For 2018, I decided to take stock in my finances to see exactly where my money is going each month. I found many ways to cut costs, such as making my own lunch instead of buying something from a deli each day. In New York, a sandwich, bag of chips, and a Snapple can easily run you $13! Food aside, there was one thing in particular that was really destroying my budget -- cable.
When I say cable, I am referring to the traditional "triple play" service, where you get television, internet, and phone. For this, I was paying over $200 a month! This was without any premium channels -- no HBO, Starz, or Showtime. The most ridiculous part? I was being charged monthly rental fees for the cable boxes and modem. Well, enough was enough. Thanks to YouTube TV, I "cut the cord" and I couldn't be happier.
If your laptop has Thunderbolt 3 -- and you want to connect it to a keyboard, mouse, and display -- a TB3 dock is a worthwhile investment. This allows you to both charge and connect your peripherals with a single cable. Don't have Thunderbolt 3? That's OK -- you can still utilize a USB dock. While it won't charge your machine, it will still offer much convenience.
While my MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3, my family and I have Windows and Linux notebooks that still use USB 3.0. For these computers, I have been testing a new USB 3.0 dock from VisionTek called "VT1000." Not only does it serve as a 3-port USB 3.0 hub (two Type-A on front, one on rear), but it also provides gigabit Ethernet, audio, and the ability to push two displays. For this, it offers very versatile connection options -- HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA.
No matter the product, a manufacturer should take pride in what it produces. In a world where technology is largely disposable, it is appreciated when a company creates something that is designed to last. If you go on Amazon these days, and you look to buy, say, a cable, you will be presented with countless unrecognizable brands with inexpensive low-quality offerings. And yeah, saving money is cool, but if you are buying crap, have you really saved anything?
I say all that because I have discovered a new USB-C cable from a company called Nomad that promises to be extremely rugged. Do you need a durable cable? Well, if you travel, absolutely. People that are constantly "on the go" will find themselves often pulling cables out of their bag and then shoving them back in. Not to mention, when you are in an airport or coffee shop, for instance, you may find yourself in awkward positions where the cable faces extra strain on its connectors while charging.
Unless you're a fan of using a computer that looks and feels the same as everyone else, you probably want to spend some time tweaking Windows so it works the way you want it to. Broadly speaking, tweaks fall into three categories -- those that change appearance, those that boost performance, and those that change the way things work.
Windows 10 does -- through Settings and the Control Panel -- afford you a decent degree of control over how the operating system looks and works, but if you want to get serious about things you have two options: head into the registry, or turn to a dedicated tweaking and customization tool. Now there are endless apps to help make life easier, so here's a roundup of the best Windows 10 tweaking and customization tools.
If it's not immediately obvious from a quick glance, AZIO explains that its striking Retro Classic keyboard is inspired by the look of a vintage typewriter. It's not just the look that's inspired in this way -- as it's a mechanical keyboard, there's a distinct typewriter sound to things.
There is just so much to like about this keyboard. Regardless of whether you are a fan of steampunk, the look is undeniably eye-catching. The build quality is quite phenomenal -- well... you'd hope so at these prices. The key action is gorgeous, and the clickity-clack perfectly suits the typewriter-style keys. So... let's take a closer look.
We all back up our data, right? That's what everyone does! But of course, that's far from true. Most people don't get much further than thinking about putting a backup plan in place, promising themselves it's something they'll sort out one day -- and, all of a sudden, it's too late.
Deleting files by accident is easily done. If you're tinkering with partitions, it's also scarily easy to wipe out the wrong one! These are just two of the ways in which you can lose files, and if you don’t have a backup to hand, you're going to need help from a data recovery tool. Here we look at five of the best free options to help bring your files back from the dead.
I first reviewed Woojer three years ago when it was a matchbox-sized subwoofer that could be worn in a choice of ways -- in the center of your chest, the base of your spine, or against your hipbone or collarbone. Since then, the product has undergone a massive change, and is now a large, adjustable strap which you wear across your body (there’s also a vest version).
Despite having changed form significantly, the idea behind Woojer remains the same -- which is to help you feel sound, not just hear it.
For many people a router is something that's supplied free by their internet service provider. Consequently they don't give much thought to it unless they encounter problems.
Yet, as we attach more and more devices to our home networks we put more demand on our routers and performance can start to suffer. The good news is that there's a whole world of routers out there that offer performance and connectivity features way beyond those of the basic units usually sent out by ISPs.
As a younger man, I was obsessed with audio equipment. I invested in expensive stereo receivers, multiple large speakers, and countless components -- turntable, cassette, CD, mini-disc, and more. Of course, I also connected my television and computer. Over time, however, with the explosion of downloadable and streamable media, all of that went away. Now, my living room just has a soundbar and subwoofer hooked to my TV -- Apple TV handles video and music. It is simple, and I like that.
So yeah, soundbars are great for living rooms, but what if there was one that was designed for computer desks? Weird concept, right? Yes, but as I have learned from the Sound BlasterX Katana, it totally makes sense. This speaker system from Creative is designed to sit under a computer monitor and provide exceptional sound quality. It is not just a soundbar, though -- it comes with a subwoofer, remote control, and has an integrated USB DAC.
If you want to keep your personal data safe and secure, then a hardware encrypted drive is your best bet. Secure drives, like the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z, require you to enter a PIN into the integrated keypad to unlock the drive. These also come with a variety of security measures to make sure they can’t be brute forced.
If you prefer a different way of securing your data -- one that doesn’t require remembering a long PIN -- then you might prefer a biometric solution like the Aegis Bio 3.0. This a USB drive with a built-in finger reader. Unlocking the drive, and therefore your data, just involves swiping your finger down the AuthenTec TouchStrip sensor.
When designing a dash cam it's easy for manufacturers to focus more on features rather than benefits. That's why we end up with so many devices that look bland, have pretty much the same features, but lack that special touch to set them apart from the crowd. With its new dash cam, VAVA decided to do things differently.
The VAVA Dash Cam is an intriguing proposition, featuring a cylindrical design and a magnetic mount connection, but no display or physical buttons. However, it's not lacking in features, as it packs lots of useful functionality. But how well does it work? I've tested it to find out.
If you have important data that you need to have easy access to at all times, carrying it around on a USB flash drive makes sense. Unfortunately, these tiny storage devices are easily lost, and software encryption methods may not be 100 percent reliable.
If you want to guarantee that your personal data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands in the event of the loss -- or theft -- of your drive, the best solution is a hardware encrypted memory stick like the new USB 3.1 Aegis Secure Key 3z from Apricorn.
While other markets have long moved beyond 1080p, the dash cam space continues to churn out devices that top out at this resolution. So, drivers looking to try 1440p or 4K do not have a whole lot of options to choose from.
The Azdome DAB211 is among the more interesting exceptions, as it comes with 1440p video recording and a solid design at a very affordable price. But just how well does it perform? I've tested it to find out.
Nowadays, more and more consumers are embracing the cloud for data storage and backup. This is not a mistake -- it is smart to store your files off premises. With that said, it is even smarter to also store the data locally for redundancy purposes. For instance, with local storage, if your internet connection is down, you can still access your files. With the cloud, if there is a disaster -- such as a house fire -- your data can be retrieved even if your local storage drives are destroyed. In other words, using the cloud and local storage together gives you the best of both worlds.
Picking local storage can be tricky, however. For cost purposes, a mechanical hard disk drive is still your best bet for backup. If you have a desktop, you can probably buy an internal drive, but laptop users aren't often as lucky. If you own a notebook, you most likely need to opt for an external USB drive. With USB 3.0 being fast enough for connecting a mechanical hard drive, even desktop users should probably consider it for convenience. I have been testing a very intriguing new external USB-C HDD with my MacBook Pro (running High Sierra). What makes the drive so special? It features 20TB of storage!
Star Wars fever is once again high as The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas around the world. Sphero offers a range of Star Wars droids -- R2-D2, R2-Q5, BB-8 and BB-9E -- which you can control via an app, and which also interact with one another.
The BB-8 model I’ve been testing for a few weeks now is a perfect scaled down version of the orange and white droid first introduced in The Force Awakens. Like most of Sphero’s robots, it’s a gyroscopic ball that rolls around, but with a dome on top that moves independently.