View Post

NETGEAR Arlo Pro 2 Review: An Easy to Set Up and Use, HD Wireless Security Camera

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Safety, Security, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For a couple of years now, ever since the original NETGEAR Arlo cordless security camera launched, I’ve had particular areas of my home covered with video security. (You can read my original Arlo review here.) Now I got my hands on the latest and greatest Arlo cordless security camera, the Arlo Pro 2, and I was really curious to see how it stacked up against the original Arlo in terms of installation and usage. To cut to the chase, there are a lot of new and upgraded features I really like! (*Disclosure below.)

My old Arlo system consisted of four outdoor (cord-free) cameras and one wired indoor camera, each connected to an Arlo base station via a secure WiFi connection. I had the free cloud storage plan since I had only 5 cameras on my account but that was the limit. I could look back at recorded video up to seven days before as well as view live streaming video on demand (with the outdoor cameras) and the indoor camera acted in the same way based on how I configured it, recording video based on activity or motion (like the outdoor cameras). The only thing I had to do was replace the (expensive) batteries every month or so. Battery replacement really depends on how much activity the camera has – more activity means faster battery drain. But overall, my old Arlos have been quite reliable.

HTD NETGEAR Arlo Pro 2 - in the box

Read More


View Post

How To Get a Personalized, Tech-Shopping, In-Store Experience at a b8ta Store

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

If you don’t have a b8ta store near you, unfortunately, you are really missing out. What is b8ta? It’s what I call a click-and-mortar, but it is slightly different that what you might think. Honestly, when I discovered the b8ta store which recently opened in Hayes Valley in San Francisco, it instantly became my new favorite store. For starters, it’s packed with gadgets and gizmos, many of which I have reviewed on HighTechDad.com. And, these consumer electronics are swapped out with new ones every month. So if you are a techy person, you are probably going to plan to visit the store fairly regularly. There is also a website that showcases many if not all of the items in the stores. But what makes b8ta really intriguing is the expertise of the sales associates. Let me explain.

HTD b8ta shopping - store logo

b8ta sales associates are actually called “b8ta testers” and there is a solid reason why this is. First though, you need to think about your shopping experiences you may have had at one of those big box electronics stores. More often than not, the salespeople in those stores are either on commission, under some sort of quota, or both. That means they are trying to turn a sale as quickly as possible to be able to move on to the next victim…er…customer. And often, their knowledge of a product is not very deep, elementary at best. If you want to ask complex questions, you’ll probably get a half-baked answer or lose eye contact as they scan for another opportunity. Honestly, it’s not that great of a shopping experience.

Read More


View Post

*Privacy Not Included…But Should be Required! Mozilla’s Connected Shopping Guide

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, HTD Tech Tip, Review, Safety, Security, Sponsored, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article, “Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying On You.” It discussed privacy and security concerns about connected devices, specifically, the devices we are or will be rushing out to gift during this holiday season. The funny thing is, suddenly there seems to be increased discussion around this topic. It could be the season of gift giving, or perhaps people are starting to pay attention. Regardless, this article goes into some details as to what Mozilla is doing to educate the gift-giving and receiving public via their site *Privacy Not Included. (*Disclosure below.)

HTD Mozilla *privacy not included - title page

Interestingly, in just the couple of weeks since I published my first article on this topic, I have come across two other articles discussing the same concerns.

Read More


View Post

4 Gifts for Guys: Fitted Hat, Cooling Shirt, Streaming Stick, & a Mystery Tackle Box

In Clothing, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to holiday shopping, I’m sort of a strategic shopper. I actually hate going out and browsing through department stores. My wife and girls, on the other hand, will spend hours going store to store. I think about the gifts I want to give in my mind, and then just go straight out to buy them. But, there are times where it helps to get some ideas and I’ll read about different products online ahead of time. So, to make your research and idea shopping experience a bit easier (and faster?), I was super excited to get my care package from Babbleboxx. This one is geared (literally) for guys – or not, honestly, I think any of the gift ideas I am writing about here would be great for anyone, guys OR gals.

HTD Babbleboxx Gifts for Guys - box contents

Note: This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com.

Read More


View Post

Framing Your Life, Digitally – Review of the Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

My kids have been taking the same route inside the house to the front door for years. But recently, this trip seems to be taking a lot longer. They are getting distracted by something new along the way. I just installed a new digital frame, a Nixplay Seed, specifically. Now, sitting on the bookshelf is a portal to times past, a quick glimpse at history. (*Disclosure below.)

Over the years, digital picture frames have evolved. I remember setting up one and having to connect it to a computer via a USB cable to move over only a handful of photos due to limited storage source. Later versions allowed for SD cards to be used to pull the photos from. But still, the process took some work. And if you had of these frames like I did, the process was enough of a pain in the butt that updates to the photos were fairly infrequent.

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame Review - on the shelf

Read More


View Post

Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying on You!

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Safety, Security, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that many people this 2017 holiday season will be getting or giving some sort of connected device. When you think about it, with electronics becoming smaller and less expensive, more and more manufacturers are figuring out creative ways to add connectivity to a wide variety of devices. From toys to speakers to smartphones to home automation to appliances to just about anything, the Internet of Things is here, and there is a huge push to connect everything with anything. And while connected things open up new opportunities and capabilities, it also potentially enables companies to do things you might not want them to do, like have access to private data, location information, or even audio and video. And you might not even know this is happening. But while some gadgets are clearly labeled with “batteries not included,” not many are showing anything like “privacy not included.” Mozilla is doing something about this, you’ll be happy to know, with their appropriately named holiday buyer’s guide: *Privacy Not Included. Read on to learn more! (*Disclosure below.)

Connected gadgets spying innocently

When it comes to the world of connected gadgets and devices, there truly isn’t that much regulation from privacy and security standpoints. And often, it is up to the consumer to understand what devices connect to what services and know how their data is being used. Often, companies make it difficult to know how information is shared, or they may not disclose it at all. While smartphone and tablet apps do have increased scrutiny by Apple or Google, for example, in terms of how the data is accessed and used, and the types of services used (location, media, data, etc.), outside of the app itself, it’s a wild, wild world.

Read More


View Post

Ring Floodlight Cam Review & Install Tips – An Easy & Smart Security Upgrade

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, Review, Safety, Security, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I love security cameras! As does my wife. My kids, however, are a bit on the fence about things. While they like being protected and knowing who’s coming or going, one of my daughters complained, half-jokingly, that she can’t sneak out at night. “Dad, you guys had it easy before all of this tech. How am I supposed to sneak out when you are always watching?!” Ah, the miracles of technology – preventing the life passage of being a teen! Now, she has one more security camera that she will have to sneak around, and good luck with that! I just installed the Ring Floodlight security camera. (*Disclosure below.)

The reality is, she’s a good kid. And, as far as my tech will tell me, isn’t sneaking off anywhere. I’m much more concerned about the “strangers” that happen to be in or around my property. And while some people may think it is an invasion of privacy, I have had numerous occasions where I have caught someone late at night testing the car doors on my driveway, or even crouched by a window hiding and making a phone call. I have captured many nocturnal creatures making their journey around my home (raccoons, skunks, rats, cats, etc.). I feel that when it comes to home security, you can’t have enough technology to protect your family.

Ring Floodlight Cam - mounted

Read More