We all have that friend or relative who gets all grumpy about the commodification of the holiday season. It’s supposed to be about togetherness and mutual appreciation, they say.
Well, we at FlashRouters 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 a little less than one month left to find just the right gift 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 with our latest gift guide!
The FlashRouters Tech and Gadget Gift Guide of 2016
The Gift of Great Sound
Amazon Echo ($179.99) – Do you want omnidirectional sound from your speaker system? How about voice recognition? Want to converse with your speaker system to change the room temp or order an Uber? The Amazon Echo is just the device for you. That is, assuming you’re willing to get all the necessary other devices to really make the most of your smart home. Still, it’s got great sound and is malleable enough to allow for a lot of cool features. At worst, you can stream Amazon Music or Spotify in crystal clear clarity.
Sonos Play 1 ($169) – Not ready for the major overhaul of the Amazon Echo, but still want big sound in a small package? In that case, the Sonos Play 1 is probably more your speed. It delivers great sound, and is compact enough to fit anywhere you want it. Plus, it’s humidity-resistant, which makes it great for a backyard or bathroom. No reason you can’t have great sound in those environments.
Google Chromecast Audio ($35) – Looking to enhance a friend or relative’s ability to stream music but don’t have $100+ to spare? Not a problem. Check out the Google Chromecast Audio. For $35, users get a little device that plugs into their favorite speakers, allowing them to stream audio from any Internet-capable device they want. A perfect, practical gift that doesn’t break the bank.
Roku 4 ($129.99) – Got a relative who has pared down their TV watching to streaming and streaming alone? Then it’s time for a Roku 4. It has all of your favorite streaming services in one handy location, as Roku’s before it have offered. However, the latest Roku offers 4K streaming capabilities, a voice recognition remote, and even a headphone jack for quiet watching while your family sleeps. It’s a worthwhile update of what’s already becoming a staple of any modern household.
Apple TV: 4th Generation ($199) – If the Roku sounds good to you, but your tech life is more Apple-oriented, then we recommend taking a look at the latest Apple TV. The streaming options are pretty similar to the Roku 4, but this new Apple TV comes with a Siri remote with Touch surface. Make sure to get that HDMI cable as well though.
Something to Stream
FilmStruck ($99 per year subscription) – Trying to find the right gift for the budding cinephile in your life? Wondering what happened to all of those Criterion Collection movies on Hulu? The answer lies at FilmStruck, a new streaming service brought to you by the folks at Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection. It’s a film lover’s dream, with an ever-changing, massively stocked library of arthouse favorites and classics waiting to be streamed any old time.
SeeSo ($3.99 a month) – Or maybe there’s a comedy nerd in your life, hurting for good streaming material. In that case, a subscription to SeeSo ought to hold them over until next year. For $3.99 a month, they’ll get access to classic comedy shows like Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Saturday Night Live, Kids in the Hall, original programming like The UCB Show (featuring Amy Poehler and Matt Walsh), Take My Wife (featuring Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito, and HarmonQuest (from Community and Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon), plus original stand-up specials. It’s the comedic gift that keeps on giving.
For the Retro Gamer In Your Life
Nintendo NES Classic Edition ($59.99) – Here’s one that can go for the elder millenials or members of whatever the latest generation is called. For the former, it’s an opportunity to relive their youthful gaming glory with classic titles like Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and many more NES stalwarts. For the former group, it’s a chance to newly experience these games and fall in love like we did. And better yet, it comes in a tiny package and plugs right into your TV. No hassle.
A Gift Guide For An Improved, Secure Wireless Network
Next Gen Wireless-AC FlashRouters – We’ve pointed you towards a lot of WiFi-enabled devices. But it’s important to understand that those devices won’t be worth much without a proper router supporting them.
Therefore, a FlashRouter is the perfect gift this holiday season. Our Wireless-AC devices are here to future-proof your whole WiFi network. Not only are these routers powerful on their own, they only get more powerful when we flash them with DD-WRT and Tomato. By replacing the faulty stock firmware with these aforementioned open source firmwares, we’re able to provide users with routers that are versatile, fast, and reliable.
Take a look at our recent best-seller list to get a look at some current favorites. There you’ll find popular routers like the Linksys WRT1200AC DD-WRT and the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 DD-WRT. With routers like these on your side, your streaming, gaming, and general online life will improve immeasurably.
VPN Service – Okay, admittedly everything else on this list has more instant appeal than “Enhanced cybersecurity!” That said, this is maybe the most valuable gift you can give a loved one. Protect your friend/relative from identity theft and improve their general online privacy with a VPN.
By tunnelling all of your online activity through encrypted servers set up all over the world, VPNs protect you from the many unseen malevolent forces on the Internet. No longer is your data traceable and logged. VPNs also protect and secure your emails and credit card numbers. You can even globetrot around the web and bypass geographical restrictions. In short, VPNs are vital and utterly necessary in this age of data hacks.
Check out our supported provider list to see which VPNs we fully support. If it’s on that list, it’s worthy of a subscription, and endorsed by FlashRouters.
Holiday Wishes from the FlashRouters Folks
In conclusion, we hope you get some use out of this gift guide.
‘Tis the season to be jolly so before it gets to frantic, we want to thank all our loyal customers that have made 2016 already the best year in our history. We couldn’t do it without you.
Have a lovely Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or regular old winter!
From the FlashRouters Team