Gadgets

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Why an IR Blaster Is Still Useful on Phones in 2020

klss/Shutterstock There’s a chance (albeit, an ever-decreasing one) that your phone comes with an IR blaster. These allow your phone to communicate with everyday devices in your home, like TVs and DVRs, using invisible bursts of electromagnetic radiation. If you’re perennially losing your remote control, phones with IR blasters are extremely handy. But how do they work, and where can you get one? When Infrared Was King Readers of a certain age might remember using infrared to share files and…

What Are In-Ear Monitors, and Who Should Use Them?

In-ear monitors (IEMs) have gained widespread popularity among audiophiles recently due to their pristine audio quality. Let’s check out what makes them different from other listening devices. What Is an In-Ear Monitor? There’s a good chance you have some kind of audio listening device on your ears right now. It might be a pair of wireless earbuds, like Airpods, or a hefty, wired pair of headphones. In-ear monitors are a different kind of audio device altogether. They’re mainly intended for…

Wi-Fi 6E: What Is It, and How Is It Different From Wi-Fi 6?

Vasin Lee/Shutterstock.com Wi-Fi 6 hardware is finally arriving on the market, and you’ll be seeing more and more of it released throughout 2020. But people are already talking about something new: Wi-Fi 6E, which promises to reduce Wi-Fi congestion further. Update: We originally wrote this article in January 2020. On April 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission voted to open up the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use later this year, clearing the way for Wi-Fi 6E in the USA.…

How to Forward Ports on Your Router

Although modern routers handle most functions automatically, some applications will require you to manually forward a port to that application or device. Fortunately, it’s really simple to do if you know where to look. What Is Port Forwarding? There are plenty of projects we’ve covered that use your computer as a server for other devices. When you’re inside of your network, most things will work fine. But some apps, if you want to access them when you’re outside your network, make…

How to Take a Good Portrait Photo

Portraits are one of the most powerful kinds of photographs. A great portrait can last for decades, memorializing a person’s entire life, or just a single instant. The difference between a snapshot and a good portrait is more narrow than you’d think. It just requires a little bit of thought. What Makes a Good Portrait Portraits are about one thing: the person in them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting a tight head shot or an environmental portrait; it’s all…

What’s the Latest Version of iOS for iPhones and iPads?

Apple’s iPhones run the iOS operating system, while iPads run iPadOS—based on iOS. You can find the installed software version and upgrade to the latest iOS right from your Settings app if Apple still supports your device. The Latest Major Version is iOS 13 The latest major version of Apple’s iOS operating system is iOS 13, which Apple first released on September 19, 2019. iPads got iPadOS 13.1—based on iOS 13.1—on September 24, 2019. Apple releases new major versions of…

The Cheapest Ways to Stream NHL Hockey (Without Cable)

If you’re like me, you watch hockey, and…basically no other sports. You also, like me, would like to skip the cable subscription. So what’s the cheapest way to watch NHL hockey online so you can cut the cord? It depends. If you live outside the US or Canada, you can pretty much buy an NHL.tv account and watch everything for around $100 a year. Inside the US and Canada, however, broadcast rights make things complicated, meaning you’ll need to somehow get…

How to Easily Recycle the Old Electronics You Can’t Sell

Damrong Rattanapong/Shutterstock.com We’re big believers in selling your used gadgets. Your old gear is probably useful to someone, and it’s a shame for it to gather dust. But not everything can be sold, or it just might not be worth your time. Rather than creating more trash or spending hours searching for a buyer for a $2 used gizmo, we recommend recycling your old electronics. It’s faster and easier than you might think. Wipe Your Old Tech Before You Recycle…

Mouse Left-Click Button Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Third of november/Shutterstock.com Even something as simple as a mouse button can fail. If your mouse’s left-click button is sticking, isn’t consistently responding, or is accidentally double-clicking, this often indicates a hardware problem with the mouse. It could be a software issue, however. It’s Probably a Hardware Problem; Here’s How to Check In our experience, most mouse left-click (or right-click) issues point to hardware failure. If the mouse’s left-click button doesn’t work, only sometimes responds, accidentally “unclicks” as you drag,…

The Sigfox Micro Base Station test

sigfox micro-basestation characteristics The Sigfox Micro-Basestation is an indoor / outdoor basestation made to extend the Sigfox public network. You can’t use it to create a private network actually. Even with the added cellular connectivity you can install it outdoor with the casing shown on the right. The antenna is integrated and you have no option to add an external antenna. This option would have been really good but I assume Sigfox wants you to go to the mini-basestation if…

How to Control Your Smarthome Devices with Google Home

To provide your Google Home with even more capabilities, you can connect a few different smarthome devices and control them using nothing but your voice. Here’s how to set it up. RELATED: How to Set Up Google Home Voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are fine by themselves. They can be extremely helpful in the kitchen or with other tasks, such as looking up information, playing music, and even telling you how the traffic is right…

USB-RF vs. Bluetooth for Mice and Keyboards: Which Is Better?

Josh Hendrickson When you buy a wireless mouse or keyboard, you can choose either Bluetooth or wireless peripherals that communicate through a USB dongle over radio frequencies (RF.) USB-RF has less latency, in our experience, but Bluetooth has its advantages. Which Is Faster? Latency is critical with any keyboard or mouse. You want your input to be reflected onscreen as quickly as possible—especially if you play games dependent on twitch reflexes, like first-person shooters. According to Razer, USB-RF offers lower…