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1 week ago

How to pause and clear your YouTube history

3
Clear this out

We all have videos we'd rather forget.

YouTube hosts a lot of fascinating, entertaining, and educational content. It also hosts a lot of trash, and we'd rather not have that trash in our search histories, our watch histories, or in the YouTube recommendations that are generated from those histories. Do you want Google to autocomplete to "red hot baby mommas" every time you start looking for a Red Hot Chili Peppers video? Did you forget to switch accounts before handing it off to your little ones and now your recommendations are littered with those mind-numbing toy demos?

Or worse. Much, much worse.

Never fear, we can scrub that data from YouTube and get you back to what you really want to see — more cat videos.

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1 week ago

'Android Excellence' highlights the Play Store's best apps and games

0

Google's new Android Excellence category tells you what you should download from the Play Store, and what developers should emulate.

Google has launched a new category within its longstanding Editor's Choice section of the Play Store: Android Excellence.

According to the company, "We've seen a significant increase in the level of polish and quality of apps and games on Google Play," and is taking a quarterly approach to recognizing those titles. For users, an app highlighted by an Android Excellence tag offers "incredible user experiences on Android, use[s] many of our best practices, [has] great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization." In other words, the best of the best.

The section will be refreshed four times per year, says Google, and while it's not clear how Android Excellence will differ from the apps found in the Editor's Choice category, it's good to see Google taking time to highlight the apps and games that will work well on its platform's phones, tablets and, soon, Chromebooks. Perhaps more importantly, though, these apps show developers what to emulate when they create their own apps and games, since Google often stresses the numerous best practices that devs should follow.

Some of the highlighted titles include Citymapper, Memrise, Vivino, Pocket, B&H Photo Video, Hitman GO, After the End: Forsaken Destiny, Reigns, and CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars.

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1 week ago

How to add a second user and Google account to your Chromebook

6

You can add as many accounts to your Chromebook as you like, and there are even some handy ways to administer them all.

A great thing about Chromebooks is that whenever you sign into one, it syncs all your apps, extensions, and settings, so you always have the same experience. It's pretty cool knowing exactly what to expect and where everything is.

And Chrome is ready for multiple users on the same machine, each with their own private section of the storage. When you log in, you'll have your stuff and when someone else logs in they'll have their stuff. And the two never mix so you won't have to worry about who can see what.

All you need to do is add another user, and this is how you do it.

How to add a second user/Google account to your Chromebook

  1. Check the settings and make sure you don't have other users blocked. Open Settings and scroll down to Users. There are four checkboxes, and they are labeled with exactly what each does.

    • Enable Guest browsing allows anyone to use your Chromebook's browser. They can't save or install anything and no history is saved.
    • Enable supervised users lets you create a managed account. {here's everything you need to know about doing that](https://www.androidcentral.com/how-add-supervised-user-account-your-chromebook).
    • Show user names and photos on the sign-in screen is a privacy setting. you can uncheck this if you don't want to show who has an account. You'll need to enter your Gmail address to login instead of clicking your profile if you uncheck this one.
    • Restrict sign-in to the following users lets you choose who can log in from the list of active accounts. Choose which ones from the box below.

  2. Log off and go back to the start screen.
  3. In the bottom left you'll see Browse as Guest and Add person.

    • Click Browse as Guest to start up the guest account if you want to use your Chromebook without any personalized settings or save any history. You'll need to have enabled guest browsing in the settings from step one.
    • Click Add person to add a new account to your Chromebook.

The account creation is just like you saw the first time you logged in. You supply your Google account (usually a Gmail address), then provide the correct password and pass any two-factor authentication challenge you may have on the account. If you're adding a person who doesn't already have a Google account, you can create one in the wizard by checking More options.

When you're done, the account information will be saved and the new profile is there at the start screen. You can create as many accounts as you like and each will always have their own personalized settings and apps. This is pretty awesome for sharing with a friend or family member or even separating work and play.

Chromebooks

Android Marshmallow

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1 week ago

U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8+ currently $100 off at Samsung and Best Buy

16

A great deal on a brand new phone.

The U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8+ haven't even been out of pre-order status for more than a couple weeks, but already have their first notable sale. Both Best Buy and Samsung's own online store have knocked $100 off the unlocked models, dropping the Galaxy S8's price to $625 and the Galaxy S8+ to $725.

This is a really great deal, particularly as the carrier-branded versions from all of the major U.S. operators are still pegged at $750 and $850 for the GS8 and GS8+. These prices are even cheaper than Best Buy's "open box" phones that were on sale last week.

You may not be entirely sold on getting the U.S. unlocked model ... but big savings like this could sway your thinking. We have no idea how long the sales will last, so give 'em a look now.

See at Samsung
See at Best Buy

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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1 week ago

Modern Dad's Father's Day Favorites!

0

Don't think about it too hard. Any Dad (heck, any person) would love to have any of these great gift ideas.

I gotta be completely honest here: While this is an excellent Father's Day gift guide full of things that any dude would be thrilled to get any day of the week, the simple fact is not a single one of these products requires actually having sired any children. Consider having offspring a bonus, in that case. Or a drain on your bank account. Your call.

In any event, here are six things I'd love to get on Father's Day. Your Dad would, too.

KeySmart key organizer

KeySmartDoes your favorite Dad have a rat's nest of unlockers bulging from his pocket? KeySmart ($35) is a way-cool way to organize your keys. But that's not even the best part: accessories like a bottle opener (!), USB drive (!!) or golf divot tool (!!!) make it even cooler.

Plus, KeySmart has a new version coming that'll integrate the Tile Bluetooth tracker, making it virtually impossible to ever lose your keys!

See at Amazon

Sonos Play:1

Sonos Play1Look, I know people with Sonos won't shut up about it. But for good good reason, right? It's that good, and it's that simple. And getting one for Dad means everyone gets to use it.

Start with a Play:1. ($199) It's ridiculously great for its size, and it rarely goes on sale. They're great on their own, but you'll be amazed at what a pair of things things can do to a room. Plus, you you can snag two for a bit of a discount before Father's Day!

See at Amazon

Philips Hue starter set

The thing about smart lights is you look at 'em and just can't find an excuse to shell out the money. They're just lights, right? Wrong!

And Father's Day is the perfect excuse to upgrade to these little connected wonders. And a starter pack ($62) is a great way to get going. Careful, though: It's easy to get addicted. I'm getting close to switching out every single one of my lights, much to the chagrin of my wife. And once you get a feel for what you want where, you can give the colored lights a go!

See at Amazon

Ring Pro Doorbell

Ring ProI'm not going to stop talking about the Ring Pro ($199) until everyone who has a front door has one. It's that good. Ring Pro plugs into — and requires — existing low-voltage wiring, and from there you connect it to a Ring account and control things via a phone, tablet or computer.

Ring Pro means I don't have to worry about who's coming around, or whether my packages are still there, or when the kids get home. And right now you can get a good deal on it, or its battery-powered brother, too.

See at Amazon

Ember Mug

Ember MugThis is one of those things I don't think I'd buy just any day out of the week. But now that I have one, I use it as much as possible. Because coffee!!! Ember Mug ($150) takes your too-hot coffee and quickly lowers it to a more manageable temperature. And then it keeps it there thanks to a small battery and heater in the base.

This is definitely a luxury. But once you try it, you'll wonder how you ever drank coffee without it.

See at Amazon

HDHomerun Connect

HDHomerun ConnectIf you've got a Dad who's cut the cord but is still struggling to fill gaps in that TV content, then this is what you need. First, get a good antenna. The 60-mile Clearstream 2MAX is serving me very well. Then you'll want to pair that up with HDHomerun Connect. ($99)

This little wonder has two tuners and takes that over-the-air signal and spits it out to almost any device you can think of. Android. iOS. Windows. Linux. Xbox. Apple TV. Android TV. ... The list goes on. (Everything except Roku.) So you can watch on your phone, or a tablet, or a TV. And if you pair it up with something like Plex, you can record shows or even watch your live, OTA channels while you're not at home. It's been a game-changer for me.

See at Amazon

A REALLY GOOD waffle iron!

Mmmmmm. ... Waffles ...OK, this one isn't really techy. But it does beep.

If you love waffles and don't have a good waffle iron, you're really not living life. This one's nice and heavy and holds the heat well, and it's even gotten my kids to give up the frozen stuff on the weekends. Splurge a little at Amazon. ($99) It's worth it.

And, seriously: Real maple syrup. Don't short-change yourself with that cheap stuff. Your taste buds will thank you.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

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1 week ago

Google hires former Apple chip architect to lead design on custom processors

23

The pieces are falling into place for Google to produce its own silicon for future Pixel devices.

Google has made a big move towards developing its own system-on-a-chip (SoC) for its own Pixel devices with the hiring of Manu Gulati, who has been helping develop chips for Apple since 2009. As first reported by Variety, Gulati has just recently updated his LinkedIn page with his new title — Lead SoC Architect at Google.

Google has reportedly been interested in developing its own chips for Android devices for some years now, likely seeking the same success that Apple has found since it started designing its own chips for iPhones and iPads. Poaching Gulati to lead their team is a big move — a quick search of patents linked to Gulati shows 15 patents assigned to Apple related to SoCs with Gulati listed as an inventor. On top of his work at Apple, Gulati has 27 years of experience in the chip design industry having previously working for AMD and Broadcom as well.

The Pixel and Pixel XL represented Google's attempt to design an Android phone that combined hardware with optimized software. Adding the ability to custom design the SoC as well onto future Pixel devices will allow Google to better integrate and leverage all the powerful machine learning capabilities highlighted at last month's Google I/O conference.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 week ago

Samsung's vision for the smart home is that it should be easy to set up

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Samsung's Connect Home isn't out yet, but you might want to consider stocking up on companion SmartThings when it's on sale.

The idea of the smart home isn't anything new. Technology companies have been attempting to sell us on the idea for quite a few years, though it's only recently that the idea of a souped-up home has become the norm. And even though the idea of converting your house into something less dumb can seem cost-prohibitive, Samsung hopes it can convince you that it's not.

Last week, I had the opportunity to take a glimpse inside Samsung's vision for the smart home. The company outfitted a three-story dwelling in San Francisco with the yet-to-be-release Connect Home Wi-Fi mesh networking system, in addition to various SmartThings sensors placed throughout. Obviously, its vision of the future is outfitted with Samsung-branded stuff, but that wasn't the point of the demonstration. Rather, it was to show that Samsung is positioning itself in the connected home sphere as the attractive, easy-to-use alternative to everything else.

Starting with routers that blend in

The Samsung Connect Home router as seen in the home.

If you ask almost anyone what they think about routers, the answer is typically meh. For the most part, home networking gadgets are designed in a utilitarian, almost brutalist matter, which is why they're often hidden away or tucked behind other things or walls. This contributes to bad connections, however, thus keeping the router from doing what it was intended for in the first place.

To avoid being behind placed behind a door, Samsung designed the Connect Home networking system so that each node blends in with your things, regardless of which design era they're destined for. Granted, the Connect Home isn't the first attractive Wi-Fi mesh network on the market — we already have Google WiFi and Eero. But those two mesh routing systems also don't have Samsung SmartThings compatibility baked in.

SmartThings compatibility

Samsung's SmartThings, as seen in the mail slot.

More Samsung SmartThings placed around the house.

Samsung is also hawking the Connect Home Wi-Fi system as the powerhouse behind its SmartThings ecosystem, essentially small sensors and plugs you can buy to convert things like the light fixtures or the TV into connected products.

The inclusion of SmartThings in the Connect Home router were obviously added in an effort to increase SmartThings adoption, but is that so bad? SmartThings aren't as well known in the mainstream as some other smart home gadgets, like the Philips Hue Lightbulbs or Ring Doorbell. But by baking it into the mesh routers, users might be more inclined to try them out. After all, who doesn't like the idea of making the light come on when you step into a room? The SmartThings sensors and plug-ins aren't too expensive either, as most retail between $20 to $50.

An easy app

galaxy s8 with Samsung connect

Once you've connected things to the SmartThings, you can automate them all with the Samsung Connect app. The app works right now with all of the available SmartThings sensors and plugs, but it will also help connect the Connect Home router to any respective sensors placed throughout the home — this also means you won't need a seperate SmartThings Hub to make things work. You'll be able to easily set up formulas as you see fit from the app and all they require is a bit of "if this then that" configuration.

We won't know the true range or performance of the Connect Home and Connect Home Pro (intended for larger setups) until they officially debut on July 2. But for now, we know Samsung has lofty goals for the smart home space. Perhaps the inclusion of SmartThings in its Wi-Fi mesh networking router could even help increase awareness of the fact that the "Internet of Things" exist in the first place.

See at BestBuy

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1 week ago

Router vs. Mesh Networking: What's best for your home Wi-Fi network?

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Don't just replace a working home Wi-Fi network because Google Wi-Fi is new, but if you need a change here are some tips to get you started.

Google Wifi isn't the first consumer-focused mesh networking product. Offerings from eero and Luma have been around for a while and offer a mesh networking solution very much the same as what Google is selling. The difference is that Google Wi-Fi is a good bit cheaper and comes from a company everyone knows. Google will do whatever it can so you know that their Wi-Fi product exists, and so that people interested in things like mesh networks know that it's an inexpensive way to get started.

That leads to the obvious question — should anyone switch to a mesh-based Wi-Fi network in their house?

Like most things, the answer isn't a simple yes or no. There are a couple things you should consider before you dust off your credit card.

Do you need to upgrade your Wi-Fi network?

This is the first thing you should ask yourself. Ideally, a Wi-Fi network is something you should set up once and then never have to think about it until it's time to replace it. When properly planned, a Wi-Fi router or a mesh client device should run unattended for several years — at least until it's time to upgrade to a newer wireless standard for increased speeds and bandwidth.

Ideally, a Wi-Fi network is something you should set up once and then never have to think about it until it's time to replace it.

Of course, that's often not the case and many of us know our router needs that weekly reboot or things will get wonky. Or even worse, we aren't particularly savvy when it comes to network issues and gear and have to call Comcast or AT&T for help. Waiting for a technician to arrive sometime between 8 am and 5 pm is never fun.

If you have a solid Wi-Fi network that doesn't demand you fiddle with it enough to become frustrating, you should probably hold off on doing anything until we see 802.11 ad technology become more mainstream. On the other hand, if you are tired of pulling plugs and counting to 10 or any of the other silly things we do to fix bad Wi-Fi , or if your home network is just too slow you shouldn't wait any longer than you have to. Don't try to fix what isn't broken!

Are you just trying to fix a dead spot?

This is a pretty common issue. You have great Wi-Fi in the kitchen or living room, but when you go downstairs or to the bedroom things are just slow or intermittent. If everything is working well in parts of your home that are close to the router or that aren't blocked by things not Wi-Fi friendly — the walls of your bathroom are notorious Wi-Fi signal blockers because of the special drywall used and all the copper pipes inside them — you could be the perfect candidate for a wireless repeater instead of setting up a whole new network.

A Wi-Fi Extender is a cheap way to fix a single dead spot in your Wi-Fi coverage, but there are drawbacks.

Also known as Wi-Fi Extenders, wireless repeaters do exactly what their name implies — they take your existing Wi-Fi signal and repeat the signal to extend the range. Usually very easy to setup using a network cable or an online settings page, Wi-Fi Extenders are also compact and only need a power connection. One thing to be aware of is that you usually can't connect a consumer-grade Wi-Fi Extender to an existing extender, so daisy-chaining them to reach your garage or the neighbor's house isn't very practical.

You also will have a new network name (known as an SSID) to use when connecting to the extender instead of the router itself. This can be a bit of a pain if you move in and out of a room that needs an extender very often. Quality Wi-Fi Extenders run between $30 and $150 dollars depending on the network type, so if you need multiple fast ac extenders it might be more practical to set up a mesh network using Google Wifi. These drawbacks aside, a simple Wi-Fi Extender is an easy way to fix a single dead spot and a great idea if the rest of your Wi-Fi network is working well. If you're in the market for one, we can recommend Netgear's simple extender that plugs directly into a wall socket for home use.

See at Amazon

When to choose a mesh network

If you've decided you need to get rid of the gear you have and set up a new network or are setting things up in a new place, the choice between a mesh network and a traditional linear router based network comes down to one thing — money.

For some, a simple Wi-Fi router and an extender is perfect.

A Wi-Fi router that will service a normal sized single floor home plus one extender for hard-to-reach spots can be had for around $100. You can also lease them from your internet service provider. While the more inexpensive models aren't quite as easy to install as something like a Google OnHub router, they're not too ornery, and as long as you have a phone you can use to Google the answers to any questions you have most of us can do it without any issues. And we understand that wireless networking equipment is something that doesn't have the appeal that other tech does. If you only want a Wi-Fi network so you can use the internet from your laptop or phone or tablet, don't have any special needs like a home office or a favorite online video game, there's nothing wrong with keeping things simple. We do recommend at least an 802.11 n or faster network, though. The internet is too media-rich to go any slower. Netgear also makes a simple and reliable router that pairs well with the extender above.

See at Amazon

If you need anything more robust than a simple router solution, mesh networking makes the most sense.

The cost of a high-speed router with the tools for quality of service scheduling or port forwarding starts at about $120 — about the same as a single Google Wifi unit. When you add extras like long range antennas or multiple access points it doesn't take very long to hit the $299 price for a three-pack of Google Wi-Fi units. Either method should last the lifetime of the technology they're using and offer trouble-free use during that time, but you'll miss out on some key advantages of having a mesh network, like not having any single point of failure and the better traffic handling mesh networks offer. If you need Wi-Fi in a multi-story home or one that's bigger than 1,500 square feet or so, mesh networking is simply a better choice most of the time. The only case I would hesitate to use wireless mesh network in favor of a linear router based setup would be if you have equipment that requires a physical wired network connection. Even then the addition of Google OnHub and a simple switch could be added to a Google Wifi powered mesh network. If you have those sort of networking needs, you're probably not looking for basic networking advice and you understand exactly what we're talking about here.

If you want or need a router-based solution that can handle more traffic or offers the power-user bells and whistles, you can't go wrong building it around a Netgear Nighthawk router. Sticker-shock trigger warnings apply.

See at Amazon

For the rest of us, Google Wifi seems to be exactly what we're looking for.

Two of the biggest drawbacks to wireless mesh networking are no longer an issue when using Google Wifi — needing an advanced networking education to set things up and maintain them, and a pocket full of money.

Google Wifi tackles the biggest problems with home mesh networking — administration and cost.

A wireless mesh network is designed to handle high volumes of traffic in a big area with no downtime due to equipment failures. A three pack of Google Wifi units will be easy to set up using the Google Home app and only cost $299. New stations are easy to add using the same app, and all traffic shaping and route handling are automatic so you'll have no need for QoS scheduling when you want to play Call of Duty without lag glitching or when you want to work while the kids are watching Netflix. They're small, don't look like leftover robot parts, and everything you need to connect to your modem is in the package. And anytime you need to expand your network, adding a station only makes the rest of the network better by offering another node to handle traffic from all points.

We're excited to see Wi-Fi mesh networking offered by a more mainstream company like Google. Based on the performance of their OnHub products, we expect things to be simple and robust as well. The easy administration and relatively low cost make adding a mesh network to your home (or place of business, where it can be even more important) something any of us can do. Whether you're upgrading your existing equipment or building a network in your new house, there are very few reason not to go with Google Wifi.

See at Google

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1 week ago

Save $50 on two Sonos Play:1's, $14 on LIFX Smart Bulbs and more with these Father's Day tech deals

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Our friends at Thrifter are back with some tech deals that your dad is sure to love!

We know. Father's Day is right around the corner and you haven't bought your dad anything yet, right? Don't worry, there are some really great deals going on right now that make it even more affordable to buy your dad some awesome tech gear. From popular Bluetooth headphones from Jaybird to wireless speakers for the home by Sonos, you'll want to look through the list below and see if anything here would help make Father's Day even more special for your loved one.

There are tons of great deals going on right now that can certainly help make your Father's Day purchase an epic one. Be sure to grab something for yourself while you're at it, too. (You deserve it!)

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

eero 2nd-gen mesh Wi-Fi system: Everything you need to know

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Mesh Wi-Fi used to be complicated, but eero made it simple. Now it wants to make it faster.

A little more than a year ago, eero burst onto the consumer market with a propitious offer: to solve the problem of messy, unreliable and dumb Wi-Fi routers that most people have in their homes. It would take a well-worn idea — mesh routing — and bring it down to an accessible, customer-friendly level.

Not only did eero make it relatively easy to set up multiple access points, but the small base station and accompanying pucks were understated enough to fit into any environment. eero also inspired competition, as we've seen from the likes of Netgear, Google and others.

Now, the company is back with its second-generation model, claiming double the power and tri-band support (the original was dual-band). At the same time, eero is debuting a new Beacon product meant to subtly bolster Wi-Fi signals using any power outlet in the home, and a subscription-based network security software service called eero Plus.

What's new in the second-gen eero?

Tri-band. That's the main improvement here, the ability to broadcast at 2.4Ghz, 5.2Ghz and 5.8Ghz at the same time, with 2x2 MU-MIMO beamforming antennas. eero claims that the new system is twice as powerful as the previous one, meaning using the same setup in the same house you'll theoretically get twice the speed and twice the distance.

Of course, there are caveats there: the first-generation eero was only dual-band, and didn't support the less-used 5.8Ghz frequency in the new system. At the same time, the extra distance is only accessible on the lower, noisier, 2.4Ghz band, which will likely encounter considerably more interference than the other two.

The other piece of hardware improvement is the addition of Thread support, which was originally a Nest-built smart device solution meant to simultaneously simplify and compete with Z-Wave and Zigbee. Right now, there are few, if any, products that support Thread, but eero says that it is working with dozens of companies to help develop and promote them. Expect connected lights, doorbells, cameras and more to support Thread in the coming months. We hope.

What's the Beacon?

Beacon is interesting. It's an eero hub, miniaturized, meant to plug into a two-prong AC outlet in the home. eero says that there's no limit to the number of Beacons that can be installed and connected to the main hub, since its software is designed to intelligently route data.

Beacons are smaller than the traditional eero hubs, and also include a 10 Lumen LED nightlight with automated dimming, which is perfect for dark passageways. Two birds, one stone.

By default, eero ships its base package with one eero hub and one Beacon, for $299. It's only when you get to the $499 eero Pro bundle that you get three eero hubs, which is important since the Beacon is only dual-band and doesn't support the faster 5.8Ghz standard.

eero Plus — Amazon Prime for routers

eero is also launching a new software bundle called eero Plus, which touts itself as "premium protection for your network." That includes things like protection against malware and botnets, but also offers built-in, easy-to-use parental controls for your entire network.

Here's what it offers:

  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-virus
  • Anti-phishing
  • Anti-ransomware
  • Protection from Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks
  • Protection from botnets
  • Parental controls
  • Priority support

The service costs $9.99/month or $99 for a full year, and the company says it will keep the price stable while continuing to add features.

How does it compare to Google Wifi?

Well, first of all, Google Wifi is much cheaper — a 3-pack of eeros goes for $499, whereas Google Wifi's three-puck offering costs $299. Even if eero is slightly faster (and it likely is with its tri-band support) it's probably not worth spending the extra money on eero.

That is, unless you have a really big house. eero promises better connectivity and faster speeds than Google Wifi, and with support for Beacon, you can have far more than just two additional access points. You can have five or six spread out throughout the home and blanket your house with high-quality Wi-Fi. Google Wifi is good, but it's not that flexible.

Then it comes down to software. Both eero and Google claim to constantly update their routers with new features, but eero says it expends considerable effort monitoring the way people use their devices and pushing performance and feature updates to accommodate those new products. At the same time, Google pushed out numerous sizeable updates for OnHub during its first year on the market, and there's no reason to believe it won't do the same with Wifi.

A Canadian launch

eero says it will launch its second-generation system in Canada in August, which is nice for me, and for others who have been waiting for a good mesh Wi-Fi solution in the country. Google recently launched its own Google Wifi system in Canada, too.

It will be available at Amazon, Best Buy and eero.com.

U.S. pricing and availability

eero's second-gen solution is available for pre-order now and will be shipping in the next few weeks online at Amazon and Best Buy. It will also be available in store at Best Buy and many Walmart stores.

  • 1 eero + 1 Beacon - $299
  • 1 eero + 2 Beacons - $399
  • 3 eeros - $499

That's a steep price to pay for good Wi-Fi, but according to our Jerry Hildenbrand, who loved the first-generation model, it's worth it.

What do you think? Are you jumping on the mesh Wi-Fi train? Let us know in the comments below!

See at eero

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1 week ago

Best Drones for Under $50 to Earn Your Wings

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Earn your drone pilot wings by starting small and mastering the basics.

Sure, we all want to get our hands on the latest and greatest drones. Those commercials always make them so easy to use, and that's true to an extent... until things go sideways and your drone takes off into the sunset (sorry, Mr. Mobile!).

The fact is, accidents happen — especially when you're relatively new to drones. If you've never flown a drone before, you need to spend some good time just understanding how to keep a drone in the air, make minute mid-air adjustments, and "become one with the drone" before moving on to bigger and better drones. Fortunately, there's no shortage of good training drones available for under $50!

Here are your best bets for snagging a fun drone to practice on. They're ideal for anyone interested in owning their first drone and learning how to fly for aerial videography, drone racing, or simply picking up a new hobby. Note that these drones are all recommended for ages 14 and up.

AUKEY Mini Drone

AUKEY has created a drone that's truly pocket-size and designed with features included to make it perfect for first-time drone pilots.

For starters, it features one-button takeoff and landing, because most crashes from early drone flying occur just getting the thing into the air or back onto ground. Its size means you can take it out and practise it practically anywhere, with a controller that also lets you pull off tricks as your skills improve.

Best of all, you can get over 10 minutes of flight time per battery charge, which is pretty great. You'll probably want to stock up on a ton of replacement blades, since they'll be prone to getting damaged or lost when you crash.

See at Amazon

EACHINE E10 Mini Quadcopter

The EACHINE E10 Mini Quadcopter is a perfect first drone for someone interested in learning the basics of drone flight. This drone is a great option for kids, too, with a simple, kid-size controller and everything you'll need to practise drone flying.

This drone has some impressive features, including one-button 360-degree rolls and a return home function built into the directional control stick. There're also 4 LED lights on the underside of the drone, which help with visibility in low-light conditions.

Best of all is the price — at under $25 for the standard version and under $40 for the E10C with a 2.0MP camera, these are ideal little drones for novice pilots still learning the basics. They are super portable and quite durable, and if they stop working after an epic crash, it's not the end of the world.

It's worth noting that you'll want to give the battery some time (at least 20 minutes) to cool down before recharging after a flight, otherwise you risk drastically shortening the lifespan of the battery and the drone.

See at Amazon

Hubsan X4 Quadcopter

The Hubsan X4 Quadcopter is a basic, palm-size drone that's a great option for beginners and kids. It features all the standard features you'd expect, including a 6-axis gyro system to help with flight stability and LEDs to help you keep the drone properly orientated while in flight.

A fully charged battery will deliver about 5 minutes of flight time, so you're probably going to want to invest in a set of spare batteries. If you buy the drone and the extra batteries, it'll still come out to about $50, except you'll get 5 times the flight time by swapping in fresh batteries.

See at Amazon

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Quadcopter

If you're looking for a cheap and reliable drone to practise with that avoids FAA registration or Canada's new drone laws, the Holy Stone Predator is a great option. It comes with its own controller that's simple enough for beginners to pick up and fly and is capable of pulling off stunts and withstanding light winds for outdoor flights.

The real bonus here is the size — it's small enough to allow for practice indoors if you've got the space, with blade guards built in for protection. A fully charged battery supplies 6 minutes of flight time; with replacement batteries really cheap and easy to swap in and out, this is a cheap drone with affordable accessories.

See at Amazon

UFO 3000 LED Drone

When you're learning how to fly a drone, crashes will happen. The UFO 3000 LED Drone helps to mitigate that by keeping the blades fully protected. Any novice pilot can bump into walls and whatnot while they learn how to zip around on low and high speed modes, as well as perform flips with the simple press of a button.

Oh, and then there's how cool this drone is, with its blue and green LEDs creating four brilliant rings of light — it'll really look out-of-this-world when you fly it at night. Two batteries ship with this drone, with flight time averaging around 7 minutes on a full charge.

See at Amazon

Cheerwing Syma Quadcopter w/ HD Wi-Fi Camera

The Cheerwing Syma offers the best value if you're after something a little more macho than a mini drone. Featuring a pretty archaic camera for photos and video (fun for practicing but nothing you'd want to put on a demo reel), this is one of the cheapest camera drones you'll find.

This kit comes with everything you'll need to get flying and is probably a better place to start for someone who aims to own a drone like the DJI Phantom and wants to start off learning how to control bigger drones. Flight time is still under 7 minutes, which is standard for drones in this price range. Despite the low-res camera, you are able to test out some FPV flying if you're keen and have your own Google Cardboard headset.

Another benefit of this style of drone is the modular nature of the landing feet and blade guards. Once you've become confident with your piloting abilities, removing the guards will reduce the overall weight and allow for a decent boost of speed and maneuverability for practising enhanced maneuvers.

See at Amazon

What's your favorite?

Got a favorite drone for under $50? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 week ago

Star Trek: Bridge Crew — Saving the most people on the Kobiyashi Maru

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The first thing a lot of people ask other Star Trek: Bridge Crew players when talking for the first time is how many people they've rescued from the Kobiyashi Maru. True to its name, this test is more about how effective you can be before this infamous ship is destroyed and not whether you were 100% successful in your mission.

Instead of aiming for a total success, Ubisoft has an achievement for rescuing 120 people from this ship. It's not an easy thing to do, but here are some tips to help ensure success.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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1 week ago

This $7 car charger will look like it is built into your car

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again with another great deal, this time saving you big on a 2-port car charger!

Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code AUKEYCCS at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's 2-port USB car charger for just $6.99 with coupon code AUKEYCCS. This car charger, unlike many others, sits pretty flush with most of the cigarette adapters, so you won't really even notice that it is there. Being relatively flush, there is less of a chance that you'll knock it out or bang it around by accident while moving in your car, and being able to charge two devices at the same time is a great feature.

Remember, you need coupon code AUKEYCCS to get the discount here. Odds are it won't last long at this price, so be sure to act quickly if you want one!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Cheap Cloud Storage — which one saves you the most?

Cloud Storage Options

Cloud storage is something ever more useful and ever more popular, but there's also a ton to choose from.

Updated June 2017: Added current plans and pricing for the various online storage providers.

Fortunately, most also have free trials, and any storage provider worth its salt is going to give you a few gigabytes of space for free anyway to try to get you to stick around.

Let's take a look at a few of the major cloud storage providers and see how pricing stacks up. We'll leave it up to you to pick your favorite, but this should give a good idea of what you'll pay, as of today.

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1 week ago

LG Pixel XL 2017? Here's what it could mean

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Pixel XL

Clues on Google issue tracker point to LG-made, Google-branded device being in the works.

The codename "Taimen" has cropped up a few times over the past few months, apparently in reference to a new big-screened Google device — presumably carrying the premium Pixel branding. Droid-Life first reported the name back in March, with claims it was a "separate project" within Google. The company uses various species of aquatic life as codenames for its phones and tablets, so Taimen, one of the largest salmonids in the world, fits the bill for something with a larger display.

Geekbench results point to a Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM, but not much else is known for a fact — including whether Taimen is a phone or a tablet. The few scattered references to Taimen in AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) commits don't do much beyond confirming Taimen's existence as a Google Android product with Snapdragon 835.

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