The Connected Home Series: Security and Surveillance

by Blogger on ‎03-05-2015 01:28 PM - last edited on ‎03-05-2015 03:31 PM by Editor in Chief

LivingRoomSI.jpgIn this installment of the Connected Home Series, we'll talk about how security and surveillance options have changed to adapt to growing realtime needs.  Alarm systems aren't just keypad entries, or services monitored through a paid company, for example. Let's take a look at some of the options that exist for you to set up your own home security system and stay connected to your home in realtime through your smartphone or tablet.


Which type of wireless speaker is better for your home: WiFi or Bluetooth

by Blogger on ‎03-05-2015 01:20 PM - last edited on ‎03-05-2015 03:35 PM by Editor in Chief

sonos-or-bose.jpgWhen you're looking for the ideal wireless speaker setup for your home music enjoyment, you’re going to have to decide to connect via Buetooth or WiFi. Both have their pros and cons, but which is right for you?


Create the ultimate computer room

by Blogger on ‎03-05-2015 12:45 PM - last edited on ‎03-05-2015 12:49 PM by Editor in Chief


My home office is what I consider to be a pretty good computer room. It has everything I need, including the computer, an ergonomic chair, stereo, colour laser printer and a LEGO General Grievous perched on the desk (not everything in a computer room needs to be functional). It’s a pretty good setup. But it’s not the ultimate computer room. To get to that stage, you have to plan well and invest in some top notch gear. If you happen to be planning your version of the ultimate computer room, I’ve put together a list of things that I’d consider must-haves.






If you’re thinking of enjoying fun family time at home this upcoming Spring break, here are a few activities to consider with kids of all ages.


Wedding gift checklist for the bride and groom - combining two homes

by Blogger on ‎03-05-2015 12:03 PM - last edited on ‎03-05-2015 03:45 PM by Editor in Chief

wedding-gifts.jpgWhen some people get married, they light a unity candle to symbolize two lives becoming one. But with more and more people moving out and buying their first home long before they find a potential partner, getting married means more than just two lives becoming one—it means two homes becoming one as well.


Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) day one wrap

by Blogger on ‎03-03-2015 08:47 AM - last edited on ‎03-03-2015 09:31 AM by Editor in Chief

preview.jpgMobile World Congress in Barcelona is the world’s biggest event for mobile technology. Want to know what smartphones will be the “must have” devices this year? Look to the MWC 2015 reveals to find out. Monday was officially the first day of the conference (it runs until March 5), but there were some major media events on Sunday, too. Here’s what you need to know after the first full day of Mobile World Congress.


What the heck is wearable tech? TomTom Golfer GPS Watch

by Blogger ‎03-02-2015 03:30 PM - edited ‎03-02-2015 03:35 PM

debra-wearable-tech-tomtom.jpgDeb Deb here, blogging about the TomTom—the TomTom Golfer GPS Watch, that is! Also, super sorry I just called myself Deb Deb. I will NEVER do that again.


A Beginner's Guide to Drones

by Blogger on ‎03-01-2015 10:48 PM - last edited on ‎03-04-2015 09:31 AM by Editor in Chief

ParrotBebop.jpgHave you ever wanted to get into model drones, but weren't sure about some of the ins and outs, including what you could fly in Canada (or what qualifies as a drone) and where you can fly it?  Look no further.  Click below to find out some of the basics about drones, including flight restrictions, qualifications and even what drones can do for us now and in the future.


Samsung makes a big announcement at the World Mobile Conference

by Blogger on ‎03-01-2015 12:30 PM - last edited on ‎03-02-2015 12:30 PM by Editor in Chief


Mobile World Congress officially starts on Monday, but the biggest, most highly anticipated reveal of the show took place at a special Samsung event on Sunday. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are now official. Here’s what you need to know about Samsung’s two new flagship smartphones.



Traxxas SST Latrax brings big fun in a small fast package

by Blogger on ‎02-28-2015 09:04 PM - last edited on ‎03-02-2015 01:22 PM by Editor in Chief

TraxxasLatraxSST.JPGYou might be surprised how much they can pack into an RC vehicle these days, especially when you're dealing with a Traxxas Latrax. The SST is a 1/18th scale model 4 x 4, all terrain beast of a truck. With independent suspension and a sturdy construction, all terrain means water resistant and tough.  You might be surprised where you can go, and how fast you can get there.  Priced for the everyday sort of RC fan, it might just be your gateway into a wider world of RC enthusiasm. 


Mounted-TV.jpgSo, you’ve just purchased a brand spanking new, top of the line 65” 3D HDTV. You can’t contain your excitement. All you want is to get this new addition to your family out of the box and plugged into the wall so you can get started on your House of Cards marathon. I don’t blame you. In fact, I’m a little jealous. Now comes the question – to mount or not to mount? The ideal situation is to mount your TV on the wall above a TV stand that holds all your home entertainment components, but you can also go the TV-stand-only route. Here are the pros of mounting your TV on the wall, and some mount and TV stand options.


preview.jpgLogitech is one of the industry leaders when it comes to peripherals, add-ons and accessories. The company sells a lot of gear. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that when Logitech sent tablet cases and keyboards to review, a box stuffed full of different examples would show up at the door. Included in the mix were the Keys-To-Go ultra portable keyboard, AnyAngle protective case, Ultrathin Magnetic Keyboard cover and Ultrathin Keyboard Folio. Logitech also covered off multiple devices and provided a bright range of colours. Here’s what I thought of the cases and keyboards.


Replacing your wireless router: what’s really involved and what you gain

by Blogger ‎02-28-2015 10:38 AM - edited ‎02-28-2015 10:41 AM

Preview.jpgWith 802.11ac (Gigabit Wi-Fi) now mainstream, we are currently in the midst of a big wireless router replacement cycle. I’ve tested so many routers in the past year that I’ve lost count. Despite the potential payoff of a new router, many people are reluctant to make the upgrade. Routers can be intimidating, and once our Wi-Fi is working, it’s such an integral part of our homes now that we’re naturally reluctant to do anything that might rock the boat. After getting a taste of what the latest generation of 802.11ac routers can do, I finally made the jump myself, replacing my own aging router. And to help you understand everything that’s involved, I chronicled every step of the process. Hopefully this account of one person’s Wi-Fi router upgrade will help to demystify the process and show why it's worth doing.


The Sony NWZ-A15 Walkman is an audio player for the true music lover

by Blogger ‎02-27-2015 10:01 PM - edited ‎02-27-2015 10:10 PM

Sony Walkman 2.pngRetro name. New and improved technology. Introducing the Sony NWZ-A15 Walkman.       


Shelly’s Friday Favourites experiments with spices

by Blogger ‎02-27-2015 07:14 PM - edited ‎02-27-2015 07:17 PM

Spices_in_an_Indian_market copy.jpgI’ll come right out and admit it. Until fairly recently, I wasn’t a big fan of experimenting with spices. Part of the reason was because I was stuck in a rut after years of cooking for kids who would turn their noses up at anything that wasn’t completely traditional. Mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and even spaghetti sauce-if I added even a touch of spice, they wouldn’t eat it and I’d end up making them something else. Now that I've started experimenting with spices, I've taken the most basic dishes I've always cooked and jazzed them up until they are virtually unrecognizable. Here are three of my favourite recipes to get you started experimenting with spices.


Enter the Best Buy Get packing and win contest

by Editor in Chief ‎02-27-2015 08:58 AM - edited ‎03-02-2015 10:30 AM

get-away.jpgDo you need a vacation? I do. How long has it been since you last got away?  For me it’s only been about six months since I was in the Caribbean.  I’m sure many of you have been waiting a lot longer than that to take off somewhere for a vacation. Perhaps you don’t have any plans to get away soon either.  Well  Best Buy might change that with this contest.  The winner will win $1000 to put toward a trip, and a new 3-piece luggage set.  Interested? Here are the details:


Wedding gift checklist for the couple moving out of their parent’s house

by Blogger on ‎02-26-2015 11:21 PM - last edited on ‎03-04-2015 08:58 PM by Blogger

WR5.jpgHere’s what you’re going to need to ask for if you’re moving out on your own with your spouse for the first time!


Review: Sony SRS-X9 Wireless Speaker - Elegance with Great Sound

by Blogger ‎02-26-2015 08:20 PM - edited ‎02-26-2015 08:21 PM

Sony SRS-X9.jpg
The wireless speaker market has taken off in the last few years, with more new wireless speakers all the time in every price range. Not to be outdone, Sony launched their SRS line of wireless speakers within the last year. At the top of this line is their SRS-X9 premium speaker. I was able to test one out and was very pleasantly surprised by what I found. It is much more attractive than most wireless speakers I’ve seen, has plenty of power, and is full of excellent features. A nice combination!


Laptop memory preview.jpgWhen buying any PC, memory and storage are important. With a laptop, even more so, since upgrading after the fact may not be an option. You want to get it right, but there are lot of acronyms, numbers and technical terms in play. In this piece I’ll cover off what you should know about memory and storage when buying a laptop, including RAM, VRAM, ROM, SSDs and cloud storage.


Envy X2 preview.jpgMicrosoft set the standard for convertible laptop PCs when it released the Surface Pro 3. But the success of the latest Surface also opened the door for competition from other PC makers. The HP Envy x2 is a great example of how this class of ultra-portables just keeps getting better. With features like an even bigger 13.3-inch display, dual BeatsAudio speakers and a backlit keyboard, the HP Envy X2 is worth a look for anyone considering a Windows 8.1 convertible PC.



A comparison of two new DSLRs: Canon T6i and Nikon D5500

by Blogger on ‎02-26-2015 12:13 PM - last edited on ‎03-02-2015 09:35 AM by Editor in Chief

BBY_02272015_DI.jpgNikon and Canon have both announced new additions to their entry-level DSLR offerings in recent weeks. And at first glance, the Nikon D5500 and the Canon Rebel T6i look like pretty similar cameras in terms of the specifications. But are there any real and discernable differences between these two very capable units? Today I’m going to sift through the available data and see what I can decipher.


Why not take your home theatre experience to the next level

by Blogger on ‎02-26-2015 11:16 AM - last edited on ‎02-26-2015 11:43 AM by Editor in Chief



Various studies have shown how much time we watch TV, and it is more than I thought—about 4 ½ hours per day! North Americans are quite the couch potatoes (US and Canadian studies are similar). That’s over 1,600 hours a year. If you are spending that much time watching TV, why not seriously upgrade your viewing experience? I will tell you the three things to consider in taking your TV experience to the next level.


I Wanna Rock! How do I choose an amp?

by Blogger on ‎02-25-2015 12:17 AM - last edited on ‎03-02-2015 10:34 AM by Editor in Chief

marshall wall.jpg

You've got your guitar, and a tune in your head. But you also imagine a particular tone you'd like your skull crushing rock epic to sound like. Your guitar is certainly a part of that overall sound, and your playing styles and techniques will certainly contribute. Ultimately, though, your amplifier is what will define your tone. The number of amplifier options and technologies involved seem endless, and can be confusing. How do you even begin looking? I'll try to help you find the amp that will deliver the sound you want.



Create the best home theatre room like a pro using Sony

by Blogger ‎02-24-2015 09:47 PM - edited ‎02-24-2015 09:48 PM

Sony-Theater.jpgEvery year an organization called Harris Interactive measures and rates the reputations of 100 of the world’s most visible companies. In the 2015 report, Sony was ranked as #13, which is pretty impressive considering how many big brands there are out there these days. So it makes sense that if you are looking at setting up a new home theatre system that you put Sony products at the top of your list. Here are two options for you to consider – one for bigger budgets and one for more modest budgets.


Review: New Dell U3415W Curved IPS LED Monitor

by Blogger ‎02-24-2015 09:01 PM - edited ‎02-24-2015 09:07 PM

Dell 34U15 Monitor.jpg



Being a laptop user for years, I haven’t had much need for a monitor or so I thought until I recently tried out the LG 34UC97. It made me realize how much utility that a laptop user can get out of a monitor, especially an extra wide screen that allows you use the display in many ways. I also recently tested out the new Dell U3415W Monitor, and discovered how it makes the computing experience much better, while providing a lot of flexibility. Here’s why I really liked it.


It’s Pebble Time!

by Blogger ‎02-24-2015 08:19 AM - edited ‎02-24-2015 08:19 AM

Pebble Preview.jpg2015 is living up to expectations as an exciting time for smartwatch fans. We’re seeing Android Wear smartwatches hit their stride, the Apple Watch is due out in a matter of weeks and now Pebble—the company that really helped kick off the whole thing—is back with an exciting new model. Pebble Time was just announced, offering everything we love about the original Pebble and Pebble Steel (including that amazing battery life), while adding a colour display!


What will be the next robot you bring into your home?

by Blogger on ‎02-23-2015 10:07 PM - last edited on ‎02-25-2015 11:55 AM by Editor in Chief

C-3PO.jpgWhen I think of a “robot” two things happen. First, I picture the iconic droid C-3PO from the Star Wars movie franchise. Second, I involuntarily start to sing the 1980’s Styx classic Mr. Roboto … Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto, Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto. But a robot isn’t necessarily a shiny golden humanoid or the subject of an annoyingly catchy song ... Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret. In fact, according to Webster’s dictionary, a “robot” is “a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks” or “a mechanism guided by automatic controls.” So by those definitions, it's clear that we are truly surrounded by robots. Don’t believe me? Here are some fun and some functional items that are robots by definition. You might even have one of these at home already!


MajoraMaskSplash.jpg15 years have passed now since The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask shocked traditionalists and long time series fans. Following a much darker pathway than previous games, Majora's Mask was welcomed by some and shunned by others.  Now, with the New Nintendo 3DS making its debut, Majora's Mask is back in a revamped 3D form to help take advantage of the new controls and button spread.  I admit I wasn't a fan 15 years ago, but I'm older and much more open to change nowadays.  My thoughts on the game are available by clicking below.


Amazing Dell laptop with powerful I7 processor

by Blogger on ‎02-22-2015 03:51 PM - last edited on ‎02-23-2015 01:17 PM by Editor in Chief

Dell preview.jpgThere are some beautiful and powerful laptops out there, especially if you have an unlimited budget. Trying to keep things more reasonable—under $1,200 for example—it can be pretty tough to get both performance and looks in one package. The Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6-inch touchscreen laptop is one of those rare PC notebooks that offers both specs and looks, without breaking the bank.


Preview.jpgThe display is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new laptop. The display is the way you’ll be interacting with that laptop, so getting it right is critical. Resolution, size, aspect ratio, glossy or matte, touchscreen support, viewing angles, brightness, colour accuracy, response times—there are a lot of factors to consider. Pick a laptop with the wrong display and you’ll quickly dread using it. But at the same time, if you want a portable PC for casual use, you also don’t need to pay extra for a professional grade display. Buying a laptop? Here’s what you should know about displays.



Welcome to the Plug-in Blog!
Get the latest news, reviews and how-to’s from tech enthusiasts across Canada and learn how technology can enhance your lifestyle. Looking to eliminate techno stress? You've come to the right place!
Top Kudoed Authors