That’s right. Summer is into its final gasp, and your baby or cousin or nephew or grandchild is going off to live on their own. So you might as well put your mind at ease by making sure they have everything they need in order to make this transition as smooth as possible.
In that spirit, we here at FlashRouters have put together a tech gift guide for your modern college student. Gadgets of all kind for dorm life, off-campus life, and the student studying abroad. Basically, some unique gifts for every kind of college kid. Happy hunting!
Practical Tech Gifts for College Students
Toshiba CB35-A3120 13.3-Inch Chromebook – For around $225, you can provide a college student with a nimble laptop that is both light and long-lasting (it can run roughly seven hours without a charge). This device is ideal as a primary computer for a student and serves every function that your average college student would require. Portable and affordable and quite a favorite around our offices.
Evernote Moleskine Notebook – This one is the ideal mixture or old school and tech for organization and building a life archive. College kids are surely aware of the ubiquitous black leather notebooks and journals by Moleskine. But these Moleskines are special. While they are perfect for writing and jotting down thoughts, travel notes and task lists, they also come with a free subscription to Evernote Premium, the ideal note-taking application that syncs seamlessly between web browsers, phones and tablets.
Evernote has amazing page scanning tech and OCR (optical character recognition) that can take written text and make it instantly searchable. So write it one place, take a picture and have it in case the notebook ever gets lost. Plus each notebook includes some smart stickers that can auto tag the note for a specific notebook. So encourage writing, thinking and organization in one affordable package.
VPN Service – In this day and age, ensuring your son or daughter’s online security could not be more crucial. And since a college student is likely to logged into a campus-wide network, that makes their online information even more vulnerable to attack by hackers and would-be identity thieves.
This is why a VPN is so necessary. A Virtual Private Network that tunnels all of your online activity through encrypted servers set up all over the globe is exactly what a college student needs to keep their sensitive information (e-mails, credit card numbers) safe.
At FlashRouters, we have endless recommendations for high-performing VPNs. Some of our customer favorites include HideMyAss – Top overall US & UK server choices who just so happen to be running some amazing summer VPN deals or the best rated budget service Private Internet Access
Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter – While there are any number of our DD-WRT and Tomato devices we could recommend, we thought we’d make it simple for you.This router is one of the most powerful devices we offer.
With a best-in-class Dual Core 1 GHz (1000 MHz) Broadcom CPU, 256 RAM, and 128 active flash memory, this router is geared to handle any amount of traffic that comes at it. And that’s before we get into the DD-WRT features, which provide the user with advanced security features, an extendable wireless range, and the ability to control how their bandwidth is allocated. This one is truly the superhero of our line of futureproof, premium WiFi networking devices.
Recreational Gifts for College Students
Roku 3 – Basically, whichever streaming media player you get for your child should depend on a number of factors – Apple TV is better suited for the student with a lot of Apple products, and Amazon Fire TV works best for subscribers to Amazon Prime.
On the whole though, if your child has been raised in a cord-cutting environment, then the Roku 3 is definitely the way to go, if only for the wealth of streaming options. If your child is away from home but wants to use your Netflix, Hulu, FXX Now, HBO Now, ESPN Go, Showtime Anytime, etc. subscriptions, then the Roku 3 is the best streaming media device for him or her.
LSTN Headphones – If your son or daughter cares about sound quality and aesthetics, skip the more prevalent pricey headphones and head straight to LSTN. In addition to helping to restore hearing to a child in need for every pair sold, LSTN offer some of the most straight-up gorgeous headphones we’ve seen, in styles that vary from the Ebony Wood Encores to the Beech Wood Troubadours (we’re partial to our Cherry Wood Troubadours, personally speaking). But most importantly, if your child is a bit particular about audio quality, then the LSTN headphones are absolutely the best way to go.
Top Gifts for Studying Studying Abroad
Olympus E-M10 Travel Camera – Of course, your child can take plenty of pictures on their smartphone, but if they’re particularly interested in getting the best photographs while overseas, then they’re going to want something a little more specialized. That’s why we’re recommending the Olympus E-M10, which is every bit as portable and versatile as you’d want a travel camera to be. It responds quickly, is adaptable to the many quality lens offered by Olympus, and even has built-in WiFi. What more could a traveling student need?
VPN Service (AGAIN!) – Besides the obvious security benefits, students traveling will likely want to keep connection to their creature comforts available at all times. Some popular VPN choices for students studying abroad include IPVanish – Offers some of the fastest L1 server speeds worldwide & popular in the Middle East, Asia, and Australia and Overplay – the SmartDNS Innovator that offers combined VPN & SmartDNS service.
It is not uncommon for students traveling internationally to have to utilize Internet cafes in unfamiliar locales to check important messages and communications but Wi-Fi can be a hotbed of security flaws, leaks and if a user connects to the wrong site at the wrong time they could quickly become the latest victim for identity theft. Not familiar with the security issues for using public WiFi connections? Take a look at the Dangers of the Wifi Pineapple and Using a Public Wifi Connection.
Here are some major VPN benefits for students traveling abroad:
Unblock US based Streaming Services & Media Content – There are things that college kids live without but might not know will not be available depending where they are. Whether it’s Netflix, Amazon Instant, YouTube, WatchESPN, Spotify, or even podcasts on iTunes, most of these services have content blocked or completely unavailable outside the US. They might be traveling but they still want access to their favorite music, movies and TV shows. Some very restrictive countries even block Facebook, twitter and other social media services. What a difference an IP address can make!
Save Money on International Skype Video/Phone Calls – Students may be able to send e-mails but Skype costs can add up quickly. Students might be more likely to Skype video chat with you if it costs them nothing when using a US-based VPN connection.
Prevent Virtual Pickpockets and Identity Theft – Cyber criminals are smarter, more stealth, and can cause an infinite amount of damage with the click of a mouse, so make sure all the proper Internet safety precautions are taken. Instilling a good habit of encrypting private data at all times when traveling is a valuable lesson that can save people time and endless headaches. Imagine a traveler trying to spend days dealing with lost and stolen credit cards, losing all of their identification.
Top Wireless Router for Students Studying Abroad For a Semester
If it’s not portable, it ain’t traveling with a student studying abroad. So we suggest the E2500 FlashRouter for an advanced router with a small footprint, and that don’t want to spend an arm and a leg getting it. Users can expect total VPN integration, superior network stability, advanced Quality of Service, and quality N600 wireless speed capacity (300 2.4 GHz & 300 5 Ghz) utilizing 4 internal antennas. If you want good performance plus excellent tech support at a low, low price, the Cisco Linksys E2500 Tomato is ideal choice.
Travel Universal Power Adapter – Here’s a simple affordable, and totally necessary thing that your average college student is liable to forget, or not even know they need: it can be a bit of a shock for a person traveling internationally for the first time to notice that their charger does not fit into any outlets. With a universal travel adapter, your globetrotting son or daughter will be able to keep all of their necessary tech fully charged, no matter where they happen to be studying.
Patagonia Transport MLC Backpack 45L – If you are traveling, you are going to need a backpack. This Patagonia Transport backpack is labeled MLC, for Maximum Legal Carry-on, so if you are going to be carrying a good amount of luggage on your travels, this is the bag for you. With a second pocket separating shoes from clothing, a main pocket featuring two compartments for organization, and the carrying options of a backpack or shoulder bag, this is the ultimate knapsack for any traveler.
One Oddities For The Road…
iGrill Mini – Let’s face it; unless your child is stunningly advanced in every way, they’re probably entering college as cooking neophytes. Rather than stress yourself out imagining the horror-shows they could conceivably concoct in the kitchen, give them an idiot-proof cooking experience. That’s why you need to give your child the iGrill Mini. For a mere $39.99, your child can keep their head in their iPhone or iPad and monitor the temperature of their grilled cheese at the same time. It works from up to 150 feet away and has a 150 hour battery life. A bit silly, yes, but certainly an interesting way for your student child to develop some cooking skills.