Category Archives: Gear Brain

IFA 2019: Top 11 smart home gadgets from Berlin

IFA’s annual event in Berlin is where Europe goes to find the smartest of devices for the coming year. Walking the show, we found brands are focused on wireless — both in terms of connections and power.  Since our visit to … Continue reading

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Review: Hands on with SimpliSafe DIY home security system

The simplest home security system is one that is professionally installed, where you choose a PIN code once the pros are done drilling and wiring, and pay your monthly monitoring fees. But a professionally installed system is expensive, which is … Continue reading

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Review: Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt with built-in Wi-Fi is a solid no-frills option

A new generation of smart locks that has built-in Wi-Fi for remote operation —instead of forcing you to buy an add-on module — is a positive step forward for consumer convenience. Yet when you buy a lock that includes Wi-Fi, … Continue reading

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Apple AirPods 2 Review: Is it worth upgrading or not?

Do you own Apple’s wildly popular AirPods true wireless Bluetooth buds? If you do, you are now on the horns of an upgrade dilemma: do you step-up to the company’s second generation AirPods 2 ($199)? At first glance, Apple’s AirPods augmentations … Continue reading

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7 ways Qualcomm’s new chip set will change your smart devices for the better

Read the rest of this report at Gearbrain.com here. Smart speakers can be frustrating. They’ll wake up from hearing their name uttered in casual conversation or even if it’s said on the TV. Worse, they sometimes don’t wake up at … Continue reading

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12 Techiest Tech Toys from Toy Fair 2019 (Plus 1)

Amidst the usual multitude of plush toys, licensed action figures, toy, RC and ride-in/on vehicles, construction kits, books, games, and other indoor and outdoor playthings at Toy Fair 2019, taking place at New York City’s Javits Center this week, are … Continue reading

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Wi-Fi 6 Routers: The best internet connection you can buy today

A new age of speedy wireless internet connectivity is upon us, thanks to not only the possibly over-hyped 5G (mass rollout of which is not really due until next year) but the next generation Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax, aka Wi-Fi 6. … Continue reading

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Bad Wi-Fi? How To Choose Between an Extender and Mesh

Most of us are, at one time or another, likely unhappy with our home Wi-Fi. Netflix buffers too often. Skype or FaceTime connections are blurry, and an online game stalls as a roommate streams video. Wi-Fi reception is great in … Continue reading

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Review: Riva Concert Takes On Sonos One

In the world of $200 Alexa-enabled smart speakers, everyone is competing with the acknowledged audio quality and multi-room king of this category, the Sonos One. The latest – and perhaps most worthy – contender is the new Riva Audio Concert ($199, due … Continue reading

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Review: Netgear Orbi Voice combines a router with a smart speaker

Merging two different devices into a single product is not usually a good idea. If something goes wrong with one — the entire item is useless. That’s something Netgear has avoided with the Orbi Voice, an Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker that … Continue reading

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