We all have that friend or relative who gets all grumpy about the commodification of the holiday season, which is supposed to be about togetherness and mutual appreciation.
Well, we at FlashRouters may love our families and friends, but we also love our toys, so you won’t be hearing any of that humbuggery from us.
Yes, the holiday season is upon us again, and there’s only about one shopping month left to find just the right gift that shows your appreciation for your loved ones, so we thought we’d kick in a few suggestions of our own.
We know that most tech and gadget guides are likely to point you in the direction of the most obvious, big-ticket gift items available at this time of year – your Xbox Ones, your Playstation 4s, your 4K TVs, etc. – but we thought we’d highlight a few choices that are flying a bit under the radar. And maybe a few FlashRouters items will make their way into our guide (which is to say, they absolutely will, and it will be more than a few).
So what are you waiting for? Dig into some our favorite tech and gadgets gifts that might be overlooked this year !
The FlashRouters Overlooked Tech and Gadget Gift Guide of 2013
The Mohu Curve 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna – This seems like a good place to start. After all, we’re always extolling the virtues of ditching your cable package and relying on streaming services. But there are football games to watch, and relying on a cheap set of rabbit ears can be grossly insufficient.
So that’s why we think the Mohu Curve 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna is the way to go. From its tremendous performance power to its sleek design down to its ease-of-use, the Curve 30 is a surefire way to guarantee a consistently crisp picture without forcing you to futz around with awkward antenna designs. It’s fairly cheap too ($50). Just place this one on a window sill and you’ll be good to go.
Economy Open-Source Routers Cisco Linksys E1200 and E2500 – For those of you who would like to improve a loved one’s wireless network without breaking the bank, there are also a couple of tremendously affordable alternative firmware routers: the Cisco Linksys E1200 and the E2500 FlashRouter.
As we previously mentioned, “these routers are low-cost and no-frills. For right around $100, you get a beautiful Tomato router that takes the default Linksys firmware and upgrades it, adding VPN service connectivity (OpenVPN & PPTP), improved stability, wireless repeater & client bridge functionality for extending the reach of your wireless network (the E1200 V2 Tomato now adds OpenVPN option, so for that added support, the E1200 Tomato is $10 more than E1200 DD-WRT).”
These are excellent, basic routers that revolutionize your network without all of the extravagances, and they’re intuitive devices, allowing the less technologically adept members of your family to use them to their maximum potential. These make great gifts for expats, military personnel and international traveling business folk.
Next Gen Wireless-AC FlashRouters – You might have noticed that, once we added a Wireless-AC router to our line, we haven’t been able to stop talking about it. And now we have added our first fashionable Netgear model – the R6300 v1 DD-WRT Router.
As we have discussed on numerous occasions, Wireless-AC routers are a futureproofing network bedrock set to perform for all the next generation gadgets to come while getting the maximum performance out of your iPhone, iPads, AppleTVs rigt now!
Many top-of-the-line routers max out at 900 Mbps, which is slightly more than half of the 1750 Mbps speeds seen on Wireless-AC routers. Throw in some open-source firmware (DD-WRT and Tomato, in our case), and you have an absurdly quick device loaded up with extra security options, an extendable wireless range, and bandwidth options within your control.
Basically, you’re guaranteeing a loved one the most fastest, most versatile wireless network on the block, and they’ll love you for it.
The Lenmar Meridian iPhone 5 Battery Case – Chances are, if you know someone that just bought the iPhone 5, they’re probably not in the mood to plunk down anymore money on side items.
So what better way to surprise them than with a new iPhone case. And not just any iPhone case, a battery case that will effectively allow them to double the amount of time they can use their phone before needing to recharge it. Allow your loved ones to protect their phone and boost their battery life in one fell swoop!
Quirky Cordies Cable Untangler – Here’s one that would certainly come in handy around the FlashRouters’ office. And it does exactly what the title implies; if you suffering from charger cord overload the Cordies will untangle the mess in a fashionable way for around $20.
Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones – This one’s on the more expensive end of things we’re going to recommend, but when compared to other designer headphones, the Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones will probably provide the best bang for your buck. You can go with the original design or, if you pay another $50, you can go with the ones that were studio tuned by Calvin Harris. Either way, you’ll be enjoying your favorite songs in the most sonically pure environment available, and for a fraction of the price of Beats by Dre.
Streaming Media Players: Apple TV /Roku – If you’re interested in cutting the cord on your pricey cable package, then an Apple TV or a Roku is the very first step to ensuring you won’t miss it.
We’ve enumerated the differences between these exceptional devices before, but whichever you prefer is a matter of minor differences in taste. Both are small, palm-shaped media devices that will allow you access to popular streaming services like Netflix Instant and Hulu Plus. If you’re invested in the Apple universe (if you have an iPad and iTunes and you want to be able to throw those things to your TV), then go with Apple; if you want more channel options and content, the Roku is the way to go.
Ouya Gaming Console– Here’s an affordable alternative to the flashier, big-name gaming consoles that people will be scrapping for this holiday season: the Ouya is an open-sourced system that offers hundreds of games, all of which you’re free to try.
And it’s all for $99, even their new “Abominable Snowman” upgrade (which changed the user interface that previously made new games difficult to find) hasn’t affected the cost of this under-the-radar gaming system. So if you’ve got kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. who are eager for some new, fun games in their life, the Ouya is the way to go.
VPN Service – This might not be the flashiest gift in the lot, but it’s one for which your loved ones will be grateful.
Pick a VPN service provider off of our Official Supported Provider list and sign up; you’ll be ensuring your friends’ and families’ online protection. VPNs are designed to guarantee security around a user’s sensitive online information (credit card numbers and e-mails). When you log in to a VPN, your online data is tunneled throughout encrypted servers set up around the world, thus preventing hackers and identity thieves from accessing it.
Furthermore, you can even use a VPN to access geographically restricted sites and unblock them like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify. Want to watch US Netflix in Dubai? Log in to your VPN and choose a US server. You’ll be watching Orange Is the New Black with the Burj Khalifa in the background. Or from Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil/South America, Germany … I think you get the idea.
So make sure not to overlook some of these great gadgets gifts when shopping for friends and family this holiday season. We’re sure they’ll be thanking you for years to come!
Holiday Wishes from the FlashRouters Folks
‘Tis the season to be jolly so before it gets to frantic, we want to thank all our loyal customers that have made 2013 already the best year in our history. We couldn’t do it without you.
Have a lovely Thanksgivukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or just plain old winter!
From the FlashRouters Team