We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more

Tech

  • Many casual computer users are discovering that they do not need the power, functionality, or expense of a full-fledged laptop. Meanwhile, a tablet lacks the large screen and dedicated keyboard needed to consume different types of media or to browse the internet. A Chromebook splits the difference neatly, and may well be the best choice for most consumers looking for a more affordable device.What started out as an underpowered curiosity has evolved into a category of its own. Chromebooks typically cost less than a Microsoft Surface or MacBook, but the primary drawback is that Chromebooks are limited to Chrome OS. Start-up times are a snap thanks to the light interface, but Microsoft or Mac programs won't work outside of the Chrome browser unless there are online app versions available. Another reason to recommend a Chromebook is because they are not as susceptible to viruses and malware thanks in part to continuous automatic updates to Chrome OS. If you are looking for a Chromebook, keep reading for the best Chromebooks we recommend for every budget.
    March 06, 2020
  • Wireless chargers are becoming more prevalent and commonplace as phones and accessories continue gaining the ability to charge wirelessly. Starbucks even has them built into their tables! If your phone or accessory - such as Apple’s Airpod Pros - are Qi enabled, they are compatible with the vast majority of wireless chargers available on the market today. However, each device is capable of charging at different maximum speeds. Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 typically feature 10W fast charging, while iPhones will top out at 7.5W. Although this is technically considered fast charging, connecting a device with a fast charge-capable cable will juice up devices even quicker. The biggest upside to wireless charging is pure convenience: there’s no need to plug in your device each time, which helps reduce wear and tear, not to mention the amount of wires tangled up on top of your desk. Some drawbacks include comparatively longer charging times; you'll also have to double-check each time you set the device on the charger since it won’t charge unless it's in the right position. Here are some of our favorite picks for the best wireless chargers.
    February 18, 2020
  • A video capture card is a computer component which facilitates the capture of video and audio for playback/editing and saves it to a hard drive or SD card. These cards are frequently used to stream and record data while PC gaming, or from a console game through a computer, but they can also be used for digitizing analog video. There are also external video capture devices that can be used to input and record video and audio either from a secondary source or from the computer itself, but this list focuses on internal components.These best video capture cards were chosen because they give you the best picture quality thanks to support for up to 1080i HD video, so you can easily control the resolution and size of your video. They support at least HDMI and DVI connections, though included adapters may be necessary for certain video types with these cards. All of these models also include pass through performance that lets you play a game or use other software in real time while also recording what you are doing without creating any delay or lag.
    April 01, 2016
  • Water cooling kits are all-in-one setups you can use to easily install a water or liquid-cooling system into your computer. These typically have enough hardware to connect to your CPU heatsink, tubing for additional cooling needs (like your video card) and other hardware. You may need to have some equipment already compatible with a water cooling system (like a video card with connections for tubing) though kits typically work with a wide range of CPUs. It's helpful to find kits that provide all the hardware you need and are known for reliable and trustworthy equipment. Introducing liquid to the inside of your computer can be a bit risky, so you want to make sure you have a setup that you trust and know won't leak onto your other hardware.We've chosen these as the best water cooling kits for your computer because they provide the hardware you need, including the radiator, tubes, and a number of different connectors and fasteners to securely setup your new cooling system. All of these models include at least two fans, though most of them have three, which helps move heat out of your system and keeps the coolant working properly. These cooling kits can work with a wide range of different CPUs though keep in mind some are limited to only Intel processors but still offer you support for different Intel chipsets.
    March 07, 2016
Wireless routers are an essential component of any network, no matter how big or small. These days, it seems that just about everything is network-connected, and requires a Wi-Fi signal to function properly. A wireless router can make or break a network; the difference between a good wireless router and a mediocre one comes down to how much unwanted attention your network draws to itself. That said, there's a vast array of wireless routers available today, covering a wide price and performance spectrum. Feature lists are getting longer every year, and there's a never-ending stream of new technologies to keep track of. If you've gone shopping for a wireless router recently, you'll undoubtedly have experienced first-hand how confusing this market can be. Rather than simply choosing the most expensive or cheapest option on the shelf, we recommend narrowing down your picks to the higher-performing options currently available. After all, this single piece of hardware serves as the backbone of your entire network, and you need to count on it to provide years of reliable service. To acquaint yourself with the terminology and technology involved, have a look at our wireless router buyer's guide below.
August 15, 2019
Modems are one of the most important computer devices when it comes to setting up a network connected to the Internet. The modem connects directly to an incoming Internet signal, provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and then relays that signal to other devices. There are quite a few different types of modems out there, based on the type of Internet signal you receive and the setting for your network. Cable and DSL modems are used for high-speed internet, replacing older dial-up modems that established an Internet connection through a phone line. Satellite modems work in a similar way, communicating with a satellite relay to receive and send signals. With so many options and devices available, take a look at the modem buyer’s guide below for more information on picking the right model for your setup.
October 13, 2015
A secure digital (SD) card is a type of memory card used in a wide range of products, from digital cameras and home surveillance systems to mobile phones. These cards are small and offer non-volatile memory that remains stored even if there's no power being supplied to the card from an external device. As technology has evolved, and more and more data can be stored at a smaller size, these cards have also developed into various sizes, speeds, and memory amounts. With the right reader or small adapter devices, you can read from just about any SD card on any type of computer. This lets you store impressive amounts of images and data on a tiny card, and transfer it all to another device for viewing or other use. There are quite a few different manufacturers of SD cards, and they offer a wide range of products, so take a look at the SD card buyer’s guide below before making a choice.
February 02, 2016
LATEST REVIEWS
  • When DVDs debuted, they quickly came to replace CDs for optical storage given they provide much greater storage at the exact same size. As the hardware involved in writing data to DVDs became more affordable, a wide range of different DVD burners were released for use in computers. These internal drives became fairly standard, typically replacing CD drives in computers completely. External burners have also become increasingly common, providing the perks of easy data storage on DVDs with the extra portability of a separate device. However, as Blu-Ray discs have become more popular recently, these have become something of a niche product and will likely become even harder to find in the future. Check out the DVD burner buyer’s guide below for more information to help you pick the best model for your computer setup.
    June 12, 2019
  • Although PC racing wheels may be something of a niche item, there are a decent number of them on the market to choose from. When considering different options, look for racing wheels which offer a realistic PC driving experience while checking it’s been manufactured with quality materials to ensure  long-term enjoyment. Different manufacturers offer a variety of accessories and features to enhance your gameplay. A basic racing wheel gives you a more realistic experience in a driving game, but the addition of pedals and shift sticks can really take your game to the next level.We’ve chosen these as the best PC racing wheels because of their minimum 900 degree rotation angles and variety of customizable buttons and shifting paddles for a more immersive driving experience. These wheels are also are built durably, with even the addition of metal and leather materials on some which help reduce the effects of wear and tear. While all of these are designed to work with a PC, some of these models also have functionality that works with a video game console, a level of flexibility which makes them a better overall value.
    May 15, 2019
  • There are two primary types of memory card readers based on whether they’re intended to be used whether it’s internal or external. There are excellent models available in both designs, but external ones are easier to set up and use with a lot of different hardware options. In comparing them, you’ll primarily want to look for fast transfer speeds with an eye toward USB 3.0 connections. You’ll also want to find models that support as many different types of memory cards as possible. Not every reader out there offers support for every type of memory card on the market, so look at each one carefully to be sure it can read the types you need.We’ve chosen these memory card readers because they offer the best speed and performance thanks to support for USB 3.0, which offers great data rates while being backwards compatible with USB 2.0. All of these readers support at least SecureDigital (SD) cards, along with micro SD and CompactFlash (CF). These models also offer support for Ultra High Speed (UHS) cards that give you excellent read/write speeds with your memory cards. Additionally, these are all external models so you can easily use them with a wide range of computers without the need for installation or removing them from one computer to use with another.
    April 07, 2016
  • A USB Bluetooth adapter lets you connect any supported computer or laptop to other wireless Bluetooth devices. They’re small units that plug into a USB port and then connect wirelessly to other devices through Bluetooth technology. This type of adapter is ideal if you don’t want to add new hardware within your computer system, but need to connect to one or more devices through Bluetooth. Although there’s a wide range of manufacturers, most of these devices are fairly similar in their size and design.We’ve chosen the following best USB Bluetooth adapters because they offer the fastest speeds possible thanks to support for the Bluetooth 4.0 specification. You get as much wireless range with these adapters as possible since all of them offer a minimum 20 foot range. All of these devices work with multiple versions of Windows and include encryption for data and hardware security, though some of them also work with computers running a Mac OS.
    April 04, 2016
  • A wireless extender (also known as a range extender or repeater) is a device that helps broaden the range of a wireless signal from a modem or router. These devices allow you to connect wireless devices to a network from long ranges, including those outside the maximum range of the source modem or router. One of the main things you should look for in these devices is the integration of dual-band technology which helps diminish some of the signal loss that most extenders create. Beyond that, it often comes down to a reasonable price and overall reliable performance to ensure an uninterrupted connection.We chose the following best wireless extenders because they offer the best signal quality and technology thanks to support for Wireless-AC standards which are the fastest Wi-Fi standards currently available. All of these models support a minimum of Wireless AC750, although some of them offer even higher data speeds. These are all dual-band models so they have amplifiers for both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz which helps ensure optimal performance and signal clarity. You get indicator LEDs on all of these extenders as well so can tell when these devices are working properly at a quick glance. They have at least one Ethernet port for a wired network connection, and they all support 64-bit and 128-bit encryption to keep your data secure.
    April 04, 2016
  • There's a pretty wide range of video capture devices out there that cover a lot of different potential uses. If you want to capture video professionally, for web streaming content or converting analog video to a digital format, then you should consider a high-end model that gives you more input options and ensures high output. But there are also quite a few models that are very affordable and can be purchased for easy video capture at a very reasonable price. Consider the type of media you want to capture and the physical input and output connections you need for your existing hardware, before purchasing any device.These video capture devices offer the best picture quality thanks to HD video that supports up to 1080p 30 fps video quality. You get HDMI pass-through performance with all of these devices, which means they have HDMI output as well as input, so you can play or stream live in addition to recording gameplay with a single device. All of these video capture devices include great software that makes it easy to control how you stream or record video and audio, plus edit, save, and post video without the need for additional, expensive video-editing programs.
    April 01, 2016
  • There's a fair bit of debate among many laptop owners about whether coolers actually do anything in terms of laptop performance and longevity. However, lot of evidence supports the idea that a good cooler can reduce internal operating temperatures for a laptop, especially while running demanding software such as PC games. A good laptop cooler should provide a level surface for the laptop to keep ducts clear and move air to the bottom of the laptop to help promote heat transfer.We’ve chosen the following best laptop coolers because they have at least one very large fan or multiple smaller fans at least 80mm in size working together. More important than just the number of fans is how much air these fans can move which is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM, determined by the size and speed of the fan. All of these laptop coolers move at least 34CFM of air and their fans spin at a minimum of 1,000 rotations per minute (RPN) or higher.  They also offer great connectivity options with at least one USB port on each of these coolers (in addition to one needed for power) which keeps you from losing a port during use. Lastly, these picks are large enough to support at least a 15 inch laptop.
    April 01, 2016
  • Joysticks are game controllers designed with a single stick that (depending on the game of course) typically controls character aim or movement, with one or more buttons for additional input if required. These types of controllers were once extremely common because they can provide a great deal of control and flexibility. While other types of controllers have become popular, these are still great for some games.When considering a joystick for your PC games, you want to know how accurate its movements are as well as an options with a good number of buttons for interacting with a wide range of games without the need for additional peripherals. If you want incredibly realistic flight simulation controls you’ll want to consider a PC flight control option, although some of these joysticks featured here may work well for simpler flying games.We’ve chosen the following PC joysticks because of their accurate, sensitive control sticks for responsive gameplay. They’ve also been designed to have a minimum of 12 programmable buttons and a trigger, which are essential ideal for use in combat-oriented flight and “mecha” games. Stability is also important during play so all of these picks have large, solid bases which keep them in place while you’re are playing. Lastly, these joysticks are all plug-and-play devices which don’t require any software installation to use, although optional software provided with many of them will certainly give you more options for customized set ups.
    March 29, 2016
  • While many people prefer to use a mouse and keyboard when playing a wide range of PC games, there are certain titles that just lend themselves to using a gamepad instead. Most gamers swear by a mouse and keyboard for optimal precision in a first-person shooter, but for fighting games and platformers a gamepad can be easier to use and far more intuitive. Most gamepads can work with gaming consoles, but PC support is going to be the primary focus on this list.These PC gamepads are easy to use and great for a wide range of PC games thanks to their inclusion of least one thumb stick, a D-pad, and eight or more buttons. This has become a pretty standard setup that aligns with the controllers found on current-generation gaming consoles. All of these controllers feature programmable mapping options that let you set up your preferred controls, though you typically need to install software or a utility to do so. Lastly, these picks have great secondary features which give you a more immersive gameplay experience like vibration and feedback.
    March 28, 2016
  • Flight control devices are designed to let you control flight simulators and similar programs with as much realism as possible. In addition to these controllers, you can also purchase foot pedals, dashboard switches, and other hardware to complete the simulation experience. Initially, it’s best to focus on just the best control devices offering an overall realistic look and feel. The number of buttons and similar options are important, since these devices fully replace a mouse and keyboard while playing a game or enjoying a simulation. Yokes and sticks are the two primary types of flight controls available and you can find excellent examples of both designs from a variety of manufacturers.We’ve chosen the following best PC flight controls because they offer realistic flight simulation and gameplay thanks to designs which authentically mimic the controls of an actual airplane. Both yokes and flight sticks are included, and these models have at least nine programmable buttons and switches to give you the most authentic experience currently possible. All of these include throttle controls, although some of them are a bit easier and more realistic to use than others. The type of simulation or game you prefer typically determines if you’ll want a yoke or a stick, but in either case these models offer excellent responsiveness due to multi-axis controls and the ability to stay in place during long-term use.
    March 28, 2016
  • A scanner is a device that captures an image from a physical object or document to create a digital copy of it. They come in a wide range of designs and styles, but overall their purpose is to create a digital backup of a physical image or document. Some of the most common models on the market are flatbed designs that have a glass bed that you lay a document onto and then a light is used to scan the item and create a digital copy of it. These have become increasingly powerful, with high-resolution models often used for photographs and illustrations. There are also specialized scanners used to capture images from older photographic film and slides, as well as smaller versions that can quickly scan a business card. Pen scanners provide small options for scanning individual lines of text, while portable models can be used to scan any document at any location. Consider what types of items you have to scan, where you'll be doing most of your scanning, and take a look at the scanner buyer’s guide below to find the best model for your needs.
    March 20, 2016
  • A powerline network adapter turns the electrical wiring in your building into a computer network. You need at least two adapters working together, so you typically want to buy a kit to start with. One connects to your modem or router to receive an Internet signal, and then plugs into a wall outlet; this then turns your electrical system into a network. A second adapter plugs into another outlet and then connects to a computer, HDTV, or other device you want on the network. The data speeds indicated with these adapters are a best-case scenario and you'll probably get lower data rates, but it still gives you an idea of relative speed.We’ve chosen the following as the best powerline network adapters since they offer the fastest speeds, with support for at least 500Mbps, though some of these can run even faster. All of these adapters include LEDs that indicate when the outlet has power and when a LAN signal is being received properly through the electrical system. Installing these models is very easy, requiring no software installation or upgrades, and they only need to be plugged into outlets. Plus all of these are starter kits that include the two necessary adapters for your new setup.
    March 08, 2016
  • A KVM switch (or keyboard/video/mouse) is a device that lets you easily swap input devices between two or more computer systems. The basic design of this type of switch has input for a keyboard and mouse as well as a connection to a single video display. This then connects to the keyboard/mouse ports and video output on multiple computers. With the press of a button on the switch (or hotkey if you prefer) you can then use one keyboard, mouse, and video display, easily swapping between the computers you have connected. While this certainly isn't necessary in every computer setup, a KVM switch makes multitasking easier between multiple workstations and using one setup for more than one system.We've chosen the following best KVM switches because they all provide the best functionality due to support for at least four different computers, though switches with even more ports are available. All of these are great options for the latest computers and displays, thanks to either DVI or VGA and USB support although they're not all ideal if say you need an old PS/2 connection for the mouse and keyboard. These picks also don't require additional software for their installation.
    March 08, 2016
  • An Ethernet switch is a device that connects multiple computers together as part of a local network. As networking technology has improved, so has the speed that data can be sent between systems. These devices also have "Gigabit" or 1,000 Mbps ports to send data from one computer to another at very high speeds. Most home computer setups don't really need a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet switch since a consumer router typically includes both Internet routing hardware and an integrated switch for a small, local network. If you're looking to set up a larger network (especially in a business environment) then a dedicated switch can help organize your hardware and speed up data flow between systems.We've chosen these picks as the best Gigabit Ethernet switches thanks to at least eight ports, which gives you a lot of connections for your computers, devices, and other hardware. All of these models are either "smart" or "unmanaged" switches, which makes them easy to set up and use without extensive management on your end, so they're ideal for a small business or even home use. You will also find environmentally friendly features such as power reduction for ports not in use which keeps your energy costs low.
    March 07, 2016
  • While wireless routers have become more affordable and popular in many network setups, they're not always necessary or ideal for every situation. A wired router provides connectivity for multiple computers on a local area network (LAN) and gives them access to a wide area network (WAN) such as the Internet. Ethernet cables are typically used for these connections and most modern wired routers support 10/100 Mbps connections for optimal data transfer speeds. These devices often have different numbers of ports for setting up a network, so consider how many systems you want connected on your LAN before making a purchase. Additional features like firewalls and simple network controls can also vary from one router to the next.These are the best wired routers thanks to at least four connection ports for computers and devices, in addition to the input port that connects to your modem or other networking device. You get great speed and performance through these routers since they all support 10/100Mpbs ethernet connections, though some of them offer gigabit support for even faster data rates. All of these routers include excellent performance and security features, such as port forwarding, DoS protection, and firewall protection.
    March 07, 2016
  • While a lot of motherboards have some RAID controls built into them, if you're looking to set up a more complex RAID (or use a level not supported by your motherboard) then a controller card is a very important piece of hardware. The basic purpose of a RAID controller card is to let you connect multiple hard drives together in one of several different configurations, and use them as part of a larger total unit. Since a RAID is usually set up for data backup and speed, a good card is important to ensure your information is properly distributed and saved for either the fastest performance possible or for accurate backup in case of corruption or hardware loss. Although the prices on these cards can vary quite a lot, you'll typically find that overall value (in terms of what you're trying to set up) is really more important than just cost.With that in mind, we've chosen these best RAID controller cards because they give you the most options for RAID setups, since they all support at least RAID 0 and 1 types as well as other types like 10 and JBOD. You get at least two SATA or SAS ports on each of these cards, so not only do they offer RAID control, but also give you connections for additional hard drives in your system. Additionally, these cards come with software utilities you can install along with the included drivers to manage your RAID setup more efficiently.
    March 07, 2016
  • Tablets were initially marketed as the "missing link" between smartphones and traditional computers, combining the instant access of the former with the more usable size of the latter. Since then, tablets have evolved to become the poster child for multi-tasking. Each of these tablets is extremely well-suited for general use, and offers plenty of support in terms of apps and content for just about any purpose.
    February 03, 2016
  • Desktop computers cover a wide range of various makes and models with many different designs and configurations catering to numerous budgets and performance requirements. You can find great overall options for general desktop computers, all-in-one systems, and even high-end gaming rigs that can run the latest titles at incredible speeds.If you’re not looking to break the bank, then consider some budget options for basic desktop towers, gaming systems, and all-in-ones that work well at a reasonable price. There are even some desktop computers chosen specifically for multimedia editing, as well as nettops which offer great performance in the smallest package possible.With so many choices available to you, you should take a look at the desktop computer buyer’s guide below for more product information and explanations of common computer features.
    February 02, 2016
  • While a surge protector might seem like little more than a fancy power strip, the protection they provide can be crucial for guarding your electronic devices. Their protection is usually rated in Joules, which is a measurement of energy and indicates how much of a surge they can protect against; generally a higher rating means more protection from one of these devices. It’s important that any power outlet in a house or similar building be properly grounded to ensure a surge has somewhere to go, even with a surge protector in place. The immense power of a bolt of lightning cannot be adequately handled by a surge protector, but good protection can deal with more common power issues like surges utility provider or other local sources. Read through the surge protector buyer’s guide below for information to help you pick the best model to safeguard your setup.
    January 29, 2016
  • When looking for the best uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS, consider overall performance as the most important factor. Try to find hardware that is reliable and can provide as much time as possible in the event of any kind of power outage. While even a minute can be enough to maintain system integrity and data in the case of a brief power surge or flicker, you should try to find systems that can provide several minutes or more for you to react appropriately to a power outage. You might also look for hardware that includes utilities that you can use to set up safe power-down options in case there is a power outage when you are not at your computer.We've chosen these picks as the best UPS devices on the market because they can hold at least 1300 Volt Amps, or VA, which gives you as much output capacity as possible. Each of these picks also have an output watt capacity of at least 800W, which gives you enough power for quite a few different devices. With that in mind, each of these units has six or more outlets to connect to and they all offer some surge protection. While it's important to consider the available capacity, each of these picks are designed to give you at least two minutes of backup time under full load and nine minutes or more under half load.
    January 26, 2016
  • For many years, sales of sound cards declined as the on-board audio on PC's grew better and better. However, the last few years have seen gamers, audiophiles, and even ordinary computer users seeking out the best in audio quality and thus are looking again to add-on sound cards. We’ve chosen the following best sound cards because they offer a minimum of 24 bit audio reproduction for the highest quality sound reproduction. They also all possess class leading signal -to-noise ratios of at least one hundred decibels (DB) in addition to sampling rates of at least ninety-six kilohertz (Khz). Finally, all of these cards offer sound enhancement technology for the best multichannel surround sound experience you can hope for.
    January 22, 2016
  • I've been overclocking computers for over fifteen years and I can tell you first hand that thermal compounds have come a long way in that time. They are an important component of any computer build as it can make the difference between a heatsink or water-block installation that is outstanding or one that is merely average. The compounds for this list are all non-conductive pastes so problems such as shorting out your CPU or other components will not be an issue. All of them also have very high thermal conductivity for good heat transfer as well as yielding low delta temperatures (Delta T) under CPU stress testing; delta T is the amount in degrees of temperature rise above CPU idle temperatures exhibited by the CPU when at one hundred percent load. All of the thermal compounds on my list have Delta T ratings of no more than 33 degrees Celsius. Finally, all of them are formulated to be convenient to apply and easy to clean up.
    January 20, 2016
  • When it comes to CPU cooling, there are two basic designs you can look at and choose from: liquid-cooling and air-cooling. In either system the goal is simple: to transfer heat away from the CPU in your computer and dissipate it through liquid or air. Both liquid and air-cooling systems work great and can help keep your CPU within safe performance conditions. These are primarily high-end products that are great for powerful computers and work well for overclocked systems that can produce higher heat than some other setups. Some of these models are fairly large so look at their listed sizes and your computer tower to be sure you have space enough for the cooler in your system.These CPU coolers reduce heat efficiently thanks to fans that spin at rates of at least 1200 RPM for optimal performance. The fans that run in these coolers are at least 92mm in size, which helps provide at least 45 CFM of airflow, though many of these offer much greater performance. They run quietly with a maximum noise level of no more than 40 decibels (dBA).
    January 20, 2016
  • A good computer headset should provide you both functionality and comfort. Look for headsets which give you controls or extra features for easy and efficient use. This list of best computer headsets includes both wireless and wired headsets, so consider how much range of movement you want while wearing one. The headband and ear cups also need to be comfortable so that you can wear them for several hours at a time without any pain or irritation. Don’t bother with flashing lights or extra features as you can typically find those on gaming headsets and you pay a lot for those unnecessary options.We’ve chosen these as the best computer headsets because they offer excellent sound quality thanks to dual-speaker designs which deliver stereo sound. All of these picks also have an overhead band which rests comfortably with padding on the ear pads so that you can wear them for hours at a time without any irritation or discomfort. In addition to their sound quality and comfort, these headsets feature noise-cancelling microphones which helps give you the best audio quality possible during a conversation and most of them include adjustable booms on the microphone. You also get controls on each of these for sound volume and to mute the microphone, either on an earpiece or in-line through a controller.
    November 23, 2015
  • A USB hub lets you easily connect numerous USB cables to a single device which acts as part of a larger network. This lets you work around limitations you may have on the number of USB ports in your computer and can make it easy for multiple devices to be shared within a network. The best type of hub for you will depend primarily on two things, the first being what version of USB technology you need, and second, how many ports you need. Most models out there support USB 2.0 because so many devices still use that standard but the best performance comes from a USB 3.0 hub. While a wide range of different models are available, most of them have about half a dozen ports. If you need more connections, many manufacturers make larger versions.We’ve chosen these as the best USB hubs because they offer you support for at least USB 2.0 specification although USB 3.0 is even better if it will work with your hardware. You get at least four ports on these hubs which gives you a lot of options for connecting your devices and some of them also provide you with seven (or even 10) ports if you have a lot of devices to connect. All of these hubs include backwards compatibility so you can choose a model that’s a bit better than what you need but it will still work with older hardware.
    November 23, 2015
  • Case fans move air in and out of your computer case and are important components to consider when you’re working on building a high performance computer. Having fans which perform well keeps your system essential components cool enough so they have a long operating lifespan and allowing higher overclocks on your CPU's and GPU's. When choosing the best fans for this list, we first looked at how much air they can move which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM); the picks on this list all have a minimum air flow rating of between 62 and 134 CFM. We also took into consideration the decibel (Db) levels these fans operated at. The fans I've chosen here all operate at exceptionally quiet sound levels of between 23 and 38 decibels while still maintaining an excellent level of cooling airflow throughout your computer case.
    November 03, 2015
  • Computer cases can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from bizarre custom models designed to look like spaceships, to more toned-down boxes intended for the average computer user. If the motherboard is the central nervous system of a computer, and the CPU is its heart, then the case is the body of the system, which has to protect and support all of the other pieces. That makes it every bit as important to carefully consider your computer case before you buy it, and choose the perfect one for your needs. Whether you're interested in water cooling or optimal airflow, you will find the right model here for your needs. Consider towers designed to reduce noise output, as well as the best ones that go easy on your wallet. There's also a wide range of sizes based on the type of motherboard you're using, so consider if you need a mini-ITX case or a full tower capable of housing a dozen or more hard drives. Choosing the right case can seem deceptively simple, so take a look at the computer case buyer’s guide below to know exactly what to look for before making a choice.
    October 14, 2015
  • Network attached storage allows for digital storage available across a wired/wireless network. Many implementations focus on redundancy, performance, or throughput. The better NAS devices are simple to use, feature excellent cooling options, and function reliably to allow for maximum uptime for accessing digital media over a local area network. Many NAS devices allow for multiple hard disks to be inserted within the unit to increase the storage pool and offer RAID support for physical disk redundancy, or through duplication within Windows Home Server. Before making a selection, take a look at the NAS buyer’s guide for more information and suggestions on the best option for your setup.
    October 13, 2015
  • Webcams cover a wide range of devices designed to capture video images and send them to a computer or network. These cameras are usually pretty small, often designed to hook onto a monitor or sit next to a computer on your desktop. There are also webcams designed as part of other hardware, usually integrated into a computer monitor, tablet, or laptop. As internet streaming has become faster and more widely available, webcams have advanced to include high-definition video and other convenience features. With so many different models available (and a number of accompanying technical specifications) to consider, you should check out our webcam buyer’s guide below to determine which one is best for you.
    October 13, 2015
  • Wireless adapters let your desktop computer receive a signal from a router or similar device to connect to a wireless network. They typically come in one of two primary designs, either internal or external adapters. Internal cards install directly onto the motherboard of a computer, typically in some type of PCI slot. These usually have one or more antennas that stick out the back of a computer to find the wireless signal, send, and then receive data over a network. External devices, on the other hand, usually plug into a computer through an input slot such as a USB port. These devices come in a fairly wide range of designs and can either run small enough to easily fit in your pocket or end up being a bit larger. Internal antennas are quite common in such devices so they can remain small although some of them also have external antennas which can fold or flip out of the adapter. Be sure to look at the wireless adapter buyer’s guide below to help you pick just the right model for your system.
    October 13, 2015