Articles about Review

It is bigger and it is cleverer -- Firewalla Gold Plus [Review]

Two years ago when we reviewed the Firewalla Blue we remarked on how tiny it was relative to the level of protection it offers.

The recently launched Gold Plus version is a much bigger and more serious piece of kit aimed at small businesses and professional home users. It offers the same simple, plug-in protection as the Blue but can be used in a number of other ways too.

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Volla Phone 22 is a privacy-focused smartphone that runs the Google-free Android-based Volla OS, Ubuntu Touch, or Sailfish OS [Review]

When buying a smartphone, you have two real choices. You can opt for an iPhone, which runs iOS, or one of the many Android handsets available from the likes of Google, Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and Sony.

If you value your privacy, then you might want a phone that truly does too. Volla Phone 22, from German firm Hallo Welt Systeme UG, is a good-looking device that is focused on keeping you safe and secure. It runs a choice of operating systems -- Volla OS, Ubuntu Touch, and the recently added Sailfish OS -- that can be selected on start-up. Support for additional mobile operating systems is coming soon.

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datAshur SD is an ultra-secure PIN authenticated USB flash drive with removable microSD storage [Review]

Although a lot of people and companies now choose to store their data in the cloud, where it can be accessed from anywhere, USB flash drives remain popular. But what happens if you lose a drive or it gets stolen? All of your personal data could be at risk.

You could secure your data using software, or better yet a hardware solution like the datAshur PRO, from iStorage which protects your files with military grade XTS-AES 256-bit encryption. The problem, of course, with a flash drive is it has a fixed -- and possibly limited -- capacity. Not so the datAshur SD, reviewed here, as this uses microSD cards for storage. If you run out of space, you can take out the full card and drop in a new one.

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HP Dev One Pop!_OS Linux laptop [Review]

When I first learned that System76 and HP were partnering on a laptop running Pop!_OS, I was absolutely shocked. After all, System76 is a computer manufacturer, so HP is sort of one of its competitors. Not to mention, Pop!_OS isn't exactly a well-known operating system outside the Linux community -- it doesn't carry the same name recognition as Ubuntu, for instance.

Regardless of why this collaboration happened, the HP Dev One laptop is officially here, available to anyone in the United States that has $1,099. We have been testing the new developer-focused notebook and we have definitive opinions to share, including whether or not you should buy it. So, without further ado...

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The Art of Cyberwarfare [Review]

In recent years cyberattacks have evolved from being the preserve of individual hackers to something much more serious, carried out by organized criminals and even nation states with the aim of espionage and financial gain.

This makes the process of investigating and defending against attacks more important than ever, but the sophistication of the methods used doesn't make the process any easier. This new book from security strategist Jon DiMaggio offers an investigator's guide to understanding the latest generation of threats.

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All you need to get started with wireless microphones -- Maono WM820 (2-person) [Review]

If you're just recording audio at home or making video calls then a wired microphone that sits on your desk, or even the one built into your laptop, is probably quite adequate.

If you want to take your recordings and calls out and about though, or if you want to conduct interviews with another person, then wireless mics offer a more practical solution. The Maono WM820 2-person kit provides all you need to get started with wireless microphones in one box.

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DOCKCASE M.2 NVMe Smart SSD Enclosure comes with an HD display and built in Power Loss Protection (PLP) [Review]

If you want to transfer data between computers without using the cloud, USB flash drives remain a solid option. If you’re working on important data that you can’t afford to lose, they might not be the most reliable choice however.

DOCKCASE, by Seesaw, is a pocket-sized enclosure (127 x 39 x 14mm) for M.2 NVMe and SATA SSDs that not only provides on-screen details about the storage inside, but can also protect your data from accidental loss.

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iStorage diskAshur M2: An ultra-secure hardware encrypted portable SSD [Review]

Storing files in the cloud has a lot of benefits, not least making them easily accessible from anywhere. It isn’t necessarily the most secure option, however.

If you have private data that you can’t afford to fall into the wrong hands, you should definitely consider a PIN authenticated hardware encrypted portable USB SSD like iStorage’s excellent diskAshur M2.

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AKG Ara -- a stylish and versatile USB microphone [Review]

With more and more of us working from home and conducting our business and personal lives via video calls, microphone quality on our devices has become a serious issue.

The in-built mics on laptops are OK but if you want to make presentations or create podcasts, make music, or just make a good impression on Zoom, then you really need something better. Step forward the AKG Ara.

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Kubuntu Focus XE is the perfect laptop for Windows-switchers and Linux beginners [Review]

All Linux distributions are not created equally. In other words, it is absolutely not correct to say "Linux is Linux." Not only are there differences under the hood with things like package managers and kernel versions, but more user-focused variations too, such as the actual desktop environment. Unlike Windows that only offers one interface, there are several for Linux-based operating systems. Ultimately, a user's Linux experience can vary wildly based on distro.

But what Linux distribution is best for a beginner? This is an impossible question to answer definitively, but to attempt to do so, it is important to first define what a "beginner" actually is. Are they a first-time computer user or more likely, a longtime Windows user looking to switch to Linux? While the former is a blank canvas, the latter has many existing computing habits and expectations. And so, looking for something that doesn't deviate far from the traditional Windows user interface.

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What's small, blue and protects your network? Firewalla! [Review]

Firewalla Blue

The current shift towards remote working has shone a spotlight on the security of home networks and the potential risk they present to corporate information.

While there are various software options you can employ to offer more protection, Firewalla has a different solution in the form of a tiny box that you plug into your router.

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TCL 10 Pro Android smartphone perfectly balances quality and affordability [Review]

Android smartphones are more affordable than Apple's iPhone, right? Not always. In fact, in 2020, there has been a bit of a shift. There are Android flagships that are well over $1,000, while the very capable iPhone SE can be had for a mere $399. Of course, the top iPhone models are expensive too, but still, it isn't black and white anymore. Those looking for an affordable smartphone can now go with iOS or Android.

The problem, of course, is that affordable Android phones are often of dubious quality from no-name makers. Sure, some big-name makers, such as Samsung, also make lower-cost models, but they are usually quite neutered and lame. For whatever reason, it can be hard to find an Android phone that properly balances quality and affordability.

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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard [Review]

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

We're constantly reminded of the importance of backing up data. "Do it now, or you'll regret it later", and phrases of that ilk, are frequently bandied around, but many of us are guilty of ignoring the advice and flying by the seat of our pants. Which is all well and good until something goes wrong. A hard drive fails, documents get corrupted, someone else deletes things from your computer: that's when you may -- after you've finished crying -- turn  to data recovery software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an example of such a tool, and it's available in free and paid-for versions. Depending on how much data you have to retrieve, you may well find that the free version is all that you need, but there is a Pro version available if your requirements are greater.

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TRENDnet TUC-ET2G USB-C to 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet adapter for Windows, Mac, and Linux [Review]

I wish all new laptops came with Ethernet ports, but sadly, it just isn't meant to be. You see, as computer makers try to make notebooks thinner, they omit important ports such as Ethernet. For many folks, this isn't a big deal, as they only use Wi-Fi anyway. Other consumers, such as yours truly, like having the ability to connect to a network using a cable.

Thankfully, an Ethernet port is just a dongle away! Thanks to USB, you have long been able to add hardwired networking to a computer without it. With new computers having USB-C ports running at 3.1 gen 2 speeds, it is time to think beyond Gigabit (1Gbps) -- 2.5 and 5Gbps.

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Plugable launches speedy 1TB and 2TB Thunderbolt 3 portable NVMe SSDs [Review]

Portable solid state drives are great, as they are fast and very reliable since they have no moving parts. They are particularly useful for content creators, as they often have a ton of media that they need to access quickly. Currently, the best option for those wanting fast external storage is an NVMe drive connected with Thunderbolt 3. If you own a computer with TB3 from manufacturers such as Apple, Dynabook, or Dell, you should absolutely try and get an external SSD that can maximally utilize it.

Today, Plugable is launching such a drive, and it is quite incredible. The drive comes in two capacities -- 1TB and 2TB -- and offers insane read and write speeds. How fast is it? It is rated as being able to exceed 2800 MB/s read and 1800 MB/s write. I've been testing the 2TB variant of the drive lately, and I can confirm that it is fast as heck -- but that's not all.

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