support it since it can pose security threats that might outweigh the benefits.
Although there are associated security vulnerabilities when using port forwarding, you can set it up, however, on a VPN since it will increase your torrent download speeds and it can also help you host online games with dedicated IPs.
When you’re connected to a VPN server, you share the same IP address with other connected users. However, there are some VPN services that will allow you to get a dedicated IP address.
For example, you can connect to remote corporate systems or private servers that only authorize a specific list of IP addresses, and you’ll also manage to avoid blacklists that can be common with shared IPs due to bad online behavior coming from other users.
In addition, when you do online banking and log in with virtual IPs from different locations, banks can treat this as a suspicious activity and you might end up with a locked account.
Obfuscation – although not offered by many VPN providers – is a great feature that offers specialized VPN servers also known as obfuscated servers which conceal the fact that you’re using a VPN.
Since a VPN masks your IP and encrypts your data, no one can see what you’re doing; however, your ISP knows that you’re using a VPN based on how your data packets look.
So, when you connect to an obfuscated server, it will change your data packets and no one will realize that you’re using a VPN unless they inspect them manually.
Obfuscation can be a great solution to bypass censorship in heavily restricted countries. Some of those have a partial or complete ban on the use of VPNs, and therefore, you can circumvent the VPN blocks without taking any risks by merely connecting to an obfuscated server.GPN: best solution for online gaming
UI & Design
GPNs are also known as ping reducers since their primary purpose is to optimize and improve the quality of your online gaming. Their purpose is pretty limited compared to VPNs in general, so their user interface and design are also minimalist.
As you can see with Outfox, it shows you a simple dashboard where you can find the games they support as well as some relevant characteristics at the bottom, such as ping, jitter, packet loss, their server and the game server.
After you play a game by connecting through a GPN server, you can see the results of your gaming session and observe how they compare with previous ones when you didn’t use a gaming VPN.
The settings area appears to be pretty bare as well. Apart from the server and account sub sections, there’s not much information that you can change or other settings that you can configure.
Outfox, for example, automatically identifies when you launch one of their supported games on your device and will do the job for you by directing you to the appropriate game server.
wtfast, which is probably the most popular GPN, is a little bit more complex as far as its graphical user interface is concerned, because it provides some additional options and features.
Nonetheless, the client is very user-friendly, and unlike Outfox, you can launch their supported games from within if you already have them installed on your device.
The Dashboard tab allows you to go to the games list if you want to choose from there or you can QUICK CONNECT a previously played game, as seen above. Also, you can switch from the dashboard to other sections or you can access your Account Settings.
The wtfast Settings tab shows you info regarding your account, such as subscription type, expiry date, the number of connected devices, your date of birth and avatar.
In case you know where the game server is, you should pick a GPN server that is closer to the game server. This will even better optimize and improve your online gaming experience by eliminating lag and further reducing latency, ping, and packet loss.
Unless you know where the game server is, you can ask the gaming provider for the exact location. Otherwise, if you still can’t find its actual location, you should stick to a server that is close to you.
With the wtfast Help section you can access the knowledge base where you can find info regarding the product, request a game not listed yet, provide feedback, or contact customer support.
As you’ve already seen above, we compared here the design of two different GPN products or ping reducers, and as you can see, one is more simplistic, while the other is a little more complex.
Nonetheless, GPNs have a very user-friendly interface that allow you to quickly launch a game while connected to their servers. For the most part, they take care of everything once you select a game.
GPNs usually have a list of games they support, so you can install any of those on your device and start playing at higher speeds and without lag which frustrates many gamers, and for good reason.
Some GPNs provide larger lists of supported games than others. If your favorite game is not available with a certain GPN product, just look for others, and you’ll probably find it.
With wtfast you can select to detect any games that you have installed on your system, and if they are supported by the GPN, they will appear under the MY GAMES section.
Once the detected supported games appear, you can pick one and launch it. With other VPNs like Outfox there’s no need for you to do anything than merely launching the game from your system.
You can do that with wtfast as well, but if you want to select a different server, for example, you need to use the wtfast GPN client.
As you can see above with Counter-Strike which was launched from the wtfast application, you have the option of selecting the game version/platform and the route. If you select an automatic route, the best one will be chosen using the GPN systems and algorithms.
Alternatively, you can choose a manual route and server by ping time. You’ll have a list with plenty of servers to choose from. As we discussed above, please beware how you choose the server (e.g. depending on the game server locations and/or your location).
After your gaming session is finished, you will be able to see the speed statistics, that is, you can notice whether there are any improvements after using the GPN to connect via its optimized servers.
From the session summary you can see the values for the lowest, average and highest ping, then for average jitter, lost packets and pink spikes. These all have to do with the quality of your online gaming session on the whole.
Furthermore, you can compare the latency (measured in milliseconds) that resulted before using the GPN and after. Also, you can see the average ping savings, if any. From these statistics, you will be able to draw a conclusion as to whether your lag reduced or your speed increased.
In many situations you are going to see considerable improvements in your overall gaming performance after using a GPN. However, in others – as shown above – the performance will be actually weaker.
This might be due to the distance between your location and that of the gaming and/or GPN servers as well as how many of them each service provides, how they are distributed, etc.
All in all, it is indeed proven that you can eliminate lag and increase your speed while playing a game connected via a GPN specialized server, and therefore, getting a GPN could be a good solution for a smoother gaming experience.VPN vs GPN: final thoughts
As you’ve already seen, a VPN (virtual private network) and a GPN (gamers private network) aka ping reducer or gaming VPN differ to a large extent from each other and have different functions.
VPNs are a great solution for those concerned – and anyone should be – about their online privacy, anonymity, and security. When you use a powerful VPN, you shouldn’t worry anymore about ISP tracking, third-party surveillance or cyberattacks.
Moreover, with a VPN you can also bypass online censorship in very restrictive countries as well as geo-blocking in order to access websites, apps, streaming services, games, etc. not available in your country or region.Pros Anonymity via IP masking & location spoofing. Security & privacy via strong encryption. Bypass geo-blocking & online censorship. Avoid bandwidth throttling. Decent prices & easy setup. Cons Lower internet speeds due to encryption.
GPNs are a good option for the avid online gamer – and probably you’re one too – because they can significantly improve your gaming experience that very often can be affected by lag and slow speeds.
By redirecting your game data to their own gaming-optimized servers, GPNs focus only on in-game connection traffic in order to ensure the best network connection performance and prevent servers from overloading. This helps reduce ping which causes the unbearable lag.Pros Reduce lag & ping times. Reduce jitter & packet loss. Improve gaming speed & quality. Multiple gaming-optimized servers. Affordable pricing & easy-to-use interface. Cons Only a limited number of games supported.
In conclusion, given the above comparison in which we showed you how VPNs differ from GPNs, and also what kind of benefits and features each provides, we hope that you’re now more enlightened.
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This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.Introduction
In this article, we will be going through two concepts MLOps and DevOps. We will first try to get through their basics and then we will explore the differences between them. As you might be aware in DevOps we try to bring together the programming i.e development of web app or any software, it’s testing mainly done by QA people and then its deployment. MLOps as well share similar objectives. There is a whole machine learning model development life cycle that we try to streamline. So here in MLOps, we are trying to stitch this lifecycle to make a coherent process that works with minimum or very less hiccups.
Let’s dive into the details of each of these concepts and then we will try to understand key differences between them.What is DevOps?
DevOps is a practice where people work in a team to build and deliver software at the best possible speed. DevOps enable software developers(devs) and operations(Ops) teams to fasten up the delivery of Software through collaboration, and in an iterative manner. DevOps methodology helps improve communication between your developers and ops working on projects. It best serves the following purposes:
you can launch new features faster
increases the customer’s satisfaction and of developers too at the same time.
feedback loops help better communication
Key principles of DevOps:
From this figure above we can understand the whole DevOps process. Organizing tasks and schedules and other stuff starts with this very step called plan. Planning starts according to the user stories made in every sprint if you are using agile methodology. Then starts development or coding part of the software. Testing is done of the application developed so far for any bugs. Once code passes this stage of testing (or continuous integration) it is sent for deployment. In the next step, Ops maintain infrastructure and truncates any vulnerabilities or security issues from the software. The last stage is to monitor the application developed for fixing the hiccups to ensure a smooth end-user experience.
So, I hope with this you are now clear with what exactly is DevOps. Let’s now understand what is MLOps…What is MLOps?
In DevOps, we saw that it was for streamlining software development and then deploying and monitoring them. In MLOps we focus on Machine Learning Operations. So, the guys who are involved in this methodology are data scientists, IT, and DevOps Engineers. It is a useful approach for creating best-in-class machine learning solutions for the end-user. For developing machine learning solutions the standard lifecycle goes like this:
Exploratory data analysis
Model hyperparameter tuning
Retraining, if needed
So from this whole pipeline, it is understood that developing models is just a very small part of the whole process. Many other configurations, steps, processes, or tools are to be integrated into the system. For this streamlining, we have this machine learning development methodology MLOps.
MLOps also provide the same benefits as in the DevOps. It increases scalability, efficiency and reduces risk to a greater extent of the whole process of developing a machine learning solution.
So, now we are clear with both these concepts, their approach. Let’s have a look at the key differences between these two methodologies.MLOps vs DevOps
It is very clear now that outcomes of both are top software quality, faster updates and releases, and higher end-user satisfaction. But there are some differences as well.
DevOps focuses on building a generic application and uses a standard set of libraries for specific use cases. Whereas MLOps builds a model that feeds inferences and also has a broad scope for languages, tools, libraries, and many frameworks, unlike MLOps. People generally involved in DevOps are Software Engineers and DevOps engineers whereas, in MLOps, Data scientists and Machine Learning Engineers are most required.
it was trained. It doesn’t have the same performance which it had initially because probably now we have more useful information than we have in the beginning and also it might be possible that user behaviour is changed. But this does not happen with DevOps. Software never degrades once it is developed, it will always serve the purpose it was made for.
If we compare the cycle of both the methodologies we can see that both have a code, validate and deploy loop. But you can catch differences in Development(code). In DevOps, code creates an application that is converted to an executable and then deployed by validating using wide series of test cases. But in MLOps, code is done to build or train a machine learning model. Validation is done to check the accuracy of the model i.e how well it performs for test data. This cycle is repeated until the model gives a performance at a threshold.
One more major difference between the two is that in DevOps only CI/CD (Continous Integration and Continous Deployment) pipeline is required. Whereas in MLOps one additional thing is required and that is retraining. So CI/CD pipeline with a retraining approach is required for the machine learning or deep learning solution you are developing. So this factor affects the monitoring involved in both the methodologies. In MLOps re-training is required because future data may change especially if data has seasonality in it. So, in order to keep model results consistent and reliable, this has to be kept in mind.End Notes
In this article, we deep-dived into MLOps vs DevOps and saw what are they, what are differences in them with respect to various conditions. I hope you find this article helpful. Let’s connect on Linkedin.
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Efficiency ratings explained
A power supply’s efficiency rating tells you how much energy makes the conversion from AC power (what it draws from the wall) to DC power (what your PC’s components run off of). The rest is lost as heat. Power supplies rated as 80 Plus will have a 80-percent power to 20-percent heat ratio at 20-percent, 50-percent, and 100-percent load. As you get into the precious metal designations, the efficiency rises, capping out at 94-percent under 50-percent load for a Titanium-rated model. The efficiencies for power supplies rated at 80 Plus Bronze and above vary based on the amount of load.
The more efficient a power supply is, the less power it uses and the less heat it generates—which means a lower electricity bill and a quieter PSU. The components tend to be better too, which means you should be able to use it for longer. Manufacturer warranties usually reflect this: A Bronze-rated power supply might get a 3- to 5-year warranty, while a Platinum-rated model will be backed for 10 years.
These days, the most power supplies from well-known, reliable manufacturers have an 80 Plus or above certification, but it is possible to find other PSUs that fall below that. Those cheap power supplies that get included as part of a bundle with ultra-cheap cases? Not 80 Plus-rated.
The actual percentage of efficiency for the U.S. and other countries with electrical grids that run on similar voltage. (You can see the full chart on CLEAResult’s site.) The minimum efficiency to meet ATX specifications is 60-percent at 50-percent load—much lower than where the 80 Plus standard begins.How to choose an efficiency rating for a power supply
Three main considerations help determine what efficiency rating will work best for your PC build:
Local electricity rates
Most average PC users who live in a temperate climate with low pricing for electricity will do fine with a standard 80 Plus or 80 Plus Bronze power supply. As you can see in the table above, the efficiencies don’t dramatically jump as you move to a higher rating.
Typically as you go up in wattage, power supply efficiency ratings rise as well. But efficiency ratings don’t always tell the whole story about a specific model’s performance, so be sure to read reviews to get the full picture.
If you live someplace where electricity is more expensive, then the cost savings of a more efficient power supply can be worth the higher initial price. A higher-rated PSU can also make sense if you live somewhere that gets very hot for long periods, as ultra-warm ambient temperatures can reduce a power supply’s efficiency. Less heat from your power supply means less noise from its fan and less work on your part to keep your PC cool overall, too.
In general, the higher you climb in wattage, so too does the efficiency rating. Your decisions will typically fall between just two to three options, which will make the selection process easier. Don’t feel obligated to spend more than you need—budget still matters. Buy a power supply with an efficiency that fits your situation, not the demands of other people who believe you must always maximize on specs.
When it comes to search marketing in China, Baidu is a core component.
In fact, as I write this, Baidu accounts for 78.4% of search engine market share in China to Google’s 1.9% (Sogou comes in at 13.8%, Haosou at 2.2%, and Bing at 2%).
However, to be successful in what is the world’s most populated country, your strategy needs to look beyond SEO and at how Chinese users engage with the internet.
Due to the differences in user behavior and Baidu’s preference, developing a working strategy will involve stepping out of the SEO silo and working with other marketing channel stakeholders (which isn’t a bad thing!).
Ahead of embarking on any Chinese marketing strategy, it’s vital that you establish your measurable goals and how you’re going to track them. A key part of this is getting Baidu Tongji and Baidu Ziyuan installed correctly on your site.
In this article, we’ll talk about developing your search marketing strategy for China and the key differences between two major search engines, Google and Baidu.
(If you’re interested in Baidu SEO in general, I wrote this article previously and for the most part, not a lot has changed.)Baidu’s Scope of Influence
The first step in developing a Chinese search strategy is to understand how Chinese users interact with internet services, and we’re not just talking about web design considerations — although I will talk about this later.
Baidu operates more than 50 different products ranging from Search through to Maps, an encyclopedia, and anti-virus.
In fact, Baidu has dipped into a lot of markets ranging from Baijob (a job meta-search), Qunar (a travel meta-search), and IQiyi (a big entertainment streaming site) over the years.
It’s therefore important to understand that some users could, in theory, interact only with Baidu assets online, outside of viewing third-party sites.
You should also note that Baidu’s search results pages often tend to heavily augment with their own properties, so getting high levels of traffic and engagement isn’t as simple as ranking in the linear 1 to 10.Google vs. Baidu
There are a number of differences between the two search engines that will affect your strategy, and your Google strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to China.
Before going into the more intensive differences you’ll need to make to your strategy, there are some smaller ones to take into consideration, these being:
Baidu’s image AI isn’t yet at the same standard as Google’s, despite Baidu being a leader in machine learning. You need to rely on your image alt texts and metadata to improve Baidu’s image understanding and your chances of ranking in image search.
Baidu can still be influenced by meta keywords, so these should be optimized in the same way you’d optimize a page for keywords (not spammed site-wide in a bid to increase relevancy).
Content should be in simplified Chinese. Whilst this should be a given, also take note to translate structural content such as widgets, sidebars, menus, footers, and important in-image text.
A key difference between Baidu and Google is how Baidu goes about crawling and indexing websites.
Anecdotally, Baidu’s bots can be aggressive crawlers but when it comes to indexing, the search engine differs from Google.
Google will slowly index a website as it discovers URLs, but in Baidu, you can influence and speed up this process through marketing and PR.
This increases the demand for your brand/website by generating searches and positive user signals.The Impact of Social Media on Baidu SEO
I’m typically asked at the start of a campaign for companies who want to enter the Chinese market about the impact of Chinese social networks on SEO.
Whilst WeChat and Sina Weibo are the more popular social networks in China, users also frequent online communities including LinkedIn and Tencent QQ.
They also use (more) Baidu-owned platforms including Tieba, Zhihu, and Douban.
When it comes to SEO, I recommend investing in the Baidu platforms with unique content, as well as aiming for a good presence on Sina Weibo.
All content on Sina Weibo is indexed by Google and is used by the search engine to create rich-snippet-like content pieces within its search results pages.
A strong Sina Weibo strategy can help your brand rank for topical and real-time queries (much like the Twitter carousel) but can also help take more real estate on SERPs for your brand searches.
It’s also important that you:
Update your Weibo page frequently, and not just sharing/copying content from other social media channels and your site.
Gain as many followers as possible as data correlates that for non-branded queries, Baidu takes into account the number of genuine page followers as a sign of authority.
Follow Sina Weibo guidelines to have your page verified as official, as these tend to perform better in Search for both branded and non-branded phrases.Google vs Baidu Mobile Web Design
Mobile search (and indexing) has been important in search for a number of years, with more in the SEO industry taking action since Google announced and rolled out their Mobile-Friendly update.
China hit a mobile internet access share of 66% by 2010, increasing to 90.1% by 2023 (sadly, no more up-to-date data exists for this statistic).
As a result, it’s vital that your mobile site is as capable as your desktop site in both technical and user performance.
This also means that your website needs to work for the modern mobile user.
For example, in ecommerce, a user will likely want to checkout without needing to take out their wallet.
You need to support Google Pay/Apple Pay, as well as be optimized for a variety of manufacturers including Oppo.
This takes your page’s content from non-mobile-friendly pages and converts it into a mobile-friendly “experience.”
Now, I say experience and not version as Baidu will remove any elements it determines not mobile-friendly.
This means you could lose key images, content pieces, or importantly CTAs and conversion elements. This can also be bad for your performance reporting and conversions as Baidu overlays a prominent back button on the user view-port, which in all cases I’ve seen is more prominent than your site navigation.
International SEO requires a deep understanding of each of the markets in which you wish to do business.
Learn more in this 9-point international SEO checklist.
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