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Fix PoE Packet Loss, High Ping & Lag Spikes [Easiest Method] Packet loss is not uncommon, but there’s always a solution for it




Path of Exile is a free multiplayer role-playing game that has gained a lot of popularity.

However, being an online-only game means that it’s subject to certain issues like high ping or packet loss.

Usually, packet loss is a type of issue that gets solved by itself.

Even if it’s true, sometimes you might need to give it a nudge in the right direction. We’ll teach you how to do it.



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

Path of Exile is a free multiplayer role-playing game that has gained a lot of popularity. Players all around the world argue that it’s better than Diablo III. Others even dare to say that PoE is what Diablo III was supposed to be.

Either way, it’s a breath of fresh air, especially since it embraced the F2P culture quite tightly. Yes, PoE has some micro-transactions, but most of them are cosmetics.

However, that’s not why we gathered here. As you probably know, there’s no way to play Path of Exile offline. Therefore, you can imagine that this awesome game faces the same challenges as any other similar service.

Especially during new releases, patches, or updates, players complain about certain issues including but not limited to high ping, connection timeouts, jitter, and even the dreaded packet loss.

Although most of the time these problems arise as a consequence of network congestion, sometimes they might have something to do with underlying issues on your end. More so, you might even be able to fix them.

Why is Path of Exile so laggy?

Packet loss in Path of Exile can and will trigger nasty lag spikes. But what exactly is this issue you keep hearing about? Packet loss, or packet leak, is the inability of data packets to reach their destination.

PoE latency issues / high latency

Path of Exile high ping

Path of Exile lag spikes and lag on ps4, ps5, xbox, PC

Path of Exile connection issues, losing connection

PoE rubberbanding and stuttering

PoE servers packet loss

Path of Exile frame drops 2023

None of these are ideal with Path of Exile, considering that you can lose experience points if you die.

However inconvenient it might be, packet loss can happen for various reasons. For instance, you might have bad cables, improperly configured hardware, or ISP issues.

Most of the time, packet loss occurs because of network congestion. Given that PoE is free-to-play, its servers are more often than not heavily populated. In this case, your safest bet would be changing the server or waiting it out.

How do you fix packet loss in Path of Exile? 1. Use a VPN against PoE lag spikes

Download ExpressVPN and install it on your PC.

Launch it and log into it using your credentials.

Connect to the server of your choice, preferably the one ExpressVPN recommends.

Launch Path of Exile.

Check if you still leak packets.

ExpressVPN is an excellent all-around VPN service from Kape Technologies. Not only it can help you bypass packet loss with just about any service, but you can also use it to circumvent geo-restrictions, secure your connection, improve your privacy, and eliminate ISP throttling.

It’s worth mentioning that using a VPN won’t work if packet loss occurs on your side. The same applies to packets lost by the Path of Exile server you connect to. Using a VPN will only work if the packet loss occurs on your ISP’s side (intermediary).


The optimal solution is to change servers whenever you have lag spikes and to get up and shoot again.

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2. Test packet loss in PoE

Use our guide to help you run a complete packet loss test

Identify the location of the packet leak (the hop number)

Take the necessary measures to minimize the packet loss

3. Troubleshoot your connection

We’ve mentioned in our guide that packet loss can occur in the following locations:

📶Your PC/home network/router

🌐Your ISP’s network

🌐The servers of the network distribution company (above ISP)

💻The destination server

Thus, depending on the location of the packet loss, you can take one of the following actions:

Perform a thorough check of your PC, cables, router, and home line

Call your ISP to fix the issue

Ask your ISP to talk to the distribution company

Contact the support team in charge of the server you’re having problems with

How do I make PoE run better?

The sound may be one of the main causes of lag in your game, and it is becoming more popular in the community how completely disabling some sound settings can result in much better and more stable gameplay. To do so, you must first complete the following steps:

ambient sound volume2=false

music volume2=false

sound effects volume2=false

While doing so, make sure your game is closed. Simply save and close the file after completing the following steps, then relaunch Path of Exile. You’ll notice that the game is much quieter now.

All of the action sounds, such as shattering and volatiles, are muted. Applying these settings to “false” instead of “0” tells your PC that it must not process all of the extra sounds, resulting in a smoother gaming experience, especially on slower computers.

If you’re experiencing packet loss, don’t despair. Most of the time this issue fixes itself without any assistance. However, if the problem is recurrent, you might want to try using some of the fixes we’ve mentioned above.

Visit our Gaming Hub to discover more guides, reviews, and tips & tricks.

We can’t stress this enough, but using a VPN doesn’t automatically care take of everything. Do your research thoroughly before investing in such a service. Although VPNs can help you in many other ways, fixing packet loss only works in certain cases.

Your connection is not secure – websites you visit can find out your details:

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Comcast Packet Loss: How To Check And Fix It?

Comcast Packet Loss: How to Check and Fix It? [Tested Methods] Packet loss is easily fixed if you follow our guide thoroughly




Packet loss is a naturally occurring phenomenon in networking and happens whenever one or more data packets never make it to their destination.

Although leaking packets can happen for a lot of reasons, there’s one cause that outweighs them all: network congestion.

Routing your traffic with a VPN or trying to manually troubleshoot the issue.

Learn how to do these step by step and see our recommendations for the best VPN for Comcast.



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Packet loss is a naturally occurring phenomenon in networking and happens whenever one or more data packets never make it to their destination.

As a result, the server throws a desync your way and might affect your overall online experience more or less, depending on its severity.

The bad thing about packet loss is that there are a lot of potential factors that could cause it.

Ranging from having old Ethernet cables and network congestion to outdated network adapter drivers, everything can play a role in packet loss occurrence.

What causes Comcast packet loss?

Although leaking packets can happen for a lot of reasons, there’s one cause that outweighs them all: network congestion. The good news is that, if that’s the case, you don’t need to do anything about it, since it fixes itself after a while.

But that’s also the bad news; sometimes you might not be able to just wait it out.

In many areas, Comcast is the only high-speed Internet provider and is preferred by many when signing up for an Internet subscription plan.

That’s why you might experience packet loss during peak hours, and why the situation slowly fixes itself after a while.

Servers are generally designed to be able to stand some heat. But even a server that runs at half capacity (50 out of 100 maximum connections, for instance) can leak packets if bandwidth consumption is high.

That’s why oftentimes ISPs throttle bandwidth, to cut some costs and so that their servers can accommodate more users at the expense of speed.

Expert tip:

How to check packet loss with Comcast? 2. Using the Speedtest by Ookla Windows app

To check packet loss in Comcast’s home Internet plan you can use one of our suggestions such as pathping or Ookla’s packet loss test to run a packet loss test.

3. Use third-party websites

Go to the Packet Loss Test online tool

Configure the test settings (packet size, frequency, duration, delay)

Hit the Start Test button and wait

Check the results (upload/download packet loss, late packets, total packet loss)

Also, check the average latency and jitter values

Although all of the tests above will give you accurate packet loss test results, only the manual test (using pathping) will also show you the hops and each of their packet loss values.

It might not seem important at first, but you can’t locate a packet leak on your connection without knowing which hop is, in fact, leaking packets.

How to fix Comcast packet loss? 1. Use a VPN that solves network congestion

Download ExpressVPN.

Install it on your computer.

Launch it and log into your account.

Connect to a fast server of your choice (choose a low ping one or recommended location).

Launch Comcast.

Run any of the tests above.

Check if the problem still persists.

ExpressVPN is a great all-around VPN from Kape Technologies. It can quickly take care of packet loss and high ping issues, but there’s a catch.

In order for this quick fix to work, the issue must be on your ISP’s side. ExpressVPN comes in handy with its OpenVPN protocol for streaming, and the Media Streamer for devices that are not natively adapted to install a VPN.

In this case, if you’re sure that your packet loss is caused by Comcast and it’s not because you have outdated equipment or outdated drivers, go ahead and give it a try.

However, that’s not the only thing a trustworthy VPN can achieve. It can also give you a much-needed boost of privacy, secure your connection, and even circumvent any geo-restrictions.

If you want to learn more about reliable VPN options, check our overview for the best VPNs to improve packet loss.


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2. Perform some manual troubleshooting

Run the pathping test and identify the location of the packet loss

Check and fix any faulty component on your side of the connection (PC, cables, drivers, router)

Try restarting our router

Connect straight to your modem or home line if possible

Switch to a wired connection instead of wireless (Wi-Fi often leaks packets)

Call Comcast and ask them if they can do anything to alleviate the issue

Avoid peak hours if possible

Try upgrading to a better Internet subscription plan if possible

Comcast packet loss can be fixed

All in all, if you experience intermittent packet loss with Comcast, it’s probably caused by network congestion. Notice if there’s a certain timeframe when the packet loss occurs, and run a test to zero in on this factor.

This issue happens to users of Comcast’s subsidiary Internet Service Provider as well.

To sum it up, you can use a VPN to improve packet loss, but only if the issue occurs on your ISP’s side.

However, you must make sure that the issue is not on your side by manually troubleshooting your side of the connection, piece by piece.

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Nba 2K20 Packet Loss: What Is It And How To Fix It?

NBA 2K20 packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?




NBA 2K20 is a popular basketball simulation video game. You can play it offline, all by yourself, or you can join others in online games.

Like any online game, NBA 2K20 can suffer too from unwanted connection issues such as high ping, jitter, and packet loss.

Check out our best VPNs to reduce packet loss.

Visit the Gaming Hub to discover more guides, articles, reviews, and tips.



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

NBA 2K20 is a popular basketball simulation video game. It’s based on the NBA (National Basketball Association) and is the 21st release in the NBA 2K series.

You can enjoy a quick practice match, a pro-difficulty tournament, and even a competitive match with your friends if you’re into online play.

If you’re not exactly keen on sharing your game experience with other players online, you have almost nothing to worry about. However, playing NBA 2K20 online is a whole nother story.

For starters, it requires you to have a sturdy Internet connection. Then there are the connectivity issues that could drive you crazy if left untreated.

Jitter, high ping, and even the dreaded packet loss. These problems could tamper with your gaming experience and even ruin it, but not to worry. We’ve got just the solution to all your NBA 2K20 packet loss issues.

What is packet loss in NBA 2K20?

Packet loss occurs whenever packets of data that you transmit on your connection never make it to their destination. It doesn’t matter whether it’s you or the other end of the connection that never receives the packets.

If any of the packets go AWOL, you’ll likely experience other, more noticeable issues. Your game hangs, menus become unresponsive, you’ll suffer from huge ping, and your game might even drop the connection to the server.

What can cause packet loss in NBA 2K20?

There are several causes for packet loss, regardless of where you encounter it. Ranging from network congestion to even having poor-quality Ethernet cables, these can all contribute to triggering packet loss in NBA 2K20.

However, one of the most common causes of packet loss is network congestion. It’s exactly what you suspect; when one network has more users than it can comfortably host, resource allocation becomes troublesome.

As a result, users might experience slowdowns, increased latency, and even packet loss or connection drops.

How to detect packet loss in NBA 2K20?

If you play NBA 2K20 on your computer, you can use third-party software such as LiveTcpUdpWatch to detect the online NBA 2K20 server you connect to. Just launch the tool and locate the game client on the list.

The program will display more than just the server you’re connected to and its address. You’ll also see the protocol that’s being used, the local and remote addresses, the amount of data transmitted, ping, and even packet loss.

Normally, we’d use WireShark to identify the server address and run it through pathping to assess if there’s any packet loss occurring.

How to fix packet loss in NBA 2K20? 1. Using a VPN

Purchase a Private Internet Access subscription plan

Download the VPN to your PC

Install PIA on your computer and launch it

Log into your Private Internet Access account

Connect to the server of your choice (closer server = greater speed)

Launch NBA 2K20

Check if the packet loss issue still persists (run the packet loss test again if necessary)

Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN solution that’s brought to you by Kape Technologies. It can help you greatly reduce packet loss and improve in-game ping, not to mention its awesome 24/7 customer support service.

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Note that using a VPN can help you improve packet loss, but only works if your ISP limits your connection by means of throttling your bandwidth or making use of poor routing.

2. Troubleshooting the connection manually

Restart your PC, modem, or router

Check if there’s any malfunctioning component on your network

Upon detection, replace or repair any broken component on your network (wires, adapters, router, modem)

Update your drivers to their latest versions to avoid compatibility and corruption issues

Make sure your router runs on the latest firmware version

Ask your ISP to look into the situation if you notice anything wrong during the packet loss test

Contact NBA 2K20’s support team if the test suggests there’s something wrong on the game server’s side

Flush your DNS

Avoid peak hours, if possible, to dodge network congestion issues

When possible, always use wired connections instead of WiFi (WiFi packet loss occurs more frequently)

We remind you once more that there’s no 100% magic fix for packet loss that works every time. Packet loss can be caused by a huge number of reasons, and, as a result, has more than one potential fixes.

However, if you plan on trying our suggested fixes, you can’t do more harm to your connection. In fact, properly maintaining your connection might improve its overall quality, even though the packet loss issue might still persist.

NBA 2K20 packet loss can be fixed

All things considered, if you’re looking for a quick fix for leaking packets while playing NBA 2K20, we have some bad news: there’s no quick fix that works 100% all the time.

However, using a VPN can certainly improve packet loss if your ISP causes it by limiting your connection. Our manual troubleshooting fixes could also fix packet loss, but don’t expect them to work all the time.

Truth be told, packet loss is usually caused by network congestion, and more often than not the best way to counter network congestion is waiting it out and avoiding peak hours.

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How To Fix Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry High Cpu

The Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry or Windows Compatibility Telemetry is a program that periodically sends your diagnostic and usage data to the Microsoft server. Microsoft uses this information to introduce new features and resolve bugs in the system.

By default, your system runs this process periodically, during which it can consume a significant portion of your system resources. If it causes high CPU usage, your computer slows down considerably and impacts you from doing any tasks on your system.

The only way to resolve the issue is by disabling this process. There are many ways to do so on a Windows system, which we have mentioned below. Depending on your current system configuration, you may need to perform one or more solutions to resolve your issue.

The Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry is a part of the complete Telemetry or Diagnostic Data windows component. Windows Settings allow you to choose if you want to send only the required diagnostic data to Microsoft or optional data as well.

If you enable sending optional diagnostic data, this telemetry process will use more resources. So you can try disabling this option and see if it fixes the issue.

Press Win + I to open Settings.

Go to Privacy & Security or Privacy and then Diagnostic & feedback.

Select Delete under Delete diagnostic data.

You can also try disabling the Connected User Experience and Telemetry service. The Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry program uses this service for its operation. So, disabling the service prevents the program from running. To disable the service,

Open Run by pressing Win + R.

Type services.msc and press Enter to open Windows Services.

It is also possible to disable optional telemetry operations on your system using the Local Group Policy Editor to avoid high CPU usage of this process. Here’s how to can do so:

Open Run.

Type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Restart your PC to apply the change.

Windows Home users do not have the Local Group Policy Editor by default. In such scenarios, you can disable the Allow Telemetry setting from the Registry Editor.

Open Run.

Type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Navigate to ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsDataCollection

Then, go to ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsDataCollection

The different telemetry processes run at separate intervals or instances. By default, Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry runs every day at a certain time by default regardless of whether the user is logged in or not.

If you are experiencing high CPU usage due to this process, you can disable this task through the Task Scheduler. Here are the necessary steps:

Open Run.

Type taskschd.msc and press Enter to open the Task Scheduler.

If you don’t think you’ll ever need to send compatibility diagnostic data to Microsoft, you can permanently delete the Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry program or CompatTelRunner.exe from your system.

However, this program is under the ownership of Windows NTTrustedInstaller by default. So you will need to take ownership and provide full permission of the file to your user account to delete it. Here is the complete process:

Log into an administrator account on your PC.

Open Run.

Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.

Enter the following commands to take ownership of the CompatTelRunner.exe file and provide permissions to modify it:

takeown /f “%WinDir%System32CompatTelRunner.exe” /a

Then, you can delete the file using the command del “%WinDir%System32CompatTelRunner.exe”

Alternatively, you can rename it to something else to leave a backup. To do so, use the command: ren “%WinDir%System32CompatTelRunner.exe” CompatTelRunner.old

Fix Ubisoft Connect High Cpu Usage The Right Way

Is Ubisoft Connect taking a high CPU usage on your Windows  PC? Ubisoft Connect is a popular game launcher for Windows PC to play a variety of Ubisoft games. Many users have reported that the Ubisoft Connect app consumes a high CPU usage on their PC. This results in the deterioration of overall system performance and other apps and games. Hence, it becomes crucial to fix the problem.

Now, you might be experiencing the issue at hand due to several reasons. It could be caused if your Ubisoft Connect app is not updated or if there is a virus present on your computer that is triggering the issue at hand. A corrupted installation of the app can be another reason causing the high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect.

Some of the affected users experienced the issue at hand right after enabling the overlay option. In that case, the official support team has recommended disabling the in-game overlay on Ubisoft Connect to fix the problem.

If you are also experiencing the same problem and want to get rid of it, this post will help you. Here, we will be discussing different fixes that will resolve the problem of Ubisoft Connect’s high CPU usage.

Fix Ubisoft Connect High CPU Usage ton Windows PC

To fix the issue of high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect on your Windows PC, you can use the below solutions:

Reboot your computer.

Run Ubisoft Connect as an administrator.

Disable Ubisoft Connect Overlay.

Make sure that the Ubisoft Connect app is up-to-date.

Perform a virus scan on your PC.

Set the priority of Ubisoft Connect to Low.

Reinstall Ubisoft Connect.

1] Reboot your computer

Restarting your PC seems like an effective fix to resolve the issue at hand. It will clear the memory and eliminate all the temporary issues which might be causing high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect. So, if the issue is triggered due to a temporary glitch in your system, rebooting would fix it. Simply restart your computer and then open Ubisoft Connect to check whether it still takes high CPU usage or not. If yes, you can move on to the below fixes to resolve the problem.

2] Run Ubisoft Connect as an administrator

Here is how you can run Ubisoft Connect with admin privileges always on Windows 11/10:

Firstly, close the Ubisoft Connect app completely using Task Manager.

Now, from the appeared context menu, select the Properties option and go to the Compatibility tab in the Properties window.

Next, tick the Run this program as an administrator checkbox under the Settings section.

If the problem remains the same, you can move on to the next potential fix to resolve the issue of high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect.

3] Disable Ubisoft Connect Overlay

As per several user reports, the high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect occurs after enabling the overlay feature. Hence, it is recommended to disable the Ubisoft Connect overlay and then see if the problem is fixed or not. Here are the steps to do so:

 Firstly, go to the Ubisoft Connect app and ensure that you have logged in with your Ubisoft account.

Next, tap on the three-bar menu button present in the top left corner.

Now, choose the Settings option from the appeared options.

After that, navigate to the General tab and disable the Enable in-game overlay for supported games option by unchecking the checkbox.

Finally, restart the Ubisoft Connect PC application and check if the app still consumes a high CPU usage or not.

If the problem is still the same, try the next potential solution to get rid of the issue at hand.

4] Make sure that the Ubisoft Connect app is up-to-date

You might be dealing with the issue at hand if you are using an old version of the Ubisoft Connect app. There might be a bug in the app which is why it is taking high CPU usage. The developers keep releasing new updates to address previous bugs and improve app stability. Hence, it is always recommended to keep your apps up-to-date. So, update the Ubisoft Connect app to its most recent version and see if the problem is fixed or not.

You can download the latest version of the app from its official website. And, then install it on your PC to update the existing Ubisoft Connect app. After that, launch the app and see if the high CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect is fixed or not.

Read: A Ubisoft service is currently unavailable on Windows.

5] Perform a virus scan on your PC

If none of the above solutions worked for you, try running a virus scan on your Windows PC. There might be some malware or virus which is causing the issue at hand. So, running a virus and eliminating or quarantining potential threats and viruses might help you fix the issue. Open your antivirus software and run a Quick scan to identify existing viruses or threats on your computer. Once the scan is done, you can remove or quarantine identified threats. After that, reboot your computer and run Ubisoft Connect to check if the problem is fixed or not. If not, try the next potential fix.

6] Set the priority of Ubisoft Connect to Low

The next thing you can do is set the priority for Ubisoft Connect to low and then check if the problem is resolved or not. It is a workaround if you want to reduce the CPU usage of Ubisoft Connect and free up some system resources for other applications and games. You can use the Task Manager app to do so. Here’s how to do that:

Firstly, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc hotkey to open your Task Manager app.

Once done, reboot your PC and launch Ubisoft Connect to check if the problem is fixed or not.

See: Unable to start the game on Ubisoft Connect.

7] Reinstall Ubisoft Connect

The last resort to fix the issue is to reinstall the Ubisoft Connect app on your PC. It is a known fact that corrupted or infected installation of an app or game triggers issues like high CPU usage. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, reinstall a clean version of Ubsifot Connect and see if the problem is resolved.

To reinstall the app, first, uninstall the Ubisoft Connect app from your PC. Here are the steps to do so:

First, open Task Manager and close all the processes related to Ubisoft Connect.

Then, go to the installation directory of Ubisoft Connect on your PC and create a backup of the savegames folder.

After that, select the Uninstall option and follow the prompted instructions to remove Ubisoft Connect from your computer.

Once done, make sure to remove the residual and leftover files of the app to completely uninstall the app.

Finally, reboot your PC and download the latest version of Ubisoft Connect from its official website. You can then install the app again and see if the problem is resolved or not.

Hopefully, the Ubisoft Connect app will run smoothly now without excessive CPU usage.

Now read: Fix Ubisoft Connect app not working on Windows PC.

How do I fix 100 CPU usage Rainbow Six Siege?

If Rainbow Six Seige is taking excessive CPU usage, try lowering your graphics settings and see if the problem is resolved. You can also use some other fixes like restarting your computer, launching Rainbow Six Siege as an administrator, running a virus scan, updating the game, etc. If nothing works, you can reinstall the Rainbow Six Siege game to fix the problem.

How do I get rid of Ubisoft Connect CPU below?

To get rid of Ubisoft Connect, you can follow the seventh solution mentioned in this article. In other words, you can use in-built application uninstaller included in the Windows Settings. Apart from that, you can use third-party software uninstaller tools as well.

10 Questions For Ping Identity Cto Patrick Harding

Name: Patrick Harding

Age: 44

Time with company: 7 years

Education: Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia

Company headquarters: Denver

Countries of operation: U.S., U.K., Japan, Australia, Canada, Turkey, France, Germany, Chile

Number of employees total: 250

Number of employees the CTO oversees: 9

About the company: Ping Identity provides cloud identity security software and services to more than 800 of the world’s largest companies, government organizations and cloud businesses.

1. Where did you start your career and what experiences led you to the job you have today?

I started as a software developer in Sydney for a small software company. That company was doing business in and had offices in London and Boston. We were developing messaging software for airline reservation systems. I was spending a bunch of time traveling to where our accounts were — Tokyo and Mexico and Germany. I also had a chance to work in some of the other offices, so I ended up working in London for a year and Boston for a few years.

Being Australian, just out of college people tend to take time to travel and see the world, so intermingled with that was traveling and backpacking and seeing the world. I spent six months in India backpacking. This was prior to cellphones and just when the Web was emerging. I took six months off the grid and came back and the Web was exploding.

I wound up in Boston and changed roles. It took me into a more IT-oriented environment. I was building the initial firewall and network security infrastructure at Fidelity in the late ’90s. That was my first foray into doing security-related stuff.

I went back to Australia to live for 18 months, in 1999-2000, and wound up working at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a consultant. This was one of my toughest challenges and highest learning curves, as they brought me into build out their Internet security practice, which didn’t exist. I came in as the subject-matter expert, but also had to train everybody else and go out and find the business and sell the business. It was a very challenging time, but it also molded my customer-facing business-oriented skills. It was actually really beneficial to me without me realizing it.

I left and went back to Fidelity for three years, back in Boston, and shifted to enterprise architecture and application security. I realized that firewalls weren’t going to meet the needs of the future. I got involved in application security and that led me to identity security, which was what I believed would become foundational to securing services at scale. That got me involved in the Liberty Alliance and I was Fidelity’s representative there. I was also doing due diligence for Fidelity’s Venture Capital team and looking at companies to invest in. That led me to meet the founder of Ping Identity, Andre Durand, and I left Fidelity to become CTO of Ping.

2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?

One of the most influential was the boss I had at Fidelity, a guy called Steve MacLellan.

I would describe my management style and leadership as low touch. I expect the people I hire to be exceptional at what they do, to be able to go off and do the things they do with minimal direction, be self-directed and as such to really only need to come back and interact with me when they have reached a road block. That’s the way I was managed. It relies on trust, but allows for a lot of opportunity to be creative and think outside the box while not being micromanaged. You didn’t have to report on every single thing you were doing. You can be empowered and are trusted to go off and do the right thing.

I didn’t necessarily realize it when it was happening but that meant I had a level of freedom and empowerment that allowed me to go off and do a lot of things. For example I saw that Fidelity had a remote access problem, so I effectively built and deployed at Fidelity an SSL VPN before they existed. They wound up replacing it with a commercial SSL VPN a few years later, but that level of innovation and allowing it to occur was a real important revelation for me.

I encourage my team to go off and innovate within certain guardrails. The team I have includes both the CTO office as well as the Ping Labs team, so it’s meant to be a set of freethinkers who need to be able to think strategically about where we’re going.

3. What are the biggest challenges facing CTOs today?

Honestly, it’s just the rapid pace of change. The rate of change in technology and innovation only seems to accelerate and has been accelerating the last 20 years. Staying on top of that without necessarily being able to go as deep into it as you could if you chose to specialize is challenging. It just is. It’s hard to keep up and understand this stuff at the level of detail you need to make good decisions. You’ve got to rely on other people to be able to help you make those decisions.

Keeping up with that pace of change is incredibly challenging and difficult.

4. What is a good day at work like for you?

What I really enjoy is when I get a chance to sit down with our customers and interact with them, understanding how and why they’re using our technology and what problems they still have so we can look at ways we can improve and add value for those customers. They are generally security architects and enterprise architects. I can go in there and geek out with those guys and think about what strategic implications that will have for us.

That feedback from customers is just great. Our customer satisfaction rates are so high. You’re not going in there to talk about a problem with us, we’re going in there to talk about the next set of problems our customers have to deal with and how we can help.

5. How would you characterize your management style?

It’s lightweight, low-touch, set the guardrails, and allow people to run and trust that you’ve hired the right type of person to be successful and do the right things in the interests of the company and themselves.

6. What strengths and qualities do you look for in job candidates?

Obviously, I’m hiring fairly experienced people. To be successful given the management style and the structure of the group, for example, the CTO office of Ping is in Waltham, we’ve got a couple of people in Denver, someone else in Vancouver, someone else in Santiago, Chile, we’re highly distributed, so they have to be very independent, with strong presentation skills, strong communication skills and extremely strong technically.

You have to have the ability to stand behind your viewpoints and defend those viewpoints, especially when it comes to how we should do one thing over another and prioritize.

We tend to hire people we’ve already known or interacted with. We’ll have invited experts to come in and talk to my team and an extended version of that team. We listen to them on viewpoints in the industry and where the it’s as much an interview process as well because we’re thinking would this person be a good fit for Ping? There have been times when we’ve hired people after they’ve come in to talk to us.

It’s a matter of constantly looking for good people to bring into the organization, not necessarily for my team but other teams as well, whether it’s at a conference or trade shows, we’re always looking. Good candidates are hard to find.

7. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company? What sort of answers send up red flags for you and make you think a job candidate wouldn’t be a good fit?

One of the things that’s very difficult to do is to get a handle on someone’s technical capabilities. That’s where even just talking about it isn’t necessarily going to get it done. For some of the technical hires I’ve sent to my labs team, I tend to leverage what our engineering team does and that is to use the Mount Fuji process that I think was invented at Microsoft [presenting puzzles and challenging questions]. That can drive out technically weak people, which I think is extremely important because hiring someone who isn’t a right fit can cost you 12 to 14 to 24 months. It’s just awful.

Hiring someone for the CTO office, we’ll have so much back-channel information on them and what we know about them from other people that I’ve actually established a really good understanding of who they are, so the interview process becomes more about finding out if they would fit culturally with our group.

It becomes a matter of asking them about situations where they’ve dealt with conflict, how they’ve dealt with it, how successful they are in a team environment, where they’ve been thrown into situations where they haven’t had as much information, how they dealt with situations where they’re out of their depth or their comfort zone.

I don’t know of any answers that throw up red flags. It would be more like you get a feel for how that person responds and how they deal with those situations. For instance, early in my career I had never trained anyone in my life and I had to go down to Annapolis one time and train 20 people there about our product. I was a developer, I’d never trained anyone, so I had to go and get the experience of training. I got through it and it was really unpleasant, but I got through it and I learned from it.

8. What is it about your current job, at this particular company, that sets it apart from other chief technology positions?

I don’t run our engineering team. The CTO of Ping’s role is much more focused on product strategy and customer strategy, much more outbound. It’s our job to protect us from sidewinder missiles that could take out the company. We’re out there thinking ahead 18 to 24 months about what are the opportunities and what are the threats.

Our industry has become so big and diverse and grown so quickly that I think it’s unusual that a company our size has both a CTO Office and a Labs team, and has been willing to invest in that and in thought leadership to make sure that Ping is always going to be well-prepared and thinking ahead. Having nine people in the CTO team is a big investment and we take it seriously because we want to be sure we’re going to be servicing our customers not just today but in five years time and 10 years time.

9. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?

Going home to my four kids isn’t going to be unwinding — that just gets more hectic [laughing]. So where I do tend to unwind is either out playing golf or tennis, getting active basically. I don’t do as much as I’d like to, but that’s where I tend to unwind more often than not.

10. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

That’s a great question. Sometimes you get so sucked into what you are doing. When I was at Fidelity it was a really interesting organization because it invested heavily in IT and infrastructure and technology to the tune of $2 or $3 billion a year. There was the opportunity to do lots of things. I always said I’d only leave that environment if I had the opportunity to be the CTO at a startup, so I really am doing now what I always wanted to be doing, to be a CTO at a high-growth startup that is doing really, really well.

The other side of this is I could go off and basically teach skiing and golf for six months of the year. If you want the fantasy — that’s me, playing the seniors tour in golf in the U.S.

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