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Are you wondering what a checksum is? You may have noticed that when you download files from certain websites, they have a very long string of numbers and letters called a checksum or MD5 checksum or SHA-1, etc. These really long strings basically act as fingerprints for that particular file, whether it be an EXE, ISO, ZIP, etc.

Checksums are used to ensure the integrity of a file after it has been transmitted from one storage device to another. This can be across the Internet or simply between two computers on the same network. Either way, if you want to ensure that the transmitted file is exactly the same as the source file, you can use a checksum.

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Checksums are used not only to ensure a corrupt-free transmission, but also to ensure that the file has not been tampered with. When a good checksum algorithm is used, even a tiny change to the file will result in a completely different checksum value.

The most common checksums are MD5 and SHA-1, but both have been found to have vulnerabilities. This means that malicious tampering can lead to two different files having the same computed hash. Due to these security concerns, the newer SHA-2 is considered the best cryptographic hash function since no attack has been demonstrated on it as of yet.

As you can see in the screenshot above, the ISO file I am trying to download from Microsoft has a SHA1 checksum listed. Once I download the file, I would use a checksum calculator to verify the integrity of the file.

About 99.9% of the time, you really don’t need to care or worry about checksums when downloading files off the Internet. However, if you are downloading something sensitive like anti-virus or privacy software like Tor, it’s probably a good idea to verify the checksum because hackers can create malware-infested versions of critical software in order to gain full access to a system.

There are a ton of different utilities for calculating checksums and I’ll mention only one or two here since the good ones can create multiple hashes for you and can also verify hashes.

MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility

The MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility is my favorite utility for working with checksums because it has all the features I need in the free version. Once you download it, simply run the EXE file to open the program.

As you can see the MD5 hash is the shortest and the SHA-512 hash is very long. The longer the hash, the more secure it is.

Online Checksum Calculator

For those who would rather not download any software onto their systems, an online checksum calculator would be the better choice. The online calculators have more restrictions, mostly the max upload size of the file, but for smaller files, they work just fine.

If 5 MB is just too small, then check out OnlineMD5, another free site that allows you to generate checksums for files up to 4 GB in size. Apparently, it does this without uploading the actual file to their servers. I’m not sure how it works, but it seems to just run the algorithm locally on your system and then just displays it in the browser. Quite a smart way to do it because you don’t have to download extra software and you don’t have to wait forever uploading a large file.

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What Is A Snap Score And How To Increase It

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms, with millions of daily active users. And while many of us are familiar with the app’s fun filters and disappearing messages, there’s one feature that’s a bit more mysterious: the Snap score. In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about how Snap score works, including what it is, how it’s calculated, and what it means for your Snapchat experience.

What is a Snap score, and how does it work?

Snap score is a metric that measures your activity and engagement on Snapchat. Essentially, it’s a numerical representation of how much you use the app. To see your Snap score, open up your Snapchat profile, and you will find your score beneath your username. Tap on your score to see a breakdown of your stats.

I only use Snapchat for messaging, so my score is based on the number of Snaps I have sent and received. But there are a variety of factors that Snapchat uses to calculate your Snap Score, including:

Snaps sent and received: Your Snap score increases each time you send a snap to a friend and receive a snap from a friend.

Streaks: Your Snap score will increase even faster if you have a “streak” with a friend (meaning you’ve sent snaps back and forth for several days in a row).

Number of friends added: The more friends you add, the higher your Snap score will be.

Bonus points for using the app: If you’ve not been using Snapchat for a while and have started using it again, you’ll earn bonus points.

It’s worth noting that the exact algorithm for calculating the Snap score is not public knowledge. In Snapcahat’s own words, they say your Snap score is “determined by a super-secret, special equation” involving the above factors, and Snapchat has been known to tweak it over time. While that description isn’t exactly helpful or transparent, we have a few tips you can follow to increase your Snap score.

How to increase your Snap score

The easiest way to increase your Snapchat score is simply by using the app more often and using all of the app’s features. The Snap score’s only purpose is to be a gamifying element to drive engagement with the app. You use the app and are rewarded with a new high score.

That being said, if you want to increase your Snap score on Snapchat, you can try a few strategies. Here are some tips to boost your score:

Stay active: Using the app regularly is the most effective way to increase your Snap score. Send and receive photo and video snaps from your friends, and post to your Story frequently. Your score won’t improve if you only send text messages on the app, so send photo and video snaps to earn points.

Start streaks: Maintaining a streak with a friend is a great way to stay engaged with the app and earn more points. However, sending the same Snap to multiple users won’t increase your score. You need to send unique snaps to each user to earn points.

Add more friends: Your number of friends on Snapchat can affect your score. Adding more friends will increase the potential for sending and receiving snaps and ultimately increase your score.

How to see someone’s Snap score


Your Snap score updates in real time, meaning it updates as soon as you send or receive a snap or post to your Story.

No, Ghost Mode does not conceal your Snap Score. Your score will still be visible to your friends, even if you have enabled Ghost Mode.

No, sending and receiving text messages in the Snapchat app does not increase your Snap Score. You need to send photos or video snaps to earn points. The same goes for group chats; only sending group members photos and videos will increase your Snap score.

No, you cannot freeze your Snap Score. It updates in real time based on your activity on the app.

No, Snapchat does not notify users when someone checks their Snap Score. However, if you send a snap to someone, they can see your score if they tap on your username.

What Is A Smart Plug And How To Choose The Right One

Adaptable, inexpensive and easy to use, smart plugs and outlets are becoming a regular feature of the modern home. They can be used to remotely manage your appliances, connect with smartphone apps and monitor your household electricity consumption.

The best part is you don’t need to dismantle your walls, as smart plugs can easily connect to existing power plugs. Here we will discuss the considerations you must have in choosing the right smart plugs for your needs.

What Smart Plugs Do

Smart plugs are the ultimate plug-in outlets which connect to a home’s Wi-Fi conections. They display on the apps of Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings and others. This helps in providing wireless control of lamps, electronic appliances, heaters, fans and thermostats.

Most smart plugs have a small form factor and can be held in the palm of your hand. But despite that, they pack a powerful circuitry inside the assembly. There are generally three interfaces encased within any smart plug which include:

Microcontroller (MCU) board: the bulk of the circuitry is placed in the MCU board. Within it, there is a low-power Wi-Fi-certified module connecting to a microcontroller, sensors, relay controls and timers. The touch board and MCU boards are connected through multiple headers.

Power board: contains a plug and socket and power-measurement circuits to calculate electricity consumed.

How to Choose the Right Smart Plug Online?

While you can find them at a local electrical store, most smart plugs are readily available online. The first thing you must watch for is which plug and socket specifications are right for your home. These plugs are built for US, EU and Chinese standards. Many countries have EU household voltage at 220V while the US utilizes 110-120V. Whether your household plugs require two flat prongs or very thick pins, there is usually a smart plug built for it.

Do you want to connect multiple gadgets in one smart plug? Then you must go for a multi-outlet device such as this one by KMC which has one always-on outlet. You can identify and name each one of the four individual jacks on Alexa or Google Home.

Most smart outlets are flame-resistant and automatically shut down when overheated, but it is better to go for one which follows FCC recommendations on heat resistance. Some of the outlets are waterproof, so you should choose them if you are placing them in a kitchen area.

Smart plugs are available really cheap with some single jack models going for as less as $7.99. You really don’t have to overspend on them.

In Conclusion

With a few tweaks, you can even harness smart plugs to convert your dumb appliances to smart ones. They are incredibly useful in transforming your homes. If you’re not using them already, you should consider that connected homes will represent the future. Plus, they are also designed to help you monitor and save on energy bills.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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What Is A Digital Marketing Bootcamp And How To Find The Best One

blog / Digital Marketing What is a Digital Marketing Bootcamp and How to Find the Best One

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Digital Marketing Bootcamp Experience

Digital marketing bootcamps typically do not carry any prerequisites for candidate experience. Most of these programs are accessible to beginners, although some universities may prefer applicants with relevant expertise in disciplines closely related to marketing. Since digital marketing shares skills with roles across various industries, many learners discover that their professional background has already prepared them to participate in a bootcamp. 

Digital Marketing Bootcamp Benefits

Besides strengthening foundational knowledge and skills, a digital marketing bootcamp can provide the following benefits to learners: 


Networking with other marketing professionals can be accomplished through digital marketing bootcamps. You can meet other marketers who want to develop their skills by attending an in-person/online training event. To gain more tips and insights into how digital marketing works, you can also interact with the instructors. As you seek out various positions and clients during your career, the connections you build can prove beneficial. 

Career Assistance

Along with its curriculum, a reputable digital marketing bootcamp provides additional career services. To assist students in finding jobs in digital marketing, many well-known bootcamp providers have a large network of hiring partners. Additionally, these bootcamps may also provide services, such as help with writing resumes and interview preparation, as a part of career assistance. 

Structured Learning

The learning format for digital marketing bootcamps is more similar to traditional education methods than currently available online courses. The learners have scheduled times for their lessons, projects, and coaching sessions. This structured and organized approach to learning helps students better understand the course and gain in-depth knowledge.

ALSO READ: How do You Successfully Start a Digital Marketing Agency?

How do You Pick a Digital Marketing Bootcamp?

Now that you know what is a digital marketing bootcamp, along with its benefits, let’s move on to the factors to keep in mind when selecting one that aligns with your goals. 

1. Curriculum

A comprehensive curriculum will provide knowledge on campaign development across key digital channels and explore the significant role of digital marketing in sales conversion funnels. You gain knowledge of the fundamentals of content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing. Additionally, you learn to harness in-demand tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads. 

Therefore, the choice of the curriculum should be made depending on what topics you want to master. 

2. Instructor Knowledge

Select bootcamps that are conducted by established digital marketers with robust industry experience. Target programs that offer frequent one-on-one meetings with a knowledgeable mentor who is invested in your success as a student and a job seeker. 

3. Schedule

How much time can you commit to a bootcamp program? Can you restructure your schedule around regular in-person classes or do you need the flexibility provided by online courses? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before enrolling in a program. 

4. Price and Payment Options

Do you have a flexible budget? Are you in a financial position to pay for a course upfront or do you require a pricing plan? Consider the budget and cost alternatives before finalizing a Bootcamp. 

5. Reviews and Reputation

As you apply filters to narrow down options, be sure to closely examine course ratings and reviews as well. A course with many ratings will be more trustworthy, so be cautious when enrolling in a Bootcamp with fewer reviews. Moreover, browse through the student feedback to understand what former students found helpful or struggled within the course. 

6. Job Placement Support

ALSO READ: How to Learn Digital Marketing and be an Effective Marketer

How Much do Digital Marketing Bootcamps Cost?

The cost of a digital marketing Bootcamp usually ranges between $2,000 and $15,000in the U.S. This price may vary depending on the duration of the program, course reputation, and the topics covered. 

Best Digital Marketing Bootcamps at Emeritus

ALSO READ: Is Digital Marketing a Good Career Option? Here’s What You Need to Know

Are Digital Marketing Bootcamps Worth It?

Judging by the range of benefits that digital marketing boot camps offer, enrolling in one is definitely worth it! Attending a digital marketing boot camp is an efficient way to pick up in-demand digital marketing skills quickly and build a portfolio to showcase your expertise. Moreover, for learners looking to master valuable skills without quitting their job or dedicating themselves to a full-time university program, an online digital marketing Bootcamp is an effective alternative. 

By Rupam Deb 

Write to us at [email protected]

What Is A Follow Train?

A follow train (also known as a follow chain or a follow for follow group) is a group of people who follow each other on a social media platform (e.g Instagram, Twitter, TikTok).

Participating in a follow train is a popular method used by many to grow their social media followers (especially Instagram).

Follow trains help you to grow your social media followers quickly and easily.

The follow train is originated from Instagram back in its early days, and it’s still very popular in the present for one reason—it works.

How does a follow train work?

A follow train works by sharing your social media handle, following others that interest you, and sending them a direct message telling them where you found them from (e.g. Reddit).

Let’s get into each one of the steps in detail.

Firstly, you’ll have to share your social media handle ‘link here’ in a follow train (e.g. chúng tôi in order for people to find and follow you.

In addition to sharing your social media handle, certain groups require you to write up a short description of yourself or the content that you post.

This is to allow people to know your niche, so they’ll only follow you if they are interested in your content.

Secondly, you can follow others that interest you.

A common fault in follow trains is that people don’t like to follow first. This can be due to ego, distrust, laziness, etc.

So if you do happen to follow others first, you can grow your followers at a faster rate then if you were to just share your social media handle.

Follow trains work because people follow each other, so someone needs to follow first in order for it to work.

The last step (and the most important one) is to direct message the person telling them where you found them from (e.g. Reddit).

This step is crucial because if you don’t send them a direct message, they won’t know that you’re doing follow for follow.

If you follow these three steps, you’re guaranteed to receive a follow back almost all of the time.

Types of follow trains

There are various types of follow trains (not only Instagram).

Here is a compiled list of follow trains you can check out to grow your followers.

All of them are completely free to join and are great places where you can connect with people in your niche.

Instagram follow train

Follow trains are widely used by Instagram users who want to quickly grow their followers.

One of the most popular follow trains for Instagram is the r/Instagram community on Reddit.

The community has a “Follow Friday” thread where you can share your Instagram handle with others every Friday.

The goal of the thread is to find new people to follow on Instagram and expand your follower-base in the process.

There are lots of people in varying niches on the “Follow Friday” thread—from photography to personal accounts so you’ll definitely find someone in your niche.

Hundreds of Redditors use the thread on a weekly basis to grow their Instagram followers. You’ll be surprised by the number of followers you’ll get when you first start using it.

I’ve personally used the “Follow Friday” thread for about 2 years now, met a lot of interesting people, and had meaningful conversations.

You can potentially gain hundreds of followers from the thread if you use it consistently.

A cool tip about the thread is that it resets every Friday at around 9 am EST.

So, it’s best to share your Instagram handle at that time for maximum visibility.

Twitter follow train

A popular user who hosts Follow trains on a consistent basis is @toolzbabe on Twitter.

LinkedIn Follow Train

(Insert indiehackers linkedin screenshot here)

LinkedIn is another platform where follow trains can be used to expand your network.

However, LinkedIn follow trains are not common as there aren’t as many LinkedIn users as compared to other social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter.

That being said, the most popular follow train for LinkedIn is started by a post on Indiehackers.

Indiehackers has various follow for follow posts like, “Hacking Twitter”, “Hacking Instagram”, and so on.

These posts are basically follow trains for various social media platforms.

In order to expand your connections on LinkedIn, you can use the “Hacking LinkedIn” post on Indiehackers.

Simply request to connect with the users that shared their LinkedIn handle and tell them that you’re from Indiehackers.

These “Hacking x” posts are only created once in a while, so you’ll have to be sure to look out for them.

They are incredibly useful if you want to expand your network quickly.

Follow train rules

• You should always follow others back from a follow train especially if the person that followed you sent you a direct message.

• Try to write-up a short description about yourself or the content that you post so that people can easily identify your niche.

Advantages of a follow train

Follow trains have existed since the early days of social media (particularly Instagram) and people are still using them to grow their accounts to this day.

Are you wondering why they’re still such a popular growth strategy?

Quick way to grow your followers

Firstly, a follow train is a quick way you can grow your social media followers.

If you were to join a follow for follow group on Instagram now, all you need to do is to share your Instagram handle and people will start following you.

In addition, you can follow others that shared their handle. They’ll follow you back if you send them a direct message telling them where you came from (e.g. Reddit).

Follow trains are specifically catered for people who want to grow their followers by following others. This is also known as follow for follow.

As follow trains are made up of people looking to expand their follower-base through the means of following each other, everyone is like-minded.

Thus, the majority of people will follow you back and not unfollow.

You can find new people to follow

Follow trains enable you to find new and interesting people/content to follow.

As people usually share a short description of themselves or the content that they post, you can easily identify people in your niche to follow.

Consequently, your engagement rate will increase as both parties are in the same niche, and enjoy each other’s content.

The thing about Instagram’s search is that you need to know the username of a person before you can find and follow them.

If you were to search for a keyword on Instagram, the top search results will be dominated with accounts with a large number of followers.

Follow trains give you the ability to find new people and content which cannot be achieved from an Instagram search.

After all, Instagram’s search is incredibly restrictive, so you can utilize a follow train to broaden it.

Attract the right audience

It’s important to attract the right audience on Instagram as you don’t want people that are uninterested in your content to follow you.

If they do, it’ll negatively affect your engagement rate.

Naturally, you’ll be more inclined to like someone’s posts that are in the same niche as you.

This is because you have the same interests as them. Follow trains give you the ability to attract the right audience if you specify your niche.

If you’re a business, this is especially important. Attracting the right people can lead to more conversions and sales.

Instead of blindly following people from a list, you should focus on attracting the right audience, and a follow Train will enable you to do that.

It’s time-consuming

If you’re utilizing a follow train, you need to be very consistent with it if you want to grow your social media followers quickly.

Joining a follow train is about sharing your social media handle with others. But that’s not enough if you’re looking to gain hundreds of followers.

In order to grow your followers by hundreds, you’ll have to constantly follow and direct message others first instead of waiting for them to do so.

This is incredibly time-consuming as you’ll have to dedicate at least an hour a day to follow and message various people.

In addition, social media apps like Instagram will impose an action block on your account if you follow or direct message others too quickly.

This will hinder your growth efforts.

In order to prevent to action block, you’ll have to be sure to follow and direct message in intervals of 5 to 10 minutes.

In addition to sharing your social media handle, following, and direct messaging others, you’ll have to watch out for the action block as well—which makes it time-consuming.

If you’re not consistent with it, you’re not going to get a lot of followers.

Your feed may be overcrowded

Secondly, by utilizing a follow train, your feed may be overcrowded with posts.

This is because the more people you follow, the more posts you’ll have on your feed.

This makes it harder for you to like every post on your feed and you might miss the posts from people you care about.

Thus, it’s important that you mute people who post too much.

Overposters are one of the worst types of people on Instagram as they clutter your feed unnecessarily.

To identify overposters, simply visit someone’s profile and check the time frame between each post.

If the time frame between their posts is short (a few hours), then they might be an overposter.

If that’s the case, you have to make sure to mute the person’s posts right after following them.

You can do so by refreshing your Instagram feed right after following them.

Once you do so, their posts will most likely appear at the top of your feed where you can tap on the “triple dots” icon to mute them.

Unorganized feed

If you’re not meticulous about who you follow, your feed might be filled with posts in varying niches.

This means that your feed will be very unorganized—from photography posts to memes to fitness.

To prevent an unorganized/messy feed, be sure to include a short description of yourself or the content that you post so that people can identify your niche and follow you only if they like your content.

In addition, you can explicitly mention that you’re only following back people in your niche.

This will make sure that your feed stays consistent (with posts within a niche).


Growing your social media can be challenging, but it’s not rocket science.

There are many ways to grow your social media followers, and follow trains are one of them.

The best part about follow trains is that you can stop using them once you’re satisfied with the number of your followers.

The only restriction to watch out for is the rate in which you’re following or direct messaging others.

Further Reading

What Is A Disk Server?

In computing, a server is a computer that constantly runs. Serving whatever content and functionality it has been configured to perform. A classic example of this is a web server, which helps web pages that can vary depending on the user’s request. Servers can host any application that works on the server-client model. Online video games are another excellent example. A physical server runs the game server application for users to connect to.

Note: Both the physical hardware used as servers and the software that runs on them for users to connect are referred to as servers.

One of the issues that servers, as well as most other enterprise-grade computer hardware, have to deal with is high levels of specialization. Enterprise networking hardware, such as routers, switches, servers, etc., is all relatively space limited. These machines are designed to fit into server racks. Typically taking up one to four “U” of the height of a 48U 7-foot-tall server rack.

Note: A “U” is a standard unit of height for computer hardware designed to fit in server racks.

Not only do servers have limited space, but they also have limited cooling capacity and power limits. These restrictions mean that server hardware is designed to be as efficient as possible through specialization. Unfortunately, this means there is limited space for other hardware, such as hard drives. Hard drives are necessary to hold the operating system and run the server. Still, they’re also required to keep the vast store of data that the server may need to serve and the data it collects.

Enter the Disk Server

Servers have some built-in and sometimes expandable storage. But this isn’t enough space for modern server needs. Additionally, many servers are not a single server but multiple servers acting behind a load balancer that helps to ensure that no one server gets overloaded. If you stored the actual data that the application runs on each server, you’d have a massive data duplication issue.

Another type of specialized hardware is used to get around all of these issues, the disk server. The disk server is designed to fit in a standard server rack and hold as many hard drives as possible. A disk server will also be kitted out with enterprise-grade connectivity so that data can be provided to the actual server as quickly as possible. In most cases, a RAID array will be used to provide some level of resilience to drive failure. And potentially a performance improvement, depending on the array’s configuration.

The disk server is a single point for storage drives to be located. Of course, with substantial data sets, even a single disk server won’t be able to provide enough storage space. So, multiple disk servers may be needed. A disk server should be directly accessed by actual physical servers in a properly configured network. The end user should not be able to connect directly to the disk server.


In a home environment, the NAS server is essentially the same as a disk server. A NAS server provides network connectivity for a (smaller) number of hard drives allowing other computers on the same network to access that data. There are some differences, though. Most NASs can also run some low-end server functionality directly as they need to be less specialized than their data center cousins.

Note: NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.


A disk server is a specialized computer device that holds as many hard drives as possible. It then provides access to the storage of these hard drives to configured devices, typically exclusively servers. In the home environment, the closest thing to a disk server is a NAS which offers most of the same functionality and some extra because of the reduced need for specialization. Both disk servers and NASs are designed to provide a high density of storage space to other devices on the network.

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