Tools & Gadgets

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Curated Solutions for tricky problems.
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Problem: Need a security camera but don't have an outlet available

Battery powered cameras!

Solution If you don't have an outlet available you can get a battery powered camera. Two popular brands are Arlo and Wyze.

With normal use (10 12-second recordings a day), the Wyze Cam Outdoor's rechargeable battery can last up to 3-6 months between each charge. With continuous use or scheduled recording, the battery can last up to 8-10 hours.

Arlo wire-free camera batteries last approximately 3–6 months with average use. Arlo Go camera batteries last approximately 2–3 months with average use, depending on mobile signal strength.

If you are short on cash you can actually find several Arlo products Refurbished on E-Bay (full disclosure we will get a small commission on this sale)

Problem: Phone battery is always dead

Don't moan about your dead phone. Do something about it!

Solution A portable battery. Purchase one on your favorite online marketplace it charges a lot faster than plugging into the wall and travels well. Best $20 you will ever spend. The little solar charging units are handy too. You can plug them in, or if there is a power outage you can charge your phone to 50% a day even if it's cloudy.

Feel free to use this 40% off coupon on E-Bay (full disclosure we will get a small commission on this sale)

Problem: Too many remotes

Your coffee table or couch is covered in remotes for all your devices.

Solution: One remote to rule them all.

If you have a lot of devices in your entertainment center then get yourself a Logitech Harmony Remote. It has a nice charging dock so you can just leave it there so it doesn't get lost and it's always ready to go, no more scrambling for batteries and you can set up sequences so for example if you want to listen to music you can just tap "Music" on the touch screen and then it does all the configuring necessary like activating speakers, changing to the correct inputs etc

Problem: I don't want to store my data in the cloud

You want to back up your photos and files but don't trust a third party like Drop Box.

Solution: Store your files at on a "home server" device. It holds hard drives and allows all of the computers in your house to access them. It allows you to connect to it from outside your home to grab a file. Advanced users can use it to host web sites, mail servers, and other cool stuff. One example is the Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation. It has "apps" that work with computers, cell phones, media boxes (Roku, etc). The apps allow it to do things like run an in-home dropbox-like service, stream movies and music to devices/computers, and perform backups. It can sync with Google drive or Dropbox to act as an extra backup of your cloud files. They cost about $300 plus the expense of 3.5" disks. You simply insert the drives and plug it into your router. Very easy to use.