Top 10 Must-Have Tech Gizmos to Help You Get Settled with David Gregg
David Gregg, new product reporter and senior editor at Behindthebuy.com gives you the inside scoop on some of his favorite tech products to help smooth your move.
Moving is the perfect time to upgrade the products you and your family use for communications, entertainment and managing your home life. The following ten product recommendations are intended to help you save money while making life easier and more enjoyable in your new surroundings.
1. Thanks to this simple to set-up and secure router, a home based wireless connection no longer requires the help of a tech savvy relative.
Cisco Valet Wireless Router
The Cisco Valet is a surprisingly simple to set up wireless router that gives you the power to create your own wireless network. Valet gets you connected to the Internet in just three steps. Just plug in the included Easy Setup Key, breeze through a few simple screens and you're wireless—it's that simple! The included Easy Setup Key automatically saves your wireless settings, allowing you to quickly link your other wireless devices and manage your home network with ease. $90 www.cisco.com
2. Smart TVs can wirelessly access unlimited content and apps directly from the web.
LG Smart TVs
LG's LED technology provides a slim profile, amazing brightness/clarity/color detail, as well as greater energy efficiency compared to conventional LCD TVs. A full HD 1080p picture gives you superior picture quality over standard HDTV. TruMotion 120Hz technology lets you see sports, video games and high-speed action with virtually no motion blur. LG's Smart TVs provide easy access to limitless content, thousands of movies and customizable apps. It also offers the ability to browse the web. The Magic Remote makes navigating this TV as easy as the wave of your hand or scroll of the wheel. $1,049 www.lgusa.com
3. Moving is a great time to finally make all those technology enhancements you’ve had on your “to do” list. And one thing you shouldn’t put off a moment longer is a back up system for your computer. Our computers have become a repository for our lives…photos, music, videos, and email. An external hard drive will give you the security and piece of mind knowing you’ll never have to worry about losing your digital “stuff” if your computer crashes.
Seagate Go FLEX SLIM External Hard Drive
The Seagate GoFlex Slim is so small--about the thickness of a #2 pencil--it's perfect for pairing with your netbook, notebook, and other portable devices. Its lightweight and ultra-slim anodized design helps resist damage during transport and adds a stylish finish to the drive. GoFlex Slim features a fast 7200 RPM internal drive and USB 3.0 plug-and-play connectivity for up to 10x faster transfer speeds. It includes backup software with powerful encryption technology, ensuring that your files are always safe and secure, and lets you restore previous file versions from your backups with ease. The Slim makes it easy for you to sync files between your computer and your GoFlex Slim Performance drive, so that you have your latest files while on-the-go. The Go FLEX SLIM also features the Seagate Dashboard management tool for easy backups, file encryption, and a visible meter to allow constant monitoring of the user’s available hard drive space. Compatible with Mac and PC. Available in 320G and 500G models. Starting at $100 www.seagate.com
4. If you’ve got more than 3 remotes sitting on your coffee table, it’s time for you to buy a universal remote. Not all universal remotes are created equal: Logitech Harmony universal remotes are very user friendly.
The Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote
The Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote features a color/backlit touch screen and sculpted buttons that are organized into logical zones. This unique design gives the user easy, one-touch access to their home entertainment. Just one press and you're watching a DVD, a movie On Demand, a series on your DVR or your favorite TV show. The ergonomic design fits comfortably in your hand, and because it's rechargeable, you won't need to worry about buying new batteries. With support for more than 5,000 brands, you can control home entertainment devices that you own today or will buy tomorrow. The online software guides you through setup, and their live customer support team is available if you need help. $200 www.logitech.com
5. Saving up to 33% on expensive heating and cooling bills can be easy if you install a digital thermostat like this one.
Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat
Heat or cool your home to your desired day or nighttime temperatures with the Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat with Backlight. Program the system to adjust temperatures while you're away or asleep to save energy. Used as directed, it can save up to 33% off your energy bill. The display is easy to read so you can monitor temperatures at a glance -- even in dimly lit rooms. $60 www.honeywell.com
6. The mess of wires associated with the speakers of a home theater surround sound system can now be a thing of the past thanks to this sound bar audio system.
Samsung Sound Bar and Wireless Sub-Woofer (HW-D450)
The picture quality of today's HDTVs may be fantastic, but frankly, the sound can be about as flat as the panel. Samsung's HW-D450's dynamic, full-bodied sound will dance pirouettes around your TV's tiny speakers. This sound bar uses built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoding along with virtual surround sound processing to create a wraparound effect that draws you into the action. You'll love the way it brings the soundtracks of DVDs, Blu-ray movies and high-def TV shows to life. You won't even need a receiver or amplifier--this sound bar has built-in amplification to power its six drivers for clear dialogue and spacious, lifelike effects. $300 www.samsung.com
7. Managing the power cables of a home theater system and protecting your audio/video equipment from power surges can both be accomplished with this affordable device.
Belkin Conceal Surge Protector
The Belkin Conceal Surge Protector organizes your cables and keeps them out of view with a unique closing cover. Designed to safeguard your electronics, computers, and appliances, the Conceal Surge Protector can sit on the floor, out of the way, or out in the open. Your cords remain organized and secure in their sockets, and outlets stay out of reach of kids and pets. This new design features 11 electrical outlets to keep your equipment--including your telephone, internet connection, and home theater-safe from damaging power surges. $50 www.belkin.com
8. If you would like to use your cell phone at home but don't like carrying it around you can now receive cell phone calls though a multi-handset cordless home phone.
Panasonic’s Bluetooth-Powered Link-to-Cell
Make and receive cell phone calls (link up to 2 cell phones) through this cordless phone home system. Use your Bluetooth headset around your home for added convenience while charging your cell phone. This exclusive feature allows you to transfer up to 600 names from your cell phone's phonebook to your cordless handset directory via Bluetooth. Keep all of your important contacts, normally kept in your cell phone, secure and organized in your home phone. The Panasonic KX-TG6582T also features DECT 6.0 Plus Technology, 2 single line handsets, digital answering system, and talking caller ID call block. $80 www.panasonic.com
9. Save money on your monthly electrical bill and reduce your carbon footprint by simply replacing the incandescent bulbs in your new home with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s).
Ecosmart Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Ecosmart 14 watt (60 watt equivalent to incandescent bulbs) compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy than standard 60w incandescent bulbs. The energy savings over the life of the 4 bulbs is up to $220 or $55 per bulb. The bulbs deliver a natural 5,000K daylight color and last up to 9 years each. Ecosmart bulbs use up to 70% less mercury than standard CFL's and are also Energy Star rated. $7 (for a package of 4) available at Home Depot or Amazon.com
10. This product now makes it possible to wirelessly stream the music from your computer based music library, smart phone, Kindle Fire, or tablet computer to a wireless hi-fidelity speaker system anywhere in your home.
SONOS PLAY: 3
With 3 integrated speakers powered by 3 digital amps, the SONOS PLAY:3 packs big sound into a compact size. With this product you can wirelessly stream millions of songs from online music services like Pandora and Spotify, tune in to over 100,000 free Internet radio stations, and play your entire iTunes library. The PLAY:3 works vertically or horizontally: mount it on a wall or hide on a shelf.
Thanks to simple set up and installation, the onos Play 3 system allow unlimited placement throughout your entire home. Control it all with free apps for your Kindle Fire, Android smartphone or tablet, iPhone, or iPad. $300 www.sonos.com