Online Tech Tips Computer Tips from a Computer Guy Fri, 06 May 2022 17:37:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Philips Hue PC Sync Transforms Your Entertainment Experience Patrick Hearn]]> Fri, 06 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

The Philips Hue line of smart lights is among the most popular today, thanks mainly to the wide range of support the company offers. Hue lights can serve every purpose, […]]]>
The Philips Hue line of smart lights is among the most popular today, thanks mainly to the wide range of support the company offers. Hue lights can serve every purpose, from utility lighting in an office to immersive lighting for entertainment experiences. 

The best part is that these smart lights can pull you deeper into whatever you’re doing, whether watching a movie or playing your favorite game; all it takes is the Philips Hue Sync app. While it’s called the PC Sync App, it works on Mac devices just as well as on Windows. Here’s how to set it up and how it transforms your entertainment experience.

How The Hue Sync Desktop App Affects Your Entertainment Experience

Imagine that you’re watching a colorful movie (perhaps something from Wes Anderson.) You have Hue lights throughout your living room. You might be used to reaching for the light switch when you start watching a movie, but this time, enable Hue Sync and leave the lights on. 

As the screen shifts from one color to another, so too will your lights. A light strip around your monitor might shift to reflect the colors on the screen, while the individual bulbs throughout your living room change to produce an ambiance that pulls you deeper into the movie. 

The same works for video games, too. If you want greater, more fine-tuned control, an accessory called the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box connects directly to your TV. You can even connect a game console like the Xbox. Rather than using the colors of your computer monitor, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box takes inputs directly from the console or TV and displays them on your lights.

It’s the ultimate in ambient light effects, but it comes at a cost. You can purchase one of these devices on Amazon for just under $300.

The Philips Hue smart home lighting system is a powerful option if you want to invest in high-end smart lights, but it isn’t budget-friendly. It also requires Wi-Fi to work, so if you prefer to hardwire everything and you don’t have a wireless network, the lights will not work. You can control your Hue with smart assistants like Alexa for even more convenience, too – but unfortunately, you can’t activate entertainment areas with a smart assistant. You have to do this through your phone or computer. 

What You Need to Use Philips Hue Sync

The application is free, but there are specific hardware requirements. First, you’ll need a computer running macOS or Windows. 

You’ll also need a set of Philips Hue lights and a Philips Hue bridge. You can get both at once by purchasing a Hue Starter Kit. While any of Hue’s lineup of connected smart lights will work, color Hue bulbs are the best option. If you plan to use the Hue Sync app to enhance the ambiance of your living room, a light strip with several individual lights will have a greater effect than just a single lightbulb.

How to Set Up And Use Philips Hue Sync

The Philips Hue PC Sync app is a free download from the Philips Hue website. Download it here by selecting Download the Mac or PC app. Alternatively, you can download the application from the Apple App Store, but it has numerous negative reviews. It’s better to download the official version from the site. 

How To Set Up Hue Sync

Once installed, the Hue Sync app is easy to use. 

  1. Open the Hue Sync app.
  2. There are two options available. For the sake of this article, we will assume you have already set up your Philips Hue smart lights. If not, select Help me set everything up. It will guide you through the process step-by-step. If you have already set up your lights and the Hue bridge, select Search for bridge.
  1. Agree to the privacy policy while the application looks for your Hue bridge. Once it finds it, select Connect.
  1. Press the physical button on the top of the Hue bridge. After you do this, select the entertainment area you want to use. You can always swap these and edit them later. If this is your first time setting up the Hue Sync app, you might not have entertainment areas set up yet.
  1. The Hue Sync app is set up, and now you can use it to enhance the ambiance of your space.

Understanding Entertainment Areas

Once you open the Entertainment Area, you’ll see several options. You can turn the lights on or off by sliding the toggle beside the area’s name or adjusting the brightness with the slider beneath it. You can choose what type of entertainment it reflects between Scenes, Games, Music, and Video. 

The intensity of the effect is seen in one of four settings: Subtle, Moderate, High, or Extreme. This affects the rate at which the colors shift and how frenetic the transitions appear. If you’re watching a slow-paced film, Moderate is a good option. If you’re playing a video game, High or Extreme will be a better choice. These options will better keep up with the action.

With Games and Video, you can choose whether the audio affects the transitions by selecting the toggle beneath the effect strength. Music provides its own set of options in the form of specific color palettes. By selecting the plus sign beneath the preset palettes, you can create your own. 

How To Make Scenes in Philips Hue App

Scenes is a collection of preset color combinations that will appear on your light setup when chosen. If you have only a single lightbulb, you won’t see the full effect of the Scenes – but multiple lights provide a much more engaging experience.

Settings opens a menu that allows you to fine-tune your Hue Sync experience. You can change default app behavior here, but editing or creating a new Hue Entertainment Areas requires using the Philips Hue app on Android or iPhone.

  1. Open the Hue app on your mobile device.
  2. Select Settings.
  1. Select Entertainment areas.
  1. Tap the plus sign in the upper-right corner. 
  2. Select whether the Entertainment area will be used for watching TV or a movie or for listening to music. (For gaming, choose movies or TV.)
  1. Name your Entertainment area and tap Done.
  1. Select the lights you want to use in this area and tap Next.
  1. Use the diagram provided to position the lights according to their physical location within the room, then tap Next. Position their height with relation to the space and tap Done
  1. After you complete this step, you can begin using the Entertainment area. Select Done.

The Philips Hue app lets you make the most of your smart lights. While it can initially be time-consuming to set up, once you’ve arranged your lights the way you like them, you can customize them on the fly in no time at all. 

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How to Add Zoom to Microsoft Outlook Via the Add-In Guy McDowell]]> Fri, 06 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

The online meeting isn’t going away. If you’re not using Microsoft Teams, you’re probably using Zoom to schedule meetings and conduct video conference calls. Creating new meetings in the Zoom […]]]>
The online meeting isn’t going away. If you’re not using Microsoft Teams, you’re probably using Zoom to schedule meetings and conduct video conference calls. Creating new meetings in the Zoom web portal is pretty easy to set up. But your day is still probably run by Microsoft Outlook and its calendar.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could create a meeting invitation with all the details inside of Outlook? Well you can. There’s an Outlook add-in for Zoom that can be added to both the web and desktop versions of Outlook.

Install Zoom Add-in for Microsoft Outlook Desktop

To install Zoom for Outlook, you must use either a Microsoft email like,, or even or a work or school email account that’s part of the Microsoft 365 services. The Zoom add-in works for Outlook 2016, 2019, and Office 365 versions on both Mac and Windows.

  1. Open the Outlook desktop client, make sure you’re on the Home tab, and select Get Add-ins.
  1. A window will open where add-ins and connectors can be found. Search for Zoom and select Zoom for Outlook.
  1. The Zoom for Outlook add-in page will open. Select the Add button.
  1. In a few seconds, the Zoom add-in will be installed. You can tell by the blue circle with a white checkmark next to the word Added. Close the window.
  1. Back in Outlook, you might expect to see the Zoom add-in up by the Get Add-ins button, but you won’t. To see it, open the Outlook Calendar and create a new meeting or event. In the Event tab, you’ll see the Add a Zoom Meeting and Settings buttons. 

Using Zoom at work or school? You’re able to start adding Zoom meetings right away. Zoom will sign you in through your organization’s single sign-on, or SSO, policies. If not, check the SSO Not Working? section below for help.

If you’re using Outlook with a personal Microsoft account, you must sign in to your Zoom account. Select Settings and the sign-in window will appear. Make sure to check the Keep me signed in box so you don’t have to sign in everytime you open Outlook and want to add a Zoom meeting.

  1. Maybe you don’t have a Microsoft related account or a Zoom account. Select Sign Up to get one. 

If your Zoom account is registered to a Gmail account, select Google. It’ll take you to a Google sign in to join Zoom with your Outlook.

SSO Not Working?

If you see the error Unable to sign in with Outlook when you make your first Zoom meeting, try these steps before contacting your organization’s help desk. 

For government organizations, you need to change settings from to is used for private industries and schools. To change it, select and choose in the drop-down.

That’s not the issue? Scroll further down and select SSO.

Try entering your company’s domain name in the field, then select Continue. The domain is likely the same as the company’s website. If it’s, then enter the mycompany part. Or, select I don’t know the company domain.

Enter your Email address then select Continue. The Zoom add-in will try to find your company’s domain and apply it.

Uninstall Zoom Add-in for Microsoft Outlook Desktop

When you want to uninstall the Zoom add-in, it’s easy to do.

  1. Open the Outlook desktop client, make sure you’re on the Home tab, and select Get Add-ins.
  1. A window will open where add-ins and connectors can be found. Search for Zoom and select Zoom for Outlook.
  1. The Zoom for Outlook add-in page opens. Select Remove.
  1. In a few seconds, the Zoom add-in is uninstalled. You can tell by the blue Add button. Close the window.

Install Zoom Add-in for Microsoft Outlook Web

You may know Microsoft Outlook Web as Outlook 365 on the web or Outlook Web Access. Outlook Web Access (OWA) is the old Outlook for the web and the Zoom Outlook add-in won’t work for that. It will work on the new Outlook web, though.

  1. Open Outlook web and go to the Calendar. Select New Event then More options.
  1. On the far-right end of the toolbar, select the down arrow (˅), then Classic ribbon.
  1. Select Get Add-ins in the toolbar.
  1. Search for Zoom and choose Zoom for Outlook.
  1. Select Add to begin the install.
  1. It’s finished when you see the Added window. Close the window.

You’ll see the Zoom add-in in the Outlook web toolbar now. 

Uninstall Zoom Add-in for Microsoft Outlook Web

This is almost identical to uninstalling the Zoom add-in from the desktop app. Go back into Outlook Calendar, select or start a new meeting and select Get Add-ins like when you installed it. Find and open Zoom for Outlook and select Remove to uninstall it. 

Now You’re Zooming

Once you’ve got the Zoom add-in for Microsoft Outlook, you’ll easily be able to add Zoom meetings, check meeting details and settings, and add Zoom meetings to existing calendar events. It’s simple and Zoom just works.

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11 Best Sites to Play Geography Games Online Maggie Marystone]]> Thu, 05 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

A great way to increase your geographic knowledge is to play online geography and map games. You can learn a lot by playing games that highlight various places around the […]]]>
A great way to increase your geographic knowledge is to play online geography and map games. You can learn a lot by playing games that highlight various places around the world. 

From multiple choice geography quizzes to more interactive world map games featuring Google Street View, we’ve come up with a list of excellent online geography games that will quickly turn you into a geography expert.

1. Worldle

The release of the viral word game, Wordle, spawned an avalanche of other games inspired by the daily puzzle, including Worldle. In this game, you’ve got six tries to guess the correct country or territory based on its shape. For each attempt, Worldle will tell you how far away your guess is from the target country in kilometers and in a proximity percentage that gets higher the closer you are to the correct answer.

Just like Wordle, a new game is available every day, and there’s no need to install an app. Access Worldle in any web browser. 

2. Globle

Globle will really test your geography knowledge. Guess a new mystery country every day. You don’t get any clues to start with, but each incorrect guess will appear on the globe. “The hotter the color, the closer you are to the answer.” 

Similar to Worldle, it’ll tell you how far away your best guess is to the border of the mystery country. Play it every day, and soon you’ll be familiar with all the countries of the world.

3. Citydle

Sasha Slutsker created Citydle. She says, “This is a daily city-guessing game similar to Wordle.” You’ll notice the similarities immediately. First, guess a city. If your guess turns gray, that means your answer is in the wrong country and continent. If your guess turns orange, you’ll know you got the continent right, but the country is wrong. If your answer turns yellow, the country is correct, but the city you guessed is wrong. A guess that turns green is correct.

For each attempt, Citydle will also tell you how far away your answer is from the correct answer. We found this one to be one of the more difficult world geography games.

4. Maphio

Entrepreneur Siimon Sander came up with Maphio after playing—you guessed, it—Wordle. When we asked what prompted him to create Maphio, he said he asked himself, “What if we take inspiration from Wordle and plug in images across the world, and instead of people guessing the words, they would guess the locations?” Soon the interactive game, Maphio, was born.

The correct answer could be anywhere on the world map. You find clues by moving around. You don’t have to know the country name—just click on the map to choose a location to guess. A different game is available each day.

5. GeoGuessr

With over 30 million users worldwide, GeoGuessr is one of the most popular free online geography games available. You’ll be dropped into a street view panorama. Pan around the scene or take a walk to find clues to help you figure out where you are, and then guess your location on the map. You could be anywhere from South America to Oceania!

One nice feature is that you can choose a category like North America or Famous Places. Geoguessr’s interface is sleek and polished, and in addition to the browser-based version, it’s available for iPhone and Android. Or check out GeoGuess, an open source alternative that you can host yourself.

6. Sporcle

Sporcle is a trivia and quiz website that has tons of geography quiz games. If you like map quizzes, try their Find the Countries of the World quiz. If you’re into world flags, see if you can match the old flag of a country to its new one.

Sporcle organizes quizzes into categories, and you can search for exactly the kind of quiz you want—from U.S. state capitals to currencies to bodies of water

7. RubyCave

RubyCave’s game Flags is all about flag identification. You’ve got 30 seconds to guess which country the flag represents. If you opt to create an account, you can upload your score and win medals. 

8. Degree Confluence Point

According to Wikipedia, “The Degree Confluence Project is a World Wide Web-based, all-volunteer project which aims to have people visit each of the integer degree intersections of latitude and longitude on Earth, posting photographs and a narrative of each visit online.” 

In this associated game, you have to guess the location of a Degree Confluence Point based on the physical features you see in its photo. To guess, enter a latitude and longitude.

9. Carmen Sandiego Games

Kids and adults have been wondering, “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” for decades. The character has starred in TV shows and video games since the original video game was launched in 1985. These days, Carmen can be found in several Google Earth geography games, Google Expeditions, and Roblox games.

The website has a great Resources section with perfect activities for homeschoolers. Moreover, for teachers, the Google Expeditions allow the teacher to be the guide for students exploring an area via VR.

10. JetPunk Quizzes

JetPunk is another quiz site that has tons of geography quizzes. We especially liked the Countries of the World with an Empty Map quiz where you have to name all the countries of the world. When you name a country, it appears on the map and in a list. You’ve only got fifteen minutes to think of 196 countries.

11. Posio

Posio is a multiplayer geography game where you must locate cities on a map. After you make your guess, you’ll see your answer, the correct answer, and the closest answer anyone guessed. 

Build Bridges with Geography

A little bit of geography knowledge can go a long way toward creating connections with people across the globe. As Siimon Sander, creator of Maphio, said, “It’s a great conversation starter if you know a couple other cities from a tiny country rather than just a capital!”

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8 Best Password Managers to Keep Your Accounts Safe (2022) Anya Zhukova]]> Thu, 05 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Almost every service that you use online requires you to create an account. The number of passwords and login details that you have to remember can be daunting. Of course, […]]]>
Almost every service that you use online requires you to create an account. The number of passwords and login details that you have to remember can be daunting. Of course, you can use the same password for multiple accounts but you can’t do that without running a significant risk. If the password used on multiple sites is compromised in a data breach, it can be a nightmare to fix it.

A password manager can help you come up with strong secure passwords, store your login information, manage your accounts online, and keep your personal data safe. All you need is to come up with a strong master password, and the software will do the rest for you. Here’s our list of the best password managers for today, so you can choose the one that suits your budget and needs the most. 

How to Choose the Best Password Manager 

There’s no point in looking up the best password manager out there if you don’t know your own needs and the basic criteria that you need to follow when choosing the software. Here are some of the main factors that you need to decide for yourself and then pay attention to when selecting the app.

  • Price. Most password manager apps offer both free and premium tiers. However, the free versions lack certain premium-tier functions, often the ones that you need the most. You must decide in advance how much money you’re ready to spend on your password manager software or if you’re happy to compromise and deal with the limitations of the free version.
  • User-friendly interface. If you’ve never used a password manager before, this is a very important factor to consider. Before paying for the subscription, make sure the app comes with a user-friendly interface that doesn’t feel intimidating to you. 

  • Family/group subscriptions. If you’re looking to use the password manager software with your family members or a group of people, check if the password manager allows for sharing passwords and login information with multiple users under the same license. This can also help you cut the costs, as family subscriptions usually offer a better deal. 
  • Secure storage options. Some password managers offer secure storage options that you can use to keep your most important data safe. While this won’t replace cloud storage, if you have important documents that contain sensitive data, storing them in an encrypted place will bring you peace of mind. 
  • Extra security measures. Before settling on one password manager, check if other apps offer any extra security measures that you might need. For example, if you don’t have a VPN subscription yet, consider the password managers that offer their own VPNs as well.

8 Password Managers to Consider

1. Bitwarden 

Price: Free version available, or $10 per year. 


  • Open-source
  • Free version has very few limitations
  • Cheap premium subscription
  • Offers business, team, and family plan
  • Top security features 
  • User-friendly app 
  • Easy to use


  • Limited encrypted storage of 1GB for premium users
  • Mobile app isn’t as straightforward as the desktop app

The curious thing about Bitwarden is that it’s an open-source password manager. If you know what that means or have someone in your circle who’s tech-savvy, you can download the server files and host them yourself, i.e., use Bitwarden without paying the subscription fee.

Alternatively, you can still use the Bitwarden free version that has all of the basic password security features. One thing it lacks though is encrypted storage which you can get in a premium plan for a very low price. Bitwarden comes with a minimalistic user interface and excellent customer support. This password manager is perfect for use on your desktop or in a web browser.

2. KeePassXC

Price: Free. 


  • Free & open-source software
  • Extra security for your passwords
  • Passwords are encrypted and stored locally


  • Can be used on one device only
  • Outdated UI
  • No iOS or Android version, KeePass XC only available for Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Not suitable for beginners

KeePassXC is completely open-source software that’s unique compared to other password managers in a way that it’s not cloud-based. The password database is stored on your local drive, which means there’s added security when it comes to hacker attacks. 

Since all your passwords are encrypted and stored locally, you’ll have to use services like iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive in order to access them on another device. 

Among other inconveniences is the fact that you’ll have to get the software up and running yourself, and there aren’t any extra features like autofill or encrypted file storage. However, if a strong password generator is all you’re looking for, the KeePassXC is the best free password manager that you can find. 

3. 1Password

Price: From $2.99 per month, with a free 14-day trial. 


  • Intuitive UI
  • Family, team, and business plan available
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Extra security features: travel mode, temporary web links, & biometric logins 


  • No free plan
  • Encrypted storage space limited to 1GB

1Password is a great choice for anyone who doesn’t mind spending some money to store passwords and keep their data secure. There’s no free plan, but you test the app by starting the 14-day trial. 

1Password comes with all of the basic security features plus a few interesting options on top of that. The travel mode allows you to set any sensitive information to be automatically deleted when you cross certain borders and then restored afterward. You can also create temporary web links for sharing data that stop working after a set period of time. 

That and other features like the key-based multi-factor authentication and biometric logins make 1Password one of the best multi-functional password managers available today.

4. Dashlane

Price: Free version available, premium starts at $3.99 per month. 


  • Family, team, and business plan available
  • VPN included in the premium plan
  • User-friendly interface
  • Password health analysis
  • Dark web monitoring


  • Premium plan comes with only 1GB of encrypted storage
  • More expensive than the competitors

Dashlane is also a good pick when it comes to quality password managers. All of the basic security features are here: the two-factor authentication, the form-filling built-in tool, and the encrypted storage vault. The latter is again limited to 1GB of storage but it should be enough for storing such things as your credit card information or work documents. 

Some other curious features include password health analysis and dark web monitoring. The password health analysis is there to tell a good password from a weak password and let you know whether your passwords are being reused as well. Dashlane will also keep an eye on the dark web and alert you if any of your personal info gets leaked online. 

One added benefit that the Dashlane premium plan has is the included VPN service for WiFi protection. It’s not a particularly strong VPN that you should rely on but it’s a good perk if you don’t have a VPN subscription yet. 

5. LastPass

Price: Free version available, premium starts at $2.90 per month with a free 30-day trial. 


  • Cheap family plan
  • Minimalistic 
  • User-friendly design
  • Emergency access (for premium users)
  • Cross-platform support 


  • Free plan lacks basic features
  • Encrypted storage limited to 1GB (for premium users)

If you’re looking for the best password manager option for your family, check out the LastPass app. LastPass offers a family plan that costs only $3.90 per month, covers up to 6 accounts, and offers unlimited shared folders for password sharing between your family members. 

The family plan comes with all of the standard premium features. They include a secure password vault, autofill, encrypted storage space, and emergency access that allows other people to access your accounts in case something happens to you.

LastPass has an intuitive desktop app that you can use on Windows and Mac, separate apps for your mobile devices, as well as browser extensions for using LastPass in Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Firefox, and Safari. 

6. LogMeOnce

Price: Free version available, premium starts at $2.50 per month.


  • Excellent cross-platform support
  • Many app customization options
  • Encrypted file storage for all users (from 1MB to 10GB depending on your plan) 


  • Free version is filled with ads
  • Basic features like dark web monitoring and cloud storage encryption presented as paid add-ons

LogMeOnce is a great option for someone looking for a password manager with the best cross-platform support. With LogMeOnce, you can access your accounts using browser plugins, a desktop, or a smartphone app. You can use two-factor authentication, PIN, your fingerprint, or even a selfie to log in. 

If you don’t mind certain limitations and ads, you can settle for the free version of the app. The premium version comes with dozens of security features, including multi-factor authentication, autofill, credit card storage, anti-theft features, emergency access, and others. 

7. NordPass

Price: Free version available, premium starts at $2.49 per month (with the current 50% off discount) with a free 30-day trial.


  • Easy-to-use software
  • Password Health analysis
  • Security auditing
  • Password import from a browser or another password manager
  • Offers and discounts for the NordVPN and NordPass users


  • Free plan doesn’t allow the use on multiple platforms simultaneously
  • No encrypted storage option
  • Expensive premium plan without discounts

NordPass is a password manager created by the NordVPN team. If you’re a NordVPN customer, you get the added benefits like knowing your way around the Nord UI or receiving a special offer or discount on your NordPass via email. 

NordPass has both free and premium plans, although the free plan is rather limited and supports only the most basic features like saving unlimited passwords, autofill, and multi-factor authentication. 

The premium plans have plenty of security features to help you protect your accounts with strong unique passwords. If you’ve previously used a different password manager, you can simply import all of your login info straight to NordPass without any hassle. 

8. RememBear

Price: Free version available, or $6 per month. 


  • Beginner-friendly
  • Simple and fun to use interface
  • Master password recovery options
  • A cute bear to accompany you 


  • Limited security & encryption features
  • Free plan includes only one device
  • Expensive premium plan

If you want a simple password manager to protect your online accounts, check out RememBear. Created by the team behind the TunnelBear VPN service, RememBear is a straightforward app that will take the work out of password management for you. However, that’s about all this software can do. 

In contrast with the competitors, RememBear offers a few options for simple master password recovery. But it also lacks a lot of useful security features, and the free plan is only good if you’re going to use RememBear on only one device. Still, if you’ve never used a password manager before and don’t want to spend time figuring it out, RememBear is a good option for you. 

Take Your Online Security to the Next Level

A password manager can only cover a small part of your digital life, and that’s mostly your login details. To protect yourself online further, we recommend getting yourself decent VPN software, using two- or multi-factor authentication, and a secure messaging app for online communication. 

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How to Use Netflix’s Play Something Shuffle Feature Kayla Dube]]> Wed, 04 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

The sheer amount of available content on streaming services can, at times, be both a strength and a weakness of the platforms. It’s great to have such a vast number […]]]>
The sheer amount of available content on streaming services can, at times, be both a strength and a weakness of the platforms. It’s great to have such a vast number of movies and shows to choose from, but the actual choosing part can prove difficult when there are so many things you want to watch. This can lead you to spend lots of time scrolling when you could just be watching a TV show or movie. 

Netflix understands its viewer’s dilemma and has added a feature that can help cut down on decisions. It’s called Play Something and works almost like a shuffle play feature for shows and movies. We’ll show you the feature and explain how its algorithm works to choose what to play for you.

How to Use the Play Something Feature

The Play Something feature is available when watching Netflix on a TV or an Android device. It’s not available when watching Netflix in other ways, such as on the desktop. For smartphone users, when you open the Netflix app, you’ll notice a new pill-shaped button at the bottom right. It’ll say “Play Something” or “Surprise Me” or just show two twisty arrows.

To use the Play Something feature on other supported devices like TVs, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Netflix app.
  1. On the profile selection screen, hover over your profile name. 
  1. Underneath it, you’ll see the Play My Channel button. Select this to have Netflix play a suggested show or movie. 
  1. You can also find Play Something in the Netflix navigation menu or in a row between shows on the Netflix homepage. 
  1. You can select the Play Something Else button after getting a show/movie to get a new one. This time, it will include shows you haven’t finished from your watch list or are on the My List page. 
  1. You can exit Play Something by opening the Netflix player and selecting Exit, or the back arrow on Android. 

If you can’t find the Play Something feature, there could be a few reasons for this. First, if you’re a new Netflix member, you’ll only be able to see the feature after a month of using the service. 

Also, Play Something isn’t supported on Apple TV, desktop, or iPhone devices. 

How Does Play Something Work?

Netflix does an excellent job of tracking people’s watching habits to determine what shows and movies they are most likely to want to watch. This information is integrated into the Netflix algorithm for the Play Something feature to help you pick something to watch right away, instead of wasting time deciding. 

When you use the feature, Netflix considers your past viewing habits and selects recommended shows or movies it believes are similar to things you’ve watched before. For this reason, it’s best to use the Play Something feature on a profile that only you watch programs on, or else your recommendations won’t be as tailored to you specifically. 

This is also why new Netflix users can’t use the Play Something feature. It takes a while for Netflix to build knowledge of your viewing habits, and for the best selections that you’re most likely to want to watch, the service wants to have a solid month of your viewing history. 

When Was Play Something Introduced?

The Play Something feature hasn’t always been on Netflix. It debuted on the platform in April of 2021 for every Netflix member. Before that, it was just a test feature only available to some users. 

Since its release for TV and Android users, it is slowly being rolled out to more platforms. Eventually, you may be able to use the Play Something feature on every device supporting Netflix, such as iOS and Apple TV. Until then, you can only use it on select devices. 

The release of Play Something followed the introduction of a very similar new feature– Downloads For You. This function automatically downloads shows and movies Netflix believes you’ll enjoy. These features are all to keep viewers on the app instead of venturing off into the tens of hundreds of other streaming services. 

Netflix is trying to compete for people’s attention with social media, such as YouTube and TikTok. In March 2021, they introduced the Fast Laughs feature, which imitates TikTok’s short and snappy videos by previewing scenes from Netflix shows to tempt viewers into watching full-length episodes.  

Spend Less Time Choosing What to Watch

With Play Something, you can immensely reduce the time-consuming process of selecting a show or movie. Since your past viewing habits are being used to present new entertainment, you’ll likely find something you enjoy. Also, you can play up to 75 different shows using Play Something, so you are sure to discover something new to enjoy and binge-watch. 

Do you think Netflix’s Play Something feature is useful? Let us know in the comments below.

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What Is DashPass and Is It Worth It? Ryan Dube]]> Wed, 04 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

If you’ve spent a lot of time using DoorDash, then you know just how expensive ordering food delivery through the service can get. The DoorDash DashPass offering could potentially save […]]]>
If you’ve spent a lot of time using DoorDash, then you know just how expensive ordering food delivery through the service can get.

The DoorDash DashPass offering could potentially save you a lot of money. It’s a subscription service where you pay a fixed fee each month. In return, you get to avoid delivery fees (yes, basically free delivery) and reduced service fees. If you use DoorDash a lot, the amount DashPass subscribers can save is significant.

What Is DashPass: Cost and Limitations

You can subscribe to DashPass at any time. Once you choose to do so, DoorDash will charge your credit card $9.99 a month, whether or not you ever order anything on the service.

However, after you subscribe and start ordering food, you’ll see how quickly DoorDash DashPass members can make up the difference and come out ahead.

In the example order below, regular fees would have been:

  • $3.99 delivery fee
  • $8.51 fees & estimated tax
  • Total: $12.50

With a DoorPass subscription, the DashPass benefits reduce the costs as follows:

  • $0.00 delivery fee
  • $5.04 fees & estimated tax
  • Total: $5.04

Basically, on this one order all you’re really paying is sales tax and whatever tip you would like to give to your dasher. In a single order, you’ll have already saved about half of the monthly subscription fee thanks to the DashPass perks..

There are a few important limitations to keep in mind before you decide to sign up for the DoorPass service.

  • The restaurant you’re ordering from needs to accept DoorPass (most do).
  • You need to order at least $12 of food or $25 worth of groceries to get the discounts.
  • You’ll need to order from DoorDash at least three times per month to get your fee back in savings.

You can also reduce the cost of DoorPass by paying for the subscription annually, which drops the cost to only $8 per month (saving you $1.99/mo).

How to Use DashPass and Save More Money

If you use DoorDash a lot, subscribing to DashPass is a no-brainer. Paying a monthly fee up-front will help you save a lot of money. After the second or third order, you’ve already recovered your monthly fee and it’s all savings at that point.

You can use DashPass from different areas on the DoorDash website or the DoorDash app. The easiest way to filter on only local restaurants that accept DashPass is to select the DashPass filter at the top of the listing page.

This will display only restaurants that let you avoid delivery fees. Alternatively, you can just scroll down the regular listing page and identify eligible restaurants by the small DashPass icon next to the restaurant name.

Using DashPass doesn’t mean you don’t also get to take advantage of other savings on DoorDash. If you think about it, cutting your delivery fees plus saving in other ways will help you recover your monthly DashPass fee even faster.

One way to look for additional savings is by selecting the DashPass menu and selecting Offers.

In the submenu at the top of the listing, select Offer Type and choose the Discount option. Doing this is important because you already get no delivery fees with the DashPass membership.

Additional promo discount offers on DoorDash sometimes amount to up to 20% off the overall price of the order. This is on top of the delivery fee savings you already get with your DashPass subscription.

As mentioned earlier, you can save an additional $1.99 a month by taking advantage of the Annual Plan. To do this, select the DoorDash menu and then select Manage DashPass

This will take you to your DashPass subscription plan. Select the Learn more link under the Annual Plan section. 

Then, just follow the instructions to upgrade to the annual plan and reduce your monthly cost for DashPass.

Other DashPass Considerations

There are a few additional things to keep in mind when you’re using your DashPass membership. 

Each time you order, just review the Subtotal numbers to keep an eye on the savings that you’re getting with each order. You’ll see a reduction of the DoorDash Delivery Fee (down to $0.00) and Fees & Estimated Tax depending on the order.

One word of advice: Just because you’re saving so much money on each eligible order, thanks to your subscription, that doesn’t mean you should scrimp on your Dasher Tip.

Dasher’s work hard, and they are doing this work on the side to better support their families. Tips go entirely to dashers, so don’t reduce the tip just to save more money. In fact, since you’re saving some money on each order, why not share a dollar or two of that savings by bumping up the tip a little more than you normally would?

Is DashPass Worth It?

Does DashPass actually save money? If you’re still trying to work out whether or not you should sign up with DashPass, the math is actually pretty simple.

If you only use DoorDash once or twice a month to order food, then you really have no need for a DashPass subscription. You most likely will end up spending more money each month than it’s worth. However, if you find yourself ordering from DoorDash three or more times a month – even just once a week – you will save money by subscribing to DashPass. If you don’t like it, you can cancel DashPass at any time (unless you signed up for the annual membership).

The savings on just two orders will make up for the cost of the subscription, and then every order after that is pure savings. So if this is you, get DashPass today and get free delivery on all your takeout! And there’s no limit. You get unlimited free deliveries every month.

By the way, the GrubHub and Uber Eats food delivery services also offer free delivery membership if you also use those services a lot.

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How to Become a Social Media Influencer in 6 Not-So-Easy Steps Levin Roy]]> Tue, 03 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

Everyone wants to be a social media influencer these days. Internet fame, freebies, easy money – what’s not to like, right? Wrong. Building a successful personal brand from scratch is […]]]>
Everyone wants to be a social media influencer these days. Internet fame, freebies, easy money – what’s not to like, right?

Wrong. Building a successful personal brand from scratch is no walk in the park. It takes dedication, hard work, and of course, a lot of luck to be able to make it big on the internet.

That being said, it is not impossible either. If you put in the work and employ a winning strategy, you can certainly become a popular social media influencer and make money through it. Here is a guide on how to get started.

1. Find the Right Niche

A common mistake most wannabe social media influencers make is to copy the most popular influencers out there. Sure, playing video games for a living sounds fun, but unless you introduce a new twist on the theme, you aren’t going to make it big.

Influencers, whether you realize it or not, are ultimately content creators. To build a sizable social media following, you first need to produce high-quality content. The type of content should be something you are passionate about, as you will need to produce a lot of it.

Instead of competing with successful social media influencers, find a different niche that is relatively untapped. Your content strategy must revolve around establishing trust in a specific niche, and posting content frequently.

2. Find the Right Platform

Once you have zeroed in on your niche, it is time to decide upon a social media platform. What, don’t you just try to get your content out to as many social media channels as possible?

No. The key to successful social media marketing is to understand your target audience. You need to focus your outreach to the demographic most likely to appreciate your type of content, and this means finding the correct social network to post in.

For example, if you aim to produce long-form video content, then Youtube or Twitch should be the platforms of your choice. On the other hand, food or fashion bloggers will find TikTok and Instagram posts more to their liking.

3. Stay Relevant

Influencer marketing is all about giving your audience what they want. When you begin putting out content, it is hard to gauge what will do well. This is where using analytics tools and SEO research becomes important.

Find topics that resonate with your audience, and build your marketing strategy around them. Every piece of content that you release should use only the relevant hashtags to improve engagement rate and catch the eyes of the algorithm.

Social media apps like recommending valuable content that see more use engagement, rather than scattershot posts that aim at everything. Be it videos or podcasts, creating engaging content like tutorials or useful recommendations is a sure-fire method of staying relevant to your audience.

4. Consistency Is Important

Many budding influencers never go past the initial few posts. It is natural for the response to be lukewarm in the beginning; you need to be patient and stay in the game for the eventual payoff.

Simply having a bunch of social media profiles that post sporadically is not enough. You need to keep producing quality content regularly, to keep the interest alive and increase the follower count. This is the basic tenet of any form of digital marketing.

The idea is to establish a personal connection with your fans and make your channel an indispensable part of their internet life. Whether you want to become a Linkedin or an Instagram influencer, consistency is the only way to break into the big leagues.

5. Reach Out

Like most tasks in life, building a strong influencer marketing platform will not happen without the support of others. While following a step-by-step approach toward growing your following is certainly necessary, it is also important to reach out to others.

First of all, engage with your audience. A large part of influencer culture is driven by people looking for more personal connections, rather than cold-hearted corporate brands. Be approachable, by responding to fan comments and questions.

The other aspect of this is collaboration. Partnering with other influencers is a great way to grow your audience, as it gives your channel much-needed exposure. Try reaching out to social media accounts with similar standing to your own, as these influencers will be the most amenable to working together.

6. Build Brand Partnerships

If you have been growing your network diligently, you have hopefully reached a point where you can start considering brand sponsorships.

Leading brands will often run influencer marketing campaigns in which they rope in popular social media influencers to promote their products and services. If you’ve been wondering how to make money through your social network then this is it.

Sponsored posts will probably be the biggest chunk of your revenue, apart from things like Patreon donations or merchandise sales. To attract good brand partnerships, improve the statistics of your channel, as most brands will seek out influencers based on their channel performance. If you can add value to their brand, you will easily attract sponsorships.

Is It Easy to Become a Social Media Influencer?

There are many perks of being a successful social media influencer with a large fan following and valuable brand partnerships. But reaching that point is harder than you think.

A powerful online presence is not built in a day. It takes consistent effort over a long period of time to get to a point where you can make money or attract sponsorships as an influencer.

The best path is to find a niche without much competition and establish yourself as the leading influencer in that field. If you can stay relevant and be consistent, there is no reason why you cannot become a successful social media influencer.

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How to Create a Poll on Facebook Sandy Writtenhouse]]> Tue, 03 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Polls are convenient tools for gathering opinions from others. With the number of opinions you can gather on social media, that makes Facebook a good spot to create a poll, […]]]>
Polls are convenient tools for gathering opinions from others. With the number of opinions you can gather on social media, that makes Facebook a good spot to create a poll, right?

It seems the Facebook polls feature has changed over time which can make it difficult to find. At one time, you could create a poll in the Publishing Tools for a Facebook page you manage. However, this currently no longer exists.

As of this writing, you can create a poll in a Group that you belong to or manage. You can also make a smaller version of a poll when you create a Story on your mobile device.

Let’s look at your options so you know where and how to create a poll on Facebook.

Create a Poll in a Facebook Group

If you belong to or manage a Facebook Group, you can create a poll on the Facebook website or in the mobile app. Plus, gathering opinions from group members with a similar interest might be ideal. 

Create a Poll on the Web

  1. Head to, log in, and select the Groups tab at the top.
  2. Choose a Group on the left below Groups You Manage or Groups You’ve Joined.
  3. On the Group page to the right, you may see Poll listed as an option below the Write Something box where you normally add a post. If so, select it. 
  1. If not, click inside the Write Something field to open the Create Post box. Then, choose the three dots for More options and pick Poll.
  1. Add your poll question in the Write Something spot at the top.
  2. Enter the answers in the Option boxes. If you have more than three answers, select Add Option to include more. If you change your mind, select the X to the right to remove one.
  1. To the right of Add Option, select the gear icon to adjust two controls for the poll. You can allow people to choose multiple answers, allow anyone to add options (answers), or both.
  1. Optionally, pick an addition in the Add to your post section such as an image, tag, or activity.
  2. To schedule the posting of your poll, select the calendar icon on the bottom right, pick the date and time, and hit Schedule.
  1. If you don’t schedule the poll, select the Post when you finish.

Create a Poll on Your Mobile Device

You can create a poll in a Group in the Facebook mobile app with all the same options as on the web.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your device, select the Menu tab, and pick Groups.
  2. Choose a group at the top or tap Your Groups and pick the one you want.
  3. If you see Poll listed as an option below the Write Something text box, select it. If not, tap inside the Write Something field and select Poll in the pop-up at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Add your poll question in the Ask a question spot at the top.
  2. Enter your first answer in the Add a poll option box. Tap Done on the keyboard and then enter the next answer. Continue until you’ve entered them all. If you change your mind about an answer, select the X to the right to remove it.
  3. To the right of the Add a poll option field, tap the gear icon to adjust other controls for the poll. You can allow people to choose multiple answers, let anyone add options (answers), or allow both.
  1. To schedule the posting of your poll, tap Schedule at the top, pick the date and time, and select Save.
  2. When you finish, tap Post, or Schedule if you set the date and time.

Create a Poll in Your Story

As mentioned, you can create a small version of a poll with two answers for a personal account or Facebook business page you manage by creating a story. Unfortunately, this option is currently only available in the Facebook mobile app on Android and iOS, not on the web.

  1. Open the Facebook app, go to the Home tab, and tap Create Story near the top.
  2. Select the kind of story you’d like to create. The poll feature works with all types except Text.
  3. Create your story per the type you chose above, but don’t post it yet.
  4. Tap the Stickers icon at the top or on the right side depending on your story type. Choose Poll in the list of options on the Stickers tab.
  1. You’ll then see a field to enter your question along with Yes and No answers. Type your question and optionally select Yes or No to use your own text or emojis from your keyboard as the answer options.
  2. Tap Done at the top and when you finish creating your story, tap Share to Story.

While this poll is a bit different than the one you can create in a group with several possible answers, it still gives you a way to ask a simple question and receive one of two answers from your Facebook friends.

View Poll Results

Regardless of which type of poll you create or where, you can see the results by viewing the post or story.

For a group post, simply view the poll post to see the number of votes per answer and who voted.

For a story, open your story for results at a glance or swipe up on the story to see the exact number of votes and who voted. 

Remember, Facebook stories disappear from the News Feed after 24 hours. However, if you save stories to the archive in your Facebook account, you can view them there after they vanish.

Now that you know how to create a poll on Facebook in a group with several answers or in a story with only two, it’s time to go get some answers!

For more, look at how to run a Microsoft Teams poll during meetings.

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What Is a Twitter Thread and How to Create Your First One Anya Zhukova]]> Mon, 02 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

Want to compose a lengthy post on Twitter but afraid that everything you want to say won’t fit in a single tweet? The easiest option is to post a series […]]]>
Want to compose a lengthy post on Twitter but afraid that everything you want to say won’t fit in a single tweet? The easiest option is to post a series of tweets and combine them into a Twitter thread (or a tweet thread). 

With the tweet thread, you don’t have to limit yourself to the standard 280 characters. Instead, you can use this social media platform to provide additional context or arguments for your point, as well as update it later with more information. Below you’ll find more information about what Twitter threads look like and how you can create your first one. 

What’s a Twitter Thread?

It used to be that every tweet had a strict character limit of 140 characters, and that’s all you could write in a single post on Twitter. However, as the platform evolved, Twitter users kept asking for more space to express themselves. Since Twitter didn’t want its users to switch to a different platform like Snapchat or Instagram, they introduced new post formats. 

Today you can publish longer tweets, polls, GIFs, images and videos, fleets, and threads. Twitter thread is a relatively new feature. 

A thread on Twitter is a series of connected tweets posted by the same Twitter user. They’re linked together by the Reply function and appear as one continuous tweet with the second and other additional tweets attached to the original tweet-like comments. 

How to Find and View Threads on Twitter

If it’s a thread from someone you follow, you’ll see it on your timeline as several tweets connected by a straight line. If the thread has four or more tweets, the tweets are truncated. To expand and see the entire thread, you need to select the Show this thread option next to the individual tweet. 

On your profile, a thread will appear as separate tweets, posted in reverse chronological order. Every tweet that belongs to a thread will have the same Show this thread option displayed next. When you Retweet or Quote Tweet that belongs to a thread, the retweet will also include the Show this thread message so that other people can select it to see the entire thread. 

Users usually mark their Twitter threads with the #thread to distinguish them from normal tweets and avoid their followers jumping on commenting on the first tweet before the whole thread is complete. 

To make sure your followers read the tweets in your thread in the correct order, you can also number the posts in your thread: e.g., 1/5, 2/5, etc. If you mention someone in a thread, they’ll receive a standard notification on Twitter about it. 

Twitter Thread vs Tweetstorm

If you have heard of tweetstorms before, learning about Twitter threads might be confusing, as they seem one and the same. While threads and tweetstorms can be the same thing, it’s not always the case. 

When a user posts a number of tweets quickly, one after the other, that’s called a tweetstorm. However, they only become a thread if these tweets are also replies to one another and are connected in that way. If the tweets aren’t linked together with the Reply function, they remain individual tweets that can be a part of a tweetstorm, even if they have no connection to each other. 

You can also find the word tweetstorm used in relation to something different. When many different users tweet about the same topic (e.g., using the same hashtags or links), some people call that a tweetstorm too. However, this usage example is a lot less common nowadays. 

How to Create Your First Thread on Twitter

There are two different ways that you can use to create a thread on your Twitter account. You can use both the Twitter website and the mobile app. Follow the steps in our tutorials to create your first thread on Twitter.

How to Create a Twitter Thread Using the Reply Function

The easiest way to make a thread on Twitter is to publish a tweet and then use the reply function to add more tweets to your thread. To make your first thread on Twitter, follow the steps below. The steps are the same for Android, iOS, and desktop users.

  1. Open the Twitter app or website, and log into your account.
  2. Open the Home page, then start typing your first tweet under What’s happening (or select the Compose icon if you’re using the mobile app). 
  1. Select Tweet.
  2. Once your first tweet is published, select Reply under it. 
  1. When the new tweet’s ready, select the Tweet button to publish it. 

You’ll now see a Show this thread message appear next to your second tweet. You can continue publishing new tweets using the Reply function until you’re down to the last tweet of your thread. 

This method is easy to use but the main problem here is that your followers might not know that this is a thread you’re creating and start asking questions in the replies that you’re going to answer in the following tweets. If you choose this method, make sure to include #thread in your first tweet, and number any following tweets to let your followers know there are more posts coming. 

How to Create a Twitter Thread Using the Threads Tool

Another way to avoid a situation where your followers start commenting on your posts before the thread’s finished is to create it using Twitter’s built-in threads feature. It allows you to create an entire Twitter thread with however many tweets you like and then publish them all at once.

To make a new thread on Twitter using the threads tool, follow the steps below. The steps are the same for all Twitter apps and Twitter website. 

  1. On Twitter, start typing your first tweet under What’s happening (for desktop users) or select the Compose icon to create your first tweet (for mobile users).
  2. Select the blue + icon (for desktop users) or Continue thread (for mobile users) to add the next tweet to the thread. 
  1. Type in your second tweet. Then select the + icon again to add another tweet.
  2. When you’re ready to publish your thread, select Tweet all

You’ll now see your thread appear in your Twitter feed. 

You can add more tweets after publishing your thread. To do that, open any individual tweets in your thread, scroll down and select Add another tweet

You can also delete any of the individual tweets from your thread. To do that, open the tweet that you want to remove, select the three horizontal dots icon on the right side, and select Delete

Tips on Creating Engaging Twitter Threads

Threads are great for driving your engagement rates on Twitter. You can use this tool to get rewards from Twitter, like gaining new followers and becoming more discoverable by other users. However, to get the most out of Twitter threads, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Avoid using only plain text when writing your threads. Instead, use different types of media to accompany your posts, like GIFs, images, videos, and links. It’s a great way to add diversity into your tweets and keep your audience engaged, especially if it’s a long thread. 
  • While composing your thread, don’t forget about hashtags. Tweet like a pro, and make sure to use at least one hashtag in each of the tweets to make your thread more discoverable by the users that don’t follow you yet. 
  • If it’s a short thread, number your posts to create a better structure and help your followers read the tweets in the right order. However, if it’s a long thread, avoid numbering your posts, as seeing the final number of 23+ posts can scare people away. 
  • When people start commenting in your threads, engage with their comments as soon as possible and move the conversation further. Your thread may contain the most helpful info, but if it doesn’t get engagement from other users, the Twitter algorithm won’t show it to anyone outside your followers’ circle. 

Use Threads to Tell Better Stories on Twitter

Twitter offers plenty of tools to help you capture your audience’s interest. Twitter threads are no exception. Use threads to tell better stories, engage with your audience, and make your Twitter account more discoverable for other users. 

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AnyDesk vs. TeamViewer vs. Splashtop vs. LogMeIn: Battle of the Remote Desktop Apps Guy McDowell]]> Mon, 02 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Talking someone through a computer problem over the phone takes skill and patience because you can’t see what’s happening. That’s where remote desktop access apps come in. We’re looking at […]]]>
Talking someone through a computer problem over the phone takes skill and patience because you can’t see what’s happening. That’s where remote desktop access apps come in. We’re looking at the four biggest remote access apps to see which is best for you.

Best Remote Desktop App for SMBs: LogMeIn

– Solid, fast connection to remote device
Remote printing
– Drag-and-drop file sharing between devices
– Multi-monitor display
– Antivirus for endpoints
– 1 TB file storage
CostLimited function on iOS

Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS

Price: $350/yr for access to 2 computers up to $7,000/yr for access to 50 computers

It’s the variety of functionality that makes LogMeIn pro best for small businesses. SMBs usually have a small IT team where each person does a bit of everything, so they need a remote desktop app that does a bit of everything also. A key feature is unattended remote access with Wake On LAN when support is required, but the user is busy with something else.

Centralized management of anti-virus and firewalls, plus Active Directory group policy management multiplies the capabilities of your smaller IT team. It’s the ease of use that can make it worth the price for growing businesses and commercial use. LogMeIn used to have a free version but dropped it abruptly several years ago.

Best Remote Desktop App for Linux: TeamViewer

– Access to unattended devices
– Built-in videoconferencing
– Screen blackout for private remote access
– Leave notes for user
– Ad-hoc support with client apps downloadable by anyone.
– Remote restart and wake on LAN\Two-factor authentication
iOS access is screen share only for now

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux

Price: $450/yr for single admin, up to 200 managed devices to $1750.yr for 30 admins, up to 500 managed devices.

It’s an understatement to say TeamViewer is only the best remote desktop access for Linux. TeamViewer is the only remote desktop app on this list that boasts its ability to access Linux. Yet it may be the best option for anyone, from the individual IT support person up to large, multi-location businesses.

If using VPNs for remote access is a problem for you, TeamViewer provides secure end-to-end AES encryption without a VPN. Perhaps the most useful feature of TeamViewer is that you can ask a user to download the remote desktop software, which can be branded for your business, and in seconds you can be on their device.

Best Remote Desktop App for Limited Budget: Splashtop

– Multi-monitor support
– Unattended Android access 
– Windows update management
– File sharing
– Remote printing
– Remote audio
– Two-factor authentication
– Two admins can remote into one device
– Licensing and pricing is complicated
– Not all features are available in all plans or on all devices
– Reports of connectivity issues

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS

Price: $60/yr for a single user and up to $99/yr/user for business users

The most affordable remote support app on the list, Splashtop does have complicated licensing and pricing. The single-user plan has the lowest price but has limited features such as only being able to view one monitor at a time. Yet if you just need to remote control your own computer, this may be enough. The enterprise option has all the features anyone may want, like session recording, remote reboot, and cloud options.

There are several options for small businesses, managed service providers, and educational institutions. So it may take some time to figure out exactly what is needed for your situation. There are also many reports of remote connection instability. 

Best Remote Desktop App Overall: AnyDesk

– Easy file transfer
– Unattended access
– API for integration into other apps
– Group Policy management
– Central device management
– Ad-hoc support with client app downloadable by anyone.
– Two-factor authentication
– Invite access to device
– IoT Access
– Reports of connection loss without notification.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FreeBSD, Raspberry Pi, Chrome OS

Price: $120/yr for a single user, $238/yr for 3 hosts and up to 3000 devices

Whether you want this just for yourself or for your corporate help desk, AnyDesk provides an affordable, powerful, easy to use solution. If you’re supporting desktops and mobile devices in a corporate environment or providing remote support for IoT devices in an industrial setting, AnyDesk can help. AnyDesk has the greatest cross-platform capabilities supporting any operating system.

It’s also the most user-friendly in our testing. AnyDesk’s pricing makes it available to most people and the functionality is as great or better than any of the remote support apps on this list. Security is also top of mind for AnyDesk with end-to-end AES encryption and RSA 2048 asymmetric key exchange. AnyDesk is the best remote access solution in our opinion.

Which Remote Desktop Support Solution Is Best for You?

We’ve compared four of the best remote desktop access solutions and in which situations they excel. However, what’s best for you requires looking at what pricing works for you and what features you need. Some options include whiteboards and tools for online meetings that might replace things like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Some are easier for the end-user to access. And some will work better over limited internet connections if you have users who live rurally. Put together your criteria, test all the remote access solutions, and see what’s best for you.

]]> 0
Where to Listen to Video Game Soundtracks Online Kayla Dube]]> Sun, 01 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Video game music has come a long way from its beginnings as beeping sounds, and today many of these soundtracks rival even movie compositions. Many people want to listen to […]]]>
Video game music has come a long way from its beginnings as beeping sounds, and today many of these soundtracks rival even movie compositions. Many people want to listen to video game soundtracks on their own, as they can make great background music for daily life or simply remind you of playing your favorite game.

There are now many ways online to find video game soundtracks so you can listen to them whenever you want. No matter what game you’re looking for, it’s very likely you can find the music for it on one of these sites listed below. We’ve compiled the best places to find, listen to, and download these soundtracks so you can relive some great video gameplay moments. 


Besides offering the video games themselves on the platform, Steam is also a great place to find original soundtracks. Many game creators will allow you to buy the full soundtrack on Steam for their game, and you can usually find it right on the game’s page. 

This is especially good if you’re enjoying the soundtrack of an indie game, like Undertale, as you may not be able to find the tracks elsewhere. Steam even has a special section in their store dedicated to game soundtracks. Once you buy one, you can find it and listen to it in your Steam Library. Buying soundtracks from Steam allows you to listen to your favorite game music whenever you want, without having to worry about it being taken down. 


YouTube has a colossal selection of original game soundtracks uploaded on the platform. Chances are if the game exists, you can find the music for it on YouTube by searching for the game’s OST (original soundtrack). There are also a host of video game music live streams to listen to if you’re having trouble choosing. Or, you can find one of the many fan-made mixes of video game tracks. 

Because the library is so vast, you should have no trouble finding what you want to listen to unless the music has been taken down for copyright reasons. There are also many remixes and playlists dedicated to video game music on YouTube, so there is plenty to choose from. 


If you want more of a radio experience to put some video game music on in the background, Rainwave is one of the best sites for this. You can choose from five different stations, including just game music, as well as chiptunes, remixes, and covers. Besides the radio, you can also browse their massive library to find information on video game soundtracks and places to buy them. 

The radio also takes requests for songs, and you can vote on which song you want to come on next as the current song plays. Rainwave is a great way to not only listen to old favorites but discover new video games and their music as well. 

RPGamers Radio

Another great video game music radio station is RPG Gamers Radio. This radio has many features to make for a great listening experience, including the ability to vote on songs, request songs to be played, and chat with others. You can also change the skin of the radio player to many different game-oriented themes, such as The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy IV, Persona 5, Metroid, etc.

Overall, RPG Gamers Radio is great for listening to music in the background and interacting with other fans of video game soundtracks. It’s also very easy and pleasant to use, making for a great listening experience. 

Zophar’s Domain

Zophar’s Domain is a huge source for video game music, allowing you to download all the music available on their site. You can search through their massive library including music from GameCube, NES, Nintendo 64, Playstation, Xbox, Sega Genesis, and more. 

With each soundtrack, you can find download links so you can have the songs on your computer whenever you want to listen to them. You can find the soundtracks for lots of retro games like Super Mario Bros, Pokemon, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania, and many more.

If you’re looking to download video game music, this is the first site you’ll want to check out. The extent of their library as well as the quality of the music is the best you can find online.


If you already have a Spotify account, you may want to check this streaming service for your favorite video game soundtracks. Spotify is especially good for finding the soundtracks for popular or newer video games, like Halo, Doom, Assassin’s Creed, and more. There are tons of playlists available dedicated to video game songs. 

With Spotify, you can be sure the music will be the best quality out there for these songs. There are also tons of remixes and covers of video game songs available on Spotify. So, if you have a Premium account, it’s worth a look to find the soundtracks of your favorite games.


Another great site for downloading video game music is Khinsider. They also have a giant library of video game music to peruse, and each album available has MP3 files for each song, or you can download whole albums at once. 

If you enjoy having all your music on your computer to access at any time, Khinsider is a great resource to download all the best video game soundtracks you want. You can browse by game series, as well as for each game system, such as the SNES (Super Nintendo), Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Playstation consoles, Nintendo Switch, Xbox consoles, and much more. No matter what video game music you’re looking for, Khinsider is likely to have it. 

Listen to Your Favorite Video Game Soundtracks Online

With the sites listed above, you can potentially find the soundtrack and theme songs to any video game out there. You can also find tons of covers and remixes if you’re looking for something a little different. These sites are a great way to find new background music, or appreciate the sound design of your favorite games.

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How Does Netflix Work? A Brief History and Overview Sydney Butler]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Netflix is the reigning champion of streaming services and its earliest successful pioneer. The company has shaped what streaming services do and how they do it, but you may be […]]]>
Netflix is the reigning champion of streaming services and its earliest successful pioneer. The company has shaped what streaming services do and how they do it, but you may be wondering how Netflix works.

With competitors like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV +, Hulu, and more, Netflix has to run a sophisticated outfit. Let’s unpack the details.

Netflix’s History in a Nutshell

Netflix started life as an internet-based DVD rental business. It took the pain out of going to a video store and offered lenient rules with no penalties. When Netflix was founded in 1997, internet bandwidth was incapable of competing with the image quality of cable or broadcast TV. No one seriously considered that you’d get your TV shows through an internet connection!

Source: USPS

Ten years after the company was founded, it began offering streaming services. Netflix was a hybrid service for years, offering both streaming and DVD (later Blu-ray) rentals by mail. However, as its streaming business started to take off and the content library grew, other competitors emerged.

The DVD part of the business is all but shut down now. Netflix is investing heavily in original programming since many owners of content that used to be on Netflix (especially Disney) have now pulled that content into their streaming platforms.

The Netflix Business Model

Netflix’s goal is to grow its subscriber base as much as possible. The company needs to expand to demonstrate a stable, long-term income stream from loyal monthly subscribers.

As it stands, Netflix offers on-demand video content with a mix of third-party and in-house content. In addition, Netflix content is spread across virtually all genres, and their original TV series and movies echo the same spread of genre offerings.

What’s notable about Netflix and how it creates original content is that the company gathers detailed information on subscribers’ viewing habits. Unlike TV ratings, which only give a crude idea of what people like to watch, Netflix knows exactly what you watch, how you watch it, and even the exact point in a show or movie you lose interest in.

Using this detailed data, the company has created some smash-hit original TV that’s only on Netflix and later sold on physical media. Not to mention all of the merchandise and tie-in media that go with successful franchises such as Stranger Things or The Witcher. Shows like House of Cards and Netflix Original documentaries like the phenomenal My Octopus Teacher are key to getting people through the door and keeping them there.

Netflix Subscription Plans

Netflix offers several plans that have varying prices. In some regions of the world, they also offer plans that aren’t available in the USA. For example, in South Africa, there’s a (roughly) $3 mobile Netflix plan for individuals, limiting the service to a smartphone or tablet at SD (Standard Definition) quality.

There are three plans common to all regions, although pricing does vary by region. The Basic plan allows for a single stream at SD quality. The Standard plan allows two streams at HD (High Definition) quality, and finally, the Premium plan allows four simultaneous streams at UHD (Ultra HD 4K) quality.

UHD TVs are becoming more and more common, so it’s unfortunate that 4K quality is locked into the four-screen tier if you’re living alone or are in a household with fewer than four people. This is possibly one of the key reasons Netflix users share accounts with family and friends, although Netflix is clamping down on this practice.

If you want to pay less for Netflix, check out how to get Netflix for free or at a reduced price.

Netflix Downloaded Content

Since we’re often cut off from our home broadband connections when traveling, commuting, or simply at a place without decent internet, it’s great to know that you can download Netflix content to your device and watch it later.

You cannot download every piece of content on Netflix since the license holder of every piece of content has to provide permission for download rights. 

But you can download all Netflix original content as far as we can tell, and if you go to the download section of the Netflix app, you can filter content to only show those that can be downloaded.

Netflix also offers a Smart Download function, where the next episode in a series you’re watching is automatically downloaded when your device is on WiFi.  Netflix will also preemptively download shows that it thinks you might want to watch. So if you’re ever stuck at the DMV unexpectedly, you’ll have something to pass the time ready and waiting.

Netflix Mobile Gaming

Netflix is expanding its repertoire beyond streaming video content and into the mobile gaming world. Every Netflix account tier includes access to the company’s mobile gaming titles and can be accessed from the gaming tab in the mobile app.

Whether the titles currently available are worth playing when compared against the likes of Apple Arcade is debatable. But if you’re already a Netflix subscriber, it can’t hurt to give them a try.

Netflix Streaming Technology

Netflix is a pioneer of on-demand video streaming technology. If you’ve ever used the service on a slow connection, you may have been impressed with how watchable it is even when the internet isn’t great.

Netflix uses an “adaptive bitrate” streaming method that dynamically changes the video quality at a given resolution as network conditions change. Depending on network conditions, it can also switch seamlessly to a lower or higher resolution stream.

Each video stream on Netflix is also included in various formats to best match the platform the content is streamed on. For example, on an iPad or iPhone, Netflix uses the H.264 video codec, but on UHD (4K) devices, it uses H.265 HEVC (the High-efficiency Video Codec).

Netflix keeps the exact details of its technology secret since it’s a major competitive advantage. Still, you can see their quality sensing system in action by activating the quality metric overlay. 

This differs from app to app. For example, you can see the current streaming quality on a Samsung smart TV by pressing the “Info” button on the remote. If you’re on a PC or Mac, you can bring up the full live stats for the current video by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D or Control + Options + Shift + D on a Mac.

Netflix Global Network Architecture

The hardware infrastructure to support a massive bandwidth and processing hungry service like Netflix is impressive. It’s also costly, so Netflix doesn’t buy, build, or maintain its own data centers. Instead, it pays Amazon for cloud services, which might seem weird considering that Amazon is also a direct competitor to Netflix with its Prime Video service. 

Then again, Amazon is one of only a handful of companies with the expertise and technology to support major cloud services. You may be surprised to learn that many companies are customers of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, who’ll happily sell cloud services to anyone, including each other.

The Netflix CDN Solution

The exact hardware changes with time as cloud providers upgrade and improve their systems. One of the key reasons to use a company like Amazon is its global presence. A service like Netflix needs a CDN or Content Delivery Network. These are physical data centers spread across the world.

When a user in a specific region requests a movie or episode, the content is served by the data center nearest to that user. This means they get the snappiest response times with excellent bandwidth. Meanwhile, Netflix doesn’t have to pay for more expensive international bandwidth.

Modern CDNs are sophisticated. For example, if you’re the first person in your region to request a specific piece of content, you’ll likely be served by a CDN node that’s further away, but in the background that content is cached to the CDN unit closer to you so that in future local users will get their more quickly.

Netflix Edge and Computing

You may have heard the term “edge computing” mentioned in the same breath as Netflix, but it turns out that the company is not yet actually using this cloud computing method.

Edge computing is a way to distribute the computing power needed to deliver content and services to users. Wherever processing is required, some of it is done on servers nearest the user.

This sounds like a CDN, and there’s some overlap between the concepts. However, CDNs store cached data at the edges of a network. In Netflix’s case, they use devices called Open Connect caching servers, which are often installed with ISPs (Internet Service Providers), so that the ISP’s network can serve them.

While having content hosted at the edge of a network is an advantage shared by both CDNs and edge computing, the latter also offers lower latencies that help real-time applications such as online gaming, live streaming, and cloud applications. On-demand services like Netflix wouldn’t see any further benefits beyond what their CDN already offers. 

That being said, Netflix is interested in 5G network technology and edge computing to improve their actual original content production. Since it would make it much easier for on-location crews to send raw footage to editors or executives who could be on the other side of the planet!

Netflix Software Clients

Netflix has many different software clients to serve content on various devices. Some software clients are end of life, such as the one for the Sony PlayStation 3. Gaming consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are still supported.

As we mentioned above, the encoding method for sound and video can differ depending on what sort of device you’re using Netflix. For example, most modern devices such as set top boxes (e.g., Fire TV, Chromecast, or Roku) and smartphones have hardware decoders to handle H.264 video.

There are Android and iOS apps, smart TV apps for Android TV, Samsung’s Tizen, and just about any smart TV brand that uses something other than Android. There is no dedicated software client for Windows and macOS, but you can watch Netflix through a web browser.

How Netflix Protects Its Content

Piracy is a problem for content creators of all types. Netflix combats it with different DRM (Digital Rights Management) tools to prevent unauthorized copying of its streams. Each type of DRM is matched to the device’s operating system that it runs on since they have different requirements.

Of course, a casual glance at torrenting sites like The Pirate Bay shows that none of these protections work since Netflix content is readily available. After all, only a single hacker has to defeat the DRM for a protection-free copy to spread across the internet like wildfire.

Netflix Regional Restrictions

While it seems a little strange to restrict digital content to specific geographical areas, many legacy aspects of film and TV distribution still apply to modern streaming services.

In the early days, Netflix was only available officially in the USA. Users outside the USA could use a VPN or Smart DNS service to get around the regional restrictions, and Netflix didn’t seem bothered by it. The company seemed perfectly happy to take payments from non-US credit cards! After Netflix finalized all the complex licensing needed to roll out internationally, they rapidly blocked VPN users. 

The Netflix catalog in other regions started with few titles, but today Netflix offers plenty of content wherever you may be. In fact, non-US subscribers sometimes get content that US users need to find elsewhere. Such as Star Trek Discovery, which was only on Netflix outside of the US until they removed it.

VPN providers have figured out how to get around the Netflix blocks, but there isn’t that much incentive to do it anymore.

A Word on Netflix ISP Throttling

That’s a lot of information on how Netflix works, but it’s worth noting how Netflix sometimes doesn’t work. Streaming services like Netflix are massive bandwidth hogs, and some ISPs have taken to throttling traffic from, limiting the video quality their customers can get. So even if you’re paying for UHD, you may be limited to HD instead.

There’s nothing Netflix can do about this directly other than negotiate with ISPs, but the company has launched its own internet speed testing service named This tests your internet speed to the Netflix website domain, and if it’s much slower than the broadband speed you’re paying for, you may want to have a word with your service provider.

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14 Best Subreddits for Women and Their Interests Maggie Marystone]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2022 22:00:00 +0000 might call itself the “front page of the internet,” but for whom? According to a 2021 digital trends report from HootSuite and We Are Social, most Reddit users are […]]]> might call itself the “front page of the internet,” but for whom? According to a 2021 digital trends report from HootSuite and We Are Social, most Reddit users are male. Only slightly over 37% of Reddit’s approximately 52 million daily users are women.

That might be off-putting for some women. However, we’ve found that if you expand your Reddit reach beyond the default subreddits, you’ll find a subreddit for virtually every community you can imagine, including many that women might find both interesting and supportive.

What Does “For Women” Mean, Anyway?

As you might imagine, people share many interests and use the internet for the same reasons regardless of gender. 

We search for information. We stay in touch with our loved ones. We keep up with the news and learn how to do new things. We watch movies and television, listen to music, and play games. These are our interests regardless of gender. 

Having said that, the list below does include subreddits that are expressly for women, in addition to some that we just think a lot of women might like.

1.  r/TwoXChromosomes

TwoX says it’s “a subreddit for both serious and silly content, and intended for women’s perspectives.”  Moderators keep an eye on posts ensuring a “respect, equanimity, grace, and relevance” and say that Redditors who display hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny, misandry, transphobia, or homophobia will earn bans.

TwoX is a very large subreddit with over 13 million subscribers, but some complain that it has become one of the more increasingly negative as it’s gotten bigger.

2. r/TrollXChromosomes

TrollXChromosomes, “A subreddit for rage comics and other memes with a girly slant,” has a much smaller audience than TwoX—about 823,000 people. Allowable submissions include high-quality gifs, pics, and memes. This sub was created after r/TwoXChromosomes became one of the default subreddits, which led to a heavy influx of men. You’ll find fewer men commenting in r/TrollXChromosomes and many more memes. 

3. r/AskReddit

Visit one of the most popular subreddits, r/AskReddit, to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. Then check out our 50 Best Subreddits article which has categories for Best Subreddits for Questions and Best Subreddits for Learning from Experts. You can AskScience, AskHistorians, AskCulinary, or get some advice on how to do it yourself. Women like to learn, and Reddit is a great place to do just that.

4. r/ABraThatFits

For many women who started working from home and won’t be returning to the office any time soon, this subreddit isn’t as relevant as it used to be. The same could be said about r/FemaleFashionAdvice. If you’re mostly in virtual meetings, a Zoom mullet is all you need!

Still, many women are not working from home. In any case, no matter how seldom you leave the house, feeling good about your appearance is good for your mental health. This sub will help you make sure you’re in a bra that fits. Then for more self-care, you can check out r/skincareaddiction, r/fancyfollicles, r/streetwear, and r/xxFitness.

5. r/aww

You know who likes pics of cute and cuddly things? Women. (And men and nonbinary folks, older adults, kids, animals, and inanimate objects.)

6. r/TikTok

When SproutSocial published demographics for several of the top social media platforms, we were interested to read that men dominate many social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram. Users on TikTok, however, are reported to be 61% female. If you have concerns about privacy and safety on TikTok, you can still find some popular Toks on Reddit.

7. r/IAmA: Ask Me Anything

r/IAmA is a large subreddit with over 21 million members. Ask Me Anything (AMA) posts are crowd-sourced interviews and can be fascinating reads. The admins of this subreddit make sure everyone follows the guidelines. If you see a post you like or a question you’d like the Original Poster (OP) to answer, give them your upvotes. The more women that participate, the better.

8. r/PersonalFinance

According to this Gallup poll from 2019, women are more likely than men to pay the household bills, but less likely to make decisions about savings or investments. However, that’s just among heterosexual couples who are married or living together. Plenty of women live alone or with someone who’s not a man, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re thinking about personal finance.

9. r/Technology

You probably won’t find this shocking, but you know who uses technology? Women! Delve into r/ios, r/android, or indulge your cravings for video games in r/GirlGamersr/Fortnite, r/CallOfDuty, or r/Sims4.  

10. r/DramaticHouseplants

In a world full of men freaking out about any topic, women are often accused of being the dramatic ones. Little did we know, it’s really the houseplants which are over the top! 

11. r/DivorcedBirds

This one really has little to do with women, but it’s so funny we’re sneaking it into position #11. It’s a subreddit “for pictures of fabulous fowl who look like serial monogamists.”

12. r/TheGirlSurvivalGuide

“This subreddit was created for girls to request tips and share discoveries to aid others in daily life. A survival guide of ‘life pro-tips’ for the everyday girl.” It’s a super-supportive online community where girls and women are all looking out for each other.

13. r/Feminisms

One of the accepted definitions of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes.” This subreddit says they use “the plural form of feminism, feminisms, to realize that feminism is not a monolith.” This is the place to go to have serious, respectful, cooperative conversations about feminism and its intersections.

14. r/Women

The last entry on our list is perhaps the most obvious. r/Women says it’s a place to discuss “the lives and stories of all women.” Everyone’s invited regardless of gender, job, or whether or not you have or want kids. Notably, “Trans people and especially trans feminine people are expressly welcome here.”

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16 Easy and Fun Google Photos Tips and Tricks Maggie Marystone]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Google Photos is a good cloud storage option for your photos, even though its days of unlimited storage are over. The 15GB of free online storage you get with a […]]]>
Google Photos is a good cloud storage option for your photos, even though its days of unlimited storage are over. The 15GB of free online storage you get with a Google account is now shared across several apps like Gmail and Google Drive. 

Unlike apps like DropBox, Google Photos is also useful for quick photo editing. You can use filters and other editing tools and then share your creations on social media. Take advantage of all the tips and tricks below to get the most out of Google Photos. 

1. Create Movies, Photo Collages, and Animations

You might have noticed that occasionally Google automatically creates collages and animations from your photos, but you can create them yourself whenever you want. Explore the section of Google Photos called Utilities. That’s where you can create a new movie, animation, or collage.

Movies can have soundtracks, and you can control how long each photo appears. When you choose images for a Collage, Google will automatically arrange them into a single image for you. To create an animated gif, choose Animation

2. Search Logically

Search by people, places, objects, and specific dates by typing in the search bar at the top of the desktop site or the bottom of the mobile app.

3. Label People & Pets

In the Explore section of Google Photos, under People & Pets, you’ll see a row of headshots of people and pets in your photos. Select one that doesn’t have a label, and enter their name. Then you’ll be able to search for pictures of them by name. 

Select your name and view all selfies and photos of yourself from over the years. Create a slideshow and see how you’ve changed! 

4. Search by Emoji

You can even search by emoji when using the Google Photos app on a mobile device.

5. Add Background Blur

Google One members and Pixel owners can use the Portrait Blur feature that intelligently blurs the background of pics of people. Google just announced that these users would soon be able to blur the backgrounds of other photos as well. 

6. Hide Location Information

When you take a photo with your device, location information is likely saved along with the image. To prevent location information from being shared with your photos, go to Photos Settings > Location > Location sources > Camera settings and toggle Save location to the Off position. 

7. Download All Your Photos

Google provides a relatively easy way to download all your photos at once by using Google Takeout. Google Takeout is also a great way to export or download all Gmail emails.

8. See the Original While You’re Editing

When editing a photo in the app, tap and hold down the pic to see the original. In a browser, click and hold the edited image to see the original. 

9. Add Old Photos with PhotoScan

Using Google’s PhotoScan app (for Android and iPhone) to scan old photos is better than just taking a picture of a photo. It scans the old picture (or document) from several angles to reduce glare. Preserve those old photos for posterity!

10. Not Just for Android Phones

iPhone users can enjoy Google Photos, too. Download the Google Photos iOS app

11. Cast Your Screen to Your TV

If you are using Google Photos on an Android device, you can share photos with everyone in the room by casting your screen to another device, like a television. 

12. Save Space

Deleting photos isn’t the only way to save space in your Google Photos account. Compress your high-quality photos, so you free up space and don’t run up against the dreaded photo storage limit. In the Google Photos app, select your profile picture in the top right corner.

Then select Photos settings > Backup & sync > Upload size. That’s where you can opt to back up your photos at their original quality or slightly reduce the quality of the uploaded photos. 

13. Share Images and Albums

There are many sharing options inside Google photos. Share individual images or whole albums with specific people, or create a link that anyone can use. If you add more pictures to a shared album, people you’ve shared the album with (or who have the link) will be able to see the new photos you add to the album.

When you share a photo from within the Google Photos app, you’ll see options to share via Google Photos or other messaging and social media apps.

14. Create Photo Books

While digital photos are great, it’s also nice to have something physical you can hold. On the desktop site, select the Print store to assemble your best photos into a photo book. In the app, select the More icon (three dots) and choose Order photo. You can create a photo book, order a photo print, or create a canvas print of the photo. These make excellent gifts, especially for parents and grandparents. 

15. Use Locked Folders for Better Security

To move a photo on your device to a locked folder, select the More icon and Move to Locked Folder. Moving an image to a locked folder means that it’ll be hidden from other areas of Google Photos and other apps on your device. The photo won’t be backed up or shared, and it will be deleted if you uninstall Google Photos. 

16. Enable Back Up & Sync

As soon as you install the Google Photos mobile app on your phone, you’ll be prompted to enable the Back Up & Sync. This feature automatically saves new photos and videos when you have internet access, which is great if you don’t have much device storage space. Then you’ll always be able to find your images and videos in your Google Photos library. You can set it to only backup and sync when you’re connected to wi-fi. 

If you’re an iPhone user and already back your photos up to the iCloud, Google’s Back Up & Sync feature is a great second line of defense. In the app, tap your profile photo and then select Photos settings > Back up & sync.

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How to Fix a Corrupted Minecraft World or Restore From Backup Jake Harfield]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2022 22:00:00 +0000

Unfortunately, Mojang’s sandbox game Minecraft is notorious for corrupting worlds and making them unplayable. If you’ve spent hundreds of hours in a particular world, it can be heartbreaking to find […]]]>
Unfortunately, Mojang’s sandbox game Minecraft is notorious for corrupting worlds and making them unplayable. If you’ve spent hundreds of hours in a particular world, it can be heartbreaking to find out you can no longer access it. 

Luckily, depending on the level of corruption, it’s possible to restore your Minecraft world from backup. Here’s how. 

The Quick Fix for Corrupted Worlds on PC

First, try to create a new world with the same name and world seed as your lost world. Occasionally, this will result in Minecraft loading your previous world with your inventory intact. This fix will potentially work for any version of Minecraft.

Note: For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll call the lost world “CorruptedWorld.”

To create a new world with the same world seed: 

  1. Open Minecraft.
  2. Select the original world, then click Edit.
  1. Click Export World Generation Settings. This will export a .JSON file to your saves folder.
  1. Go back to the world menu. Click Create New World and name the world the same as the original world.
  1. Select More World Options.
  1. Click Import Settings. This will open File Explorer.
  1. In the address bar, type %appdata%.
  1. Open .minecraft.
  1. Double-click saves. This is where your Minecraft world folders are held.
  1. Open your CorruptedWorld, select the file worldgen_settings_export.json and click Open. Wait for the world to be generated, then close Minecraft.

If this doesn’t work, move on to the more detailed fixes below.

The Longer Fix for Corrupted Worlds on PC

If the quick fix didn’t work for you, manually creating a new world and copying the old game files can fix the issue. This fix should work for both the Java Edition and Bedrock Edition on Windows.

This process should also work on a Mac, but the game files are held in the hidden Library/Application Support folder.

Step 1: Create a New World

The first step is to open Minecraft using the launcher and create a new world with the same seed as the original world. If you don’t have the seed at hand, you can find it by following the guide in the first fix. 

Step 2: Transfer Level.dat Files

The next step is to transfer the necessary files to your new world. We recommend creating a backup of your world before doing this step. We cover how to do so below.

To transfer the world files:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type %appdata% and press Enter.

3. Double-click .minecraft.

4. Double-click the saves folder.

5. Open CorruptedWorld and find level.dat, level.dat_mcr (not always present), level.dat_old, and session.lock. Right-click and copy/paste each of these files into your new world’s folder. On Minecraft Bedrock Edition, you only need to transfer level.dat.

6. Restart Minecraft and load your world.

How to Restore a Minecraft World From Backup

If you have a backup folder of your Minecraft world, restoring your world is easy. All you have to do is transfer the backup copy world into your saves folder.

Note: We recommend creating a backup of your saved games before doing this, as it will delete your local saves. You can do this in-game by selecting your world, clicking Edit, and selecting Make Backup. The backups are stored inside the .minecraft folder in a second folder called backups

How to Restore Your World on PC/Mac

To restore your backup Minecraft worlds on PC, simply navigate to your game saves folder as above, delete the corrupted world, and copy/paste the backup world there. The process is the same for a Mac. To find your game files easily on Mac or Windows, open Minecraft, click your corrupted world, select Edit, then click Open Backups Folder.

How to Restore Your World on Pocket Edition

If you play Minecraft on Android or iPhone, Minecraft PE now attempts to repair corrupt saves automatically (as of Pocket Edition v0.11.0 alpha). If this doesn’t work, you can try to restore your saved file by accessing your phone’s automatic backups (e.g., Samsung Backup, Google Backup, or iCloud on iOS). Hopefully, these have backed up your Minecraft data and will be able to restore your world.

If you don’t know, here’s how you can backup and restore data on Android and iPhone.

How to Restore Your World on Console

On Xbox and PlayStation, the process to restore your world is quite different. 

On Xbox:

  1. Uninstall Minecraft.
  2. Delete saved game data by navigating to System > Storage > Clear local saved games.
  1. Clear your MAC address by navigating to Network > Network Settings > Advanced Settings > Alternate MAC Address > Clear.
  2. Reinstall Minecraft and start it. It should sync your saves from Xbox Live’s cloud backup server.

On PlayStation:

To restore a saved world on PlayStation, you need a PS Plus account before the game gets corrupted. To restore your world open Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in Online Storage.

Here, select Download to System Storage, then select the world that you want to restore and choose Download.

How to Restore a Previous Version on a Windows PC

Minecraft automatically stores backup files for each of your worlds on Microsoft Windows. Of course, reverting to this will mean you lose some of your progress, but that’s better than losing the world entirely.

To revert to your previous Minecraft world version:

  1. Navigate to the saves folder as above.
  1. Find your world then double-click the folder.
  1. Find the file level.dat and copy it to another location to create a backup. Then, delete the file from the world folder.
  1. Rename level.dat_old to level.dat.
  1. Re-load Minecraft and see if your world is now functioning correctly.

The problem is, you will start in a random location (often extremely far away from your builds) and have to locate them, so hopefully, you have the coordinates written down. Further, any information regarding mods, plugins, or addons will be lost, and your inventory will be empty. Unfortunately, these are unavoidable issues with this method.

How to Partially Restore Your World

If nothing else works and you don’t know the original world seed, it’s still possible to partially restore your Minecraft world. To do so:

  1. Create a new world with any seed and name.
  2. Navigate to your world folder as above and transfer the CorruptedWorld level.dat file into your new world’s folder.
  1. Open Minecraft and load your new world. All of the chunks you saved in the original world will load in the new seed. However, there will likely be large cliffs/weird formations between the new and old world where they don’t line up.

Backing Up Your Data is the Safest Option

Hopefully, these methods have helped you restore your corrupted Minecraft files and you can get back to the game. Just keep in mind that the best option to protect your Minecraft saves (and all of your personal data) is by frequently creating backups of your data.

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