We Got Served http://www.wegotserved.com Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:44:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Google and TP-LINK Reinvent the Router With OnHub http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/google-and-tp-link-reinvent-the-router-with-onhub/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/google-and-tp-link-reinvent-the-router-with-onhub/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:35:23 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74520 New AC1900 router rips up the rule book, offering a "new way to Wi-Fi".

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In a surprise announcement today, Google unveiled “a new way to Wi-Fi” in the shape of the OnHub, a $199 802.11ac wireless router and smart home hub.

Designed in partnership with TP-LINK, OnHub aims to simplify home networking.  “Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that’s fast, secure, and easy to use”, Google says.


Physically, the device re-writes the router rulebook. It’s cylindrical, for a start, with no external antennas, visible power cords or confusing indicator lights. Internal antennas and “subtle, useful lighting” encourage users to place the router in a visible location, improving network quality. It’s controlled via a Google On app, available on Android or iOS, which tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, allows you run a speed test, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help.


On the inside, the AC1900-rated OnHub supports a wide range of network protocols. Sure, there’s 802.11ac network support, but also Bluetooth 4.0, Thread, Weave (Google’s recently announced Internet of Things (IoT) communications layer) and 802.15.4 (on which Zigbee is based). As with most modern routers, OnHub offers simultaneous dual-band support with up to 128 device connections. It’s powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage.


According to today’s announcement, OnHub is loaded with additional features to make home networking easy. It scans the network environment every five minutes switching to a less crowded channel if it will improve your Wi-Fi performance. The device intelligently makes the switch when you’re not using the Internet so it doesn’t interrupt what you’re doing. The device will automatically update itself when required, further enhancing convenience for owners.

With blinkng LED indicators a no-no, the OnHub instead uses a glowing ring on the top of the device to denote status.


With society increasingly concerned about privacy and data collection, Google’s support documents for the device are making it clear that the router will not track Internet activity. However, OnHub does collect network performance data.

The information your OnHub and the Google On app collect helps us deliver the best Wi-Fi experience possible.Importantly, the Google On app and your OnHub do not track the websites you visit or collect the content of any traffic on your network. However, OnHub does collect data such as Wi-Fi channel, signal strength, and device types that are relevant to optimize your Wi-Fi performance. Google policies and terms of services apply as normal to any Google services you use (like Gmail or Google search), whether you’re using them on an OnHub network or not.

The Google OnHub, designed in partnership with TP-LINK is available for pre-order now in the USA for $199, with the device hitting stores in the USA and Canada next month. An OnHub device is expected from ASUS too shortly, with additional partnerships on the way.

More: Google OnHub

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Mistbox Targets Smart Home Efficiency for Your Air Conditioning http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/mistbox-targets-smart-home-efficiency-for-your-air-conditioning/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/mistbox-targets-smart-home-efficiency-for-your-air-conditioning/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:35:40 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74511 Smart home startup Mistbox aims to save you up to thirty percent on your air conditioning costs through evaporative cooling.

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Being a newcomer to North America – a continent that is blessed with far greater summer humidity than my native United Kingdom, I’m now an ardent air conditioning enthusiast. While energy costs are also considerably cheaper over this side of the pond, I’m always interested to save a few bucks where possible.


So, I was interested to hear from Mistbox this week – they’re a smart home company whose eponymous device can save you up to 30% or more on the cost of cooling your home, by boosting AC efficiency.  It hooks on to your central AC unit and a nearby water supply (a garden tap/faucet) and sprays a fine mist in front of the condenser when the weather gets hot. As the mist evaporates, cooling is enhanced, reducing the work (and power) required by the condenser to cool your home. The device is powered by a 96mm x 54mm solar panel that works with direct or indirect light, backed by a rechargeable battery for operation overnight.


mistbox-appAccording to Mistbox, this evaporative cooling process has been used industrially for decades, and has now arrived in the residential space. Development of the product was funded through a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, with more than 600 customers jumping on board.

Mistbox connects to your home network over Wi-Fi and includes a mobile app (iOS only at this point, but an Android version is on the way) to track and manage usage, savings and device settings.

Apparently, installation takes just a matter of minutes and full instructions are provided in the accompanying product manual. Once fitted, you’ll need to switch out a water filter annually to keep Mistbox in good order. Otherwise, you can expect the device to last for a ten year lifespan with a two-year manufacturer warranty included.

Mistbox is priced at $449 and US customers can take advantage of a 30% Federal Green Tax Credit which brings your outlay down to $315.

More: Mistbox


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Western Digital Bumps WD Black, WD Red Pro Drives to 6 TB http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/western-digital-bumps-wd-black-wd-red-pro-drives-to-6-tb/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/18/western-digital-bumps-wd-black-wd-red-pro-drives-to-6-tb/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:40:36 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74508 Western Digital this morning announced expansions to its lines of WD Black performance desktop and WD Red Pro NAS hard drives, that sees maximum capacities boosted to 6 TB.

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Western Digital this morning announced expansions to its lines of performance desktop and Pro NAS hard drives, that sees maximum capacities boosted to 6 TB.

WD Black performance drives are targeted at gamers and professionals in need of high-performance desktop systems and workstations. They WD combine 7200 RPM spin speed, 128 MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 6 gigabits per second (Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor to optimise performance. According to today’s announcement,  the WD Black 6TB is up to 29% faster than the previous WD Black 4TB version in maximum data rate throughput and 10% faster in PCMark Vantage. They’re covered by a five-year limited warranty.

The new WD Black performance drives offer the following highlights:

  • Increased Reliability –StableTrac™ Technology (2 TB and larger models) secures the motor shaft inside of the hard drive to increase reliability and help reduce impact due to system-induced vibrations from other components. By stabilizing the platters inside, the WD Black drive results in more accurate tracking in a particular sector during read and write operations, optimizing performance and reliability.
  • Increased DRAM cache – The Dynamic Cache Technology improves caching algorithms in real-time to allocate and optimize cache between reads and writes. This movement of cache for read data helps to reduce congestion and increase overall performance.
  • Efficient dual processing – A dual-core processor offers twice the processing capability as a single-core processor to maximize drive performance for faster read and write speeds.
  • Industry-leading 5-year limited warranty – Compared to standard hard drives, the WD Black drive endures more strenuous and aggressive internal testing over a longer period of time, resulting in it being backed by an industry leading 5-year limited warranty.

Meanwhile, having previously capped the range of WD Red Pro hard drives at 4 TB, Western Digital has expanded the hard drive line with the release of 5 TB and 6 TB capacities. The WD Red Pro family is focused on NAS (network attached storage) systems with up to 16 drive bays and serving businesses with more expansive storage needs than the standard WD Red drives.

Features are as follows:

  • Up to 16 Bay Shock Protection – Equipped with a multi- axis shock sensor, the drive automatically detects subtle shock events and, along with dynamic fly height technology, adjusts each read-write function to compensate and protect the data, further protecting the drive in large 1- to 16-bay NAS environments.
  • NASware 3.0 – Exclusive advanced firmware enables seamless integration, robust data protection and optimal performance for systems operating in the demanding NAS environment.
  • Vibration Protection – Hardware vibration compensation technology monitors the drive to correct both linear and rotational vibration in real-time, further increasing drive reliability and enabling high performance in higher vibration systems caused from drive to drive vibration as well as from the high-speed fans used to cool the larger systems.
  • Longer Warranty Coverage – Complimenting WD Red drives at a 3-year limited warranty, WD Red Pro offers longer warranty coverage with a 5-year limited warranty.

Pricing for the WD Black 5 TB drive (model # WD5001FZWX) is $264.00 USD and the WD Black 6 TB drive (model # WD6001FZWX) is $294.00 USD. On the NAS side, expect the WD Red Pro 5 TB drive (model #: WD5001FFWX) to be $269.00 USD and $299.00 USD for 6 TB (model #: WD6001FFWX).

If you’re still trying to figure out which is the best hard drive for you, check out our extensive guide.

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Energenie Announces New Smart Home Devices http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/17/energenie-announces-new-smart-home-devices/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/17/energenie-announces-new-smart-home-devices/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 23:14:46 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74492 Energenie, makers of energy saving devices, has announced a new range of energy monitoring and smart home systems.

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Energenie, makers of energy saving devices, has announced a new range of smart energy-monitoring systems.

The MiHome range from Energenie comprises of a number of modular devices that communicate with not just each other but a whole host of external factors. The current full list of MiHome devices consists of:

  • MiHome Heating – for zoned heating control
  • MiHome Light – integrated control of wall and ceiling lights
  • MiHome Socket – integrated control of devices and appliances
  • MiHome Adapter Plus – manage devices and record consumption
  • MiHome Home Adapter – control devices and appliances
  • MiHome Home Monitor – live energy recording
  • MiHome Meter – energy data for your whole house


Each device can be used on its own or with other components and all communicate with  iOS and Android applications as well as PC and Mac applications.

Some components simply plug into sockets and can control the appliance connected to it while others take a little extra wiring to replace wall sockets and light switches. With products like the MiHome Adaptor Plus you can not only control the appliance connected to the mains but also find out how much power it’s using in real-time or over time.

With IFTTT integration it’s possible to set up recipes to control the lights, heating or any mains-powered appliance using a vast number of factors including Facebook, the weather or your mobile device’s location among others.

Kits start from £70 and are available now. Check back to get our take in upcoming reviews!

More: Energenie

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iON Announces New SnapCam and SnapCam Lite Wearable Cameras http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/17/ion-announces-new-snapcam-snapcam-lite-wearable-cameras/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/17/ion-announces-new-snapcam-snapcam-lite-wearable-cameras/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:32:20 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74461 iON Camera has added two new cameras to its lineup, the SnapCam and SnapCam Lite. These tiny cameras, measuring 1.5 inches square and weighing just 33g, make it very easy to capture special moments without removing yourself from the action.

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iON Camera has added two new cameras to its lineup, the SnapCam and SnapCam Lite. These tiny cameras, measuring 1.5 inches square and weighing just 33g, make capturing moments without detaching from the event very easy.


With no viewfinder and no display, the cameras just need a tap to get working. A single tap on the front of the camera will capture a single 8MP still image. Tapping twice will start video recording at 720p 30fps and can be stopped with one more tap. Pictures and videos are stored to a microSD (not included).

The SnapCam offers WiFi capability allowing pictures and videos to be viewed live from a smartphone so you can view, edit and remove pictures on the go. Using the iON app users can set the SnapCam to automatically upload images to Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels. Available for £129.99 the SnapCam comes in ‘titanium’, white and silver. It also comes with a magnet clip for easy mounting and attaching to clothing, etc.

The cheaper SnapCam Lite offers all the same features as its counterpart minus the WiFi connectivity. The Lite comes in fire engine red and icy blue, making it stand out a bit more than the SnapCam and is available for £49.99.

Both cameras offer USB connectivity for charging and to allow pictures and videos can be transferred to a computer. A week-long standby battery provides 5,000 stills or 2 hours of video recording in one charge, allowing the SnapCam to likely last through most events without worry.

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Tip: Update Your Xbox One Controller Firmware to Stay Connected http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/14/tip-update-your-xbox-one-controller-firmware-to-stay-connected/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/14/tip-update-your-xbox-one-controller-firmware-to-stay-connected/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 18:09:12 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74452 If you're experiencing wireless connectivity issues, an Xbox One Controller Firmware update may be in order. Here's how to do it.

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One lunchtime this week, I took a break from writing and picked up my Xbox One Controller for a quick 90 minutes on FIFA 15. As usual, I pressed the centre Xbox button to connect the controller to the console wirelessly, but was surprised to see that it didn’t connect. The Xbox button light simply flashed at me with uncaring disdain.

“No problem”, I thought, “I’ll just sync it once again”. That’s what I did, pressing the sync button on both the controller and the console. Still, there was no connection. So, I rebooted the Xbox One. Same deal. Switched the controller battery over – no change.

Defeated, I connected a USB cable between the controller and console, and lo! The controller sprang into life. Testing navigation – just to be sure the controller was working correctly, I came across a Settings menu I hadn’t previously explored, called Devices & accessories. Perhaps something had been accidentally disabled on the controller?



I selected the controller in the menu that popped up and was surprised to see an Update option available.


In the darkest corners of my memory was the fact that Xbox One controllers had upgradable firmware.  While it would be a long shot, the tech fairy godmother always told me that if I ever had a problem with a piece of kit, check for an update before throwing it out of the window. So, I hit the Update button.



The update took a minute or so and when complete, I was presented with the option of updating other controllers.


I exited, then pulled out the USB cable from the controller to see if it would now connect wirelessly. This time, it connected in a couple of seconds – normal service was resumed.

So, if you’re experiencing connectivity issues with your Xbox One Wireless Controller, maybe it’s time for a firmware update too.

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How to: Watch Live TV on Your Xbox One http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/14/how-to-watch-live-tv-on-your-xbox-one/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/14/how-to-watch-live-tv-on-your-xbox-one/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:08:57 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74405 With Microsoft recently announcing forthcoming DVR features for the Xbox One, it's a good time to re-evaluate the potential of the console in your living room. First up, let's check out Live TV.

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With Microsoft recently announcing forthcoming DVR features for the Xbox One, it’s a good time to re-evaluate the potential of the console in your living room. Having been an Xbox One owner since day one, I’ll admit that I’ve been disappointed with the console in its first eighteen months. There has been limited differentiation on the games front and it has taken a long time for Microsoft to build out media features that really should have been available at launch. So far, so meh.

In the last few weeks, much has changed. Perhaps my favourite feature in Windows 10 is the ability to stream games from Xbox One to any PC running the OS on your network. It’s a game changer. Now, you can store the (reasonably bulky) Xbox One out of sight (mine is in the kids’ den in the basement) and use a small, home theater PC like the Intel NUC to stream games to your TVs. It’s a really neat solution that has worked well for me in the last few weeks – sure, there are still some glitches to work out and you’ll need a decent home network – but I’ve found myself using the Xbox One far more than before.

With the promise of over-the-air DVR features on the way next year, the Xbox One will be able to record your favourite TV shows and movies when your back’s to the wall in Halo. Again, streaming those recorded shows to Windows 10 PCs will be a cinch, and there’ll be simple ways to play on mobile devices and archive to your media library.

Suddenly, in my house, the Xbox One looks like a real contender. The proof? I had the option of pre-ordering the upcoming Lego Dimensions (for the kids, right?) on a plethora of platforms. My choice? Xbox One. The future’s looking bright for the console and kudos to Microsoft for digging deep and accelerating feature development.

Stream Live TV through Your Xbox One

So, the first step to extending Xbox One’s media capabilities is to inject Live TV streaming. Live TV on Xbox One is available in the USA, Canada, Australia and another sixteen countries across Europe. Depending on your region, connectivity options vary. Firstly, you can choose to connect a cable or satellite set-top box through the Xbox One’s HDMI-In port.  For over-the-air digital terrestrial TV in Europe and Australia, use the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner (supporting DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television standards).

Xbox One Digital TV Tuner

In the USA and Canada, the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One does a very similar job for over the air (OTA) broadcasts,



Wherever you are, if you choose an over the air option, you’ll need to connect the adapter to a compatible antenna. You may find an internal antenna bundled with your adapter but expect best reception – with a greater number of channels available – via an external, attic or roof mounted antenna. In North America, check out the following sites to scope out what’s achievable:

AntennaWeb.org: http://www.antennaweb.org/
Mohu: http://gomohu.com/xbox/
TV Fool: http://www.tvfool.com/

Here in Canada, OTA channel selection is more limited than I was used from my days living in the UK, so for this walkthrough, I’ll be hooking up my cable box to the Xbox One and walking through the available features.

Connecting the Cables

If you’re going down the OTA route, first ensure you have your antenna connected and working. The antenna cable will need to terminate in a suitable connector for your digital TV tuner. In Europe/Australia, the correct name for the aerial connector is a Belling-Lee connector (invented at Belling & Lee Ltd in Enfield, United Kingdom around 1922 at the time of the first BBC broadcasts – my fact for the day, right there). In the US and Canada, the coaxial F-connector is used (designed by Eric E. Winston in the early 1950s, trivia fans).

Connect your antenna to the TV Tuner, and then plug the TV Tuner into an available USB port on the Xbox One. Simple.

If, like me, you’re hooking up your cable or satellite set top box (STB) to your Xbox One, the process is almost as simple. Connect a coaxial cable between your wall out and the set-top box, and then run an HDMI cable from the STB to the Xbox One’s HDMI-In port. Obviously, you’ll then need to run an HDMI cable from the Xbox One’s HDMI-out to your TV in order to see anything!



xbox-one-rear-2 rogers-cable-box-rear-2 rogers-cable-box-rear

Tidy up those cables and clip together with some cable ties and you’re ready to switch on and configure your Xbox One.


Power on your console, TV and set top box (if you’re using one). Locate and run the TV app.


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Amped Wireless Announces TAP-R3 AC1750 Router with Touch Screen http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/12/amped-wireless-announces-tap-r3-ac1750-router-with-touch-screen/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/12/amped-wireless-announces-tap-r3-ac1750-router-with-touch-screen/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:36:04 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74388 New Amped Wireless TAP-R3 router ships with 4" colour touchscreen for easier setup, without the need for additional devices.

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Amped Wireless this week lifted the lid on the latest touchscreen router to ship from their networking range.

The Amped Wireless TAP-R3 is a high-speed, dual-band AC1750-rated router, which includes a 4″ color touch screen display for easy setup without the help of any additional devices

It’s equipped with a total of 12 high power amplifiers and three high gain antennas (external and internal) to deliver up to 800mW of output power.

As usual, expect to find 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports available, plus a USB sharing port for connecting external hard drives and printers to your network. 


According to today’s announcement, the router’s setup is completed entirely on the touch screen display. After powering on the device, you’ll be guided through an easy to follow Setup Wizard. The TAP-R3 automatically detects your Internet settings, you provide the desired Wi-Fi network names and passwords, and you’re done.

The touch screen also allows for quick access to additional features, including the setup and management of guest networks, the Wi-Fi Access Schedule, User Access Controls and network monitoring options.


Other features include:

  • Extreme Wi-Fi Range
    Long range Wi-Fi for large homes and offices
  • Large 4″ Touch Screen Display
    Sets up in seconds with the tap of your finger
  • Eliminate Wi-Fi Dead Spots
    12 powerful amplifiers & 3 antennas push Wi-Fi through walls to eliminate dead spots
  • Ultra-Fast AC1750 Wi-Fi Speeds
    Move faster than ever with AC1750 speeds: 2.4GHz 450Mbps + 5GHz 1300Mbps
  • Guest Networks & User Access
    Create up to 8 networks for guests and restrict access to specific users
  • Wi-Fi Coverage Control
    Adjust the distance of your wireless network
  • Seamless HD Streaming
    Effortlessly stream HD & 4K videos to multiple devices at once
  • Parental Controls
    Block websites and set on/off schedules for Wi-Fi access

The $199.99 Amped Wireless TAP-R3 costs is available to pre-order today and ships later this month.

More: Amped Wireless

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Review: Buffalo MiniStation Extreme (HD-PZNBU3) http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/11/review-buffalo-ministation-extreme-hd-pznbu3/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/11/review-buffalo-ministation-extreme-hd-pznbu3/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:04:45 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74372 Water and dustproof, with advanced encryption and NFC support, the portable Buffalo MiniStation Extreme is an intriguing proposition - but does it deliver? Find out more in our review.

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These days, it seems that not a day goes by without a story of data hacking or leaks hitting the press. Data security is a hot topic of conversation the world over and while you may think it’s a more pressing issue for IT admins and data center workers, the security of your personal data is just as critical.

Of course, you’ve now memorised your 128 character password, which you change on a daily basis, right? OK, maybe that’s a little excessive but if you haven’t taken the time to strengthen your passwords, now is the time to do so. Even if you’ve locked down your PCs, online services and mobile devices with strong passwords there’s another area of weakness to explore. Portable data.

We’ve all heard the stories of government officials leaving external data drives on trains and planes, fully loaded with sensitive information that is completely unprotected. Securing portable data is an essential step in ensuring 360-degree protection. Features like Microsoft’s Bitlocker-to-Go is helpful for those PC owners that can be bothered digging it up (tip: use the Windows 10 search feature – it rocks!) For everyone else, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme may be worth a look at.

They’re billing it as “the most complete rugged portable drive on the market”, a claim backed up with features including advanced 256-bit hardware encryption, NFC support, IPX3 standard for resistance against water and IP5X standard for protection against dust.

The company sent over their 1 TB capacity HD-PZNBU3, which retails at $129.99, for review. A $199.99 2 TB model also hit the streets recently. Both portable hard drives are available in a choice of black, silver and red and include a limited three-year warranty. Let’s take a look.

What’s in the Box?

The white and red packaging of the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme is most notable for the inclusion of the Unlock and Go smartcard, which is included in-box. Alongside the MiniStation Extreme and smartcard you’ll find a USB 3.0 extension cable and a Quick Startup Guide (which made very little sense to me, admittedly). There’s no software CD, but you’ll find a couple of software packages included on the hard drive itself. TurboPC EX is designed to increase file transfer speeds to and from the drive while Backup Utility is “fully featured data backup and restoration software” according to Buffalo.



The drive itself is 3.51 x 5.04 x 0.71 in – the size of a small paperback book. It’s (just about) pocketable, but will slip into a bag or briefcase very easily. It’s USB 3.0 rated, which is obviously backwards compatible with USB 2.0 connections and includes a neatly integrated flex cable, which wraps around one side of the device. You’ll never be without your USB connection cable, now. A Kensington lock is also available to secure the drive to a desk – it’s tucked behind a rubber flap to keep it free from dust and dirt. A white LED indicator on the front of the device allows you to see when it’s powered on.

The MiniStation Extreme is sturdily built. According to Buffalo, it features US Military Standard shock protection, equipped with specialised internal bumpers that absorb and transfer shock away from the hard disk due to accidental bumps and drops from up to 2 meters. As mentioned, the drive is IPX3 tested for water resistance and IP5X for dust resistance, so it’s built for hard knocks, spills and maybe the odd trip to the beach.

Using the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme

Handily, there’s no need for an external power supply, which is convenient for a drive such large capacity. Connect it to your computer of choice and you can use it straightaway in unecrypted mode. A Mode Changer app – supporting both Windows and OSX – can be installed, which switches the drive into encrypted mode.


Annoyingly, should you decide to switch modes with data already copied to the drive, that data will be deleted during the mode switch. That’s really inconvenient if you’ve already packed the drive with those sensitive files you need to carry around.

The drive is allegedly compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs, but I was unable to encrypt the drive using OS X. Indeed, as Buffalo’s downloadable drive tools only support Windows, the MiniStation Extreme isn’t particularly Mac-friendly. I found that the Mac OS X version of the Mode Changer app crashed repeatedly when attempting to encrypt the drive. I subsequently discovered that the drive was formatted in NTFS mode, so it can work out of the box in Windows. To use the drive on a Mac, you need to install the ModeChanger app, then reformat the drive to HFS+ or exFAT and then run ModeChanger to encrypt the drive. This was not explained in the Quick Setup Guide and as a result, I assume Buffalo are sitting on a host of returned “defective” units from Mac owners.

While I understand that storage devices can’t support every file system out of the box (unless partitioned, of course – which some are), the device should be able to detect that a Mac user is trying to use the device and guide them appropriately – rather than crash the app every time. I was following the Quick Start Setup guide to the letter, running the ModeChanger_MAC app, as indicated. Why this issue was not picked up in testing, who knows – but the poor level of documentation and buggy software supplied with the device do not the user experience I’d expect.

Once a drive is encrypted, you can choose a variety of authentication methods – a trio of password, smart card and compatible mobile device (with NFC support) is recommended, but you can reduce this to a smaller selection if need be.


Buffalo includes an NFC-enabled smartcard in-box, which can be easily slipped into a wallet or purse. To register the card, you simply hold it over the drive.


While the smartcard worked well, there are reasonably severe limitations regarding mobile device support. In North America, NFC support is limited to the included NFC card because the drive doesn’t support unlocking from NFC-enabled smartphones currently available.My 2014 Moto X smartphone was classed as incompatible which, given the recency and relative popularity of the handset, was disappointing. I also tried a Samsung Galaxy S4 – also rejected – and I’m led to believe that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cannot be used either.

Note that Buffalo is careful not to mention mobile device support on the box, but it is mentioned in the app. According to Buffalo, certain NFC-enabled smartphones outside of North America (predominately in Buffalo’s home country of Japan) can be used to unlock the device.

I asked Buffalo for a current list of supported devices – you can download it via the following link: MiniStation Extreme NFC – Supported Devices_712015

Once enabled, the MiniStation Extreme’s secure mode provides 256-bit AES Full Disk Encryption (FDE) for your data – seriously strong protection. When connected, the drive will initially show an app called OPEN_HS which allows entry to your data. Once you’re authorised, you’re free to access the data on the drive. The inclusion of the smart card also ensures you can securely ship data to others by mailing the hard drive and smart card separately, protecting the stored data even if the hard drive is lost or stolen.


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Review: Canary Home Security http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/07/review-canary-home-security/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/07/review-canary-home-security/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 11:55:39 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74047 Home security in the modern world can be simple, elegant, convenient and not cost as much as most people think. For people with smaller houses or apartments Canary offers great features, delivering peace-of-mind at a reasonable price.

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I’m a bit of a DIY addict for certain things around my house. For example, I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted a motion-activated video surveillance system with automatic startup for when I leave my flat. With a Raspberry Pi, USB webcam and an Android device running some automation tools I got this set-up. I constantly ran into road blocks though. I would flash my phone but forget to back up Tasker and need to reset all of my automation. The motion detection would be too sensitive/not sensitive enough and sometimes my SD card would run out of space and it would stop recording. Sure, this package was cheap but it required lots of maintenance. 

Back in 2013 a product went up on Indiegogo which set out to make home surveillance easier. It smashed its goal. Looking for $100,000, Canary managed to obtain close to $2 million in the campaign, which lasted just a month. Canary started shipping devices to backers around the world this year and it’s also possible to order devices from their online store to US addresses. 

Let’s take a look at how well Canary has replaced my wobbly makeshift security system.

What’s in the Box?

Canary comes in a box not much bigger than the device itself, alongside a flat micro-USB cable, an awesome flat 3.5mm audio cable, a USB power supply and some stickers. When it comes to home security, one complaint I’ve heard numerous times is how complicated they are, with their miles of wires and components. While this is true for some systems, Canary shows us that this doesn’t need to be the case. The unit is equally minimalist in both appearance and set-up and, due to its appearance, people have mistaken Canary for something other than a security system. Because of this burglars are less likely to try to disable it making the system more useful (Canary does have an alert for when it loses power or network access, though).

Included parts

On the front of the unit you’ve got a super-wide-angle 147° HD camera while on he back are three ports: ethernet, micro-USB and a 3.5mm audio jack. Canary is currently available in black, white or silver.


Setting Up

The first step in setting up Canary is installing the Android/iOS app as it guides the user through setting up the system. The app goes through the configuration process in detail with clear images and takes just a few minutes.

Setup Process 1/5 Setup Process 2/5 Setup Process 3/5 Setup Process 4/5 Setup Process 5/5

After plugging in the power cable you can choose to connect Canary to your network over WiFi (2.4 GHz b/g/n) or with an ethernet cable. Once the Canary is activated, you can start monitoring your home.


Something I like is the way your mobile device communicates with Canary for the first time. Using the above yellow audio cable the phone and Canary must be physically connected in order to be activated. New users can be added to a system without the cable but need to be invited by an existing member.

Using Canary

Once the system is up and running, you’re presented with a quick walkthrough of the layout of the app and its features. The first screen shows you the current HomeHealth stats just below a ‘Watch Live’ button, which takes you to a live stream.

Canary’s HomeHealth technology takes various measurements of the air in your house to provide you with real-time information about the temperature, humidity and air quality. With one tap you can see this information graphed over the last 24 hours. From the app: “Canary detects overall changes in air quality caused by pollutants including iso-butane, hydrogen, methane, ethanol, carbon monoxide, cigarette smoke and cooking odors”. These pollutants aren’t split up but all shown as one ‘normal/abnormal/very abnormal’ graph. From this information alone you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between a CO leak and neighbours chain smoking outside your window but can help users make small changes to improve their own habits.

In the bottom left of the main screen is Canary’s current mode. There are three modes available: armed, disarmed and privacy. Armed offers video and audio recording with alerts, disarmed has the same without the alerts and privacy effectively puts the camera and mic into sleep mode. A circular LED beneath Canary indicates its current mode (green for armed, yellow for disarmed and off for privacy). Canary has an optional auto-switch feature allowing it to enter privacy or disarmed mode when users arrive back home and then arming itself when they all leave.

Using its ambient light sensor, Canary can detect when night falls and automatically enters night-mode with fantastic clarity. Showing a grayscale image, every object is very well-defined regardless of whether the moon is shining or if the room has no ambient light at all.

As you swipe up on the main screen you’re presented with a timeline of events. If you’re at home with Canary ‘disarmed’ and you missed something fantastic in the living room, you can easily play the video back from the timeline. If Canary is always armed or disarmed your timeline may become full, so the second tab displays solely the activity while Canary was armed. Lastly, there’s a third tab showing saved events.

Canary currently offers trial plans with a history of 7 days of cloud video storage at no monthly cost. When activities are saved they can be viewed for as long you want. With the trial users can save up to 50 video clips. Once the trial ends users will be able to view a 12 hour timeline and save up to 5 videos for free. If you want to increase this Canary will be offering monthly plans from August allowing longer timeline access and more permanently stored clips.

Canary Premium Plans

See more about the plans at http://canary.is/plans

I have had a couple of glitches with Canary from auto-arming/disarming failing to inconsistent playback. The former is possibly down to my phone not updating its location properly, though. It is simple enough to manually switch between modes. Canary actually has a capacitive button on the top of the unit which isn’t being used for anything at the moment. Perhaps this will be used for manual switching or something else in the future?

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Seagate Game Drive for Xbox is the Perfect DVR Storage Device http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/06/seagate-game-drive-for-xbox-is-the-perfect-dvr-storage-device/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/06/seagate-game-drive-for-xbox-is-the-perfect-dvr-storage-device/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 22:26:17 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74301 New 2 TB Seagate Game Drive is an "exclusively designed" USB 3.0 storage device with space for over 50 games.

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With Microsoft announcing upcoming DVR features for Xbox One, many will be searching for a high capacity USB hard drive to store their shows and movies. That’s right, DVR recordings must be stored on an external hard drive – the Xbox One’s internal drive is reserved for gaming and other content.

The freshly-unveiled Seagate Game Drive for Xbox (STEA2000403) looks like a great contender. This 2 TB USB 3.0 external hard drive has been “exclusively designed” for Xbox and as a result, looks almost like a first-party accessory.

It’s easy to set-up, with your Xbox One (or Xbox 360) automatically configuring the drive when connected. The 2 TB capacity is sufficient to store over 50 Xbox One games, ready to take over to your friends’ houses to play – all you’ll need to do is log-in to Xbox Live with your gamertag to get going.

Expect to see the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox at stores later this month, priced at $110.

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Samsung Announces New SNH-E6411BN IP SmartCam http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/06/samsung-announces-new-snh-e6411bn-ip-smartcam/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/08/06/samsung-announces-new-snh-e6411bn-ip-smartcam/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 15:58:18 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=74286 Samsung has announced the new SNH-E6411BN IP SmartCam - an entry level home security system that does away with the cables, installation hassle, and cost of a high-end surveillance package.

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We recently reviewed the Samsung SDH-B3040 4 Channel DVR home security camera system. We found it was able to provide a great overview of your home or business security, but for some users, the advanced features on offer with that system may feel like overkill. Samsung has now announced an entry-level home security system that may be better suited to those who just want to keep an eye on things when away home – without the cables, installation hassle, and cost of a high-end surveillance package.

The Samsung SNH-E6411BN IP SmartCam is the newest and cheapest addition to the Samsung home security range. It joins Nest, UCAM and Netgear in the home security marketplace, providing users with 1080p Full HD streaming and recording playback via an additional SD card.

Supported by a dedicated SmartCam app or a web portal for PCs/Macs, this small and compact camera includes a ultra-wide angle 128 degree field of vision, motion alerts, two-way talk via a built-in microphone/speaker and night vision up to 16 feet.


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Operating on the 2.4GHz WiFi band, the simple wireless installation will allow 7 days of continuous video even in the event of a network failure via an optical Micro SD card.



SNH-E6411BN IP SmartCam key features:

  • Full HD streaming. 1080p Full HD resolution
  • 128 degree Ultra-wide angle (Conventional cameras usually cover about 68 degrees)
  • Motion and audio detection and notification
  • Free smartphone app integration (Android & iOS) allows more than one user to access the camera so the whole family can feel safe in the knowledge that their belongings or house sitter are being watched over
  • Motion Zone Select – option to designate up to three areas of interest to detect motion
  • Two-Way Talk with built in microphone and speaker
  • Night Vision up to 16ft
  • Single Band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
  • Records and plays up to 32GB of video with an optional Micro SD card
  • Records more than 7 days of continuous video even if network fails
  • Flexible recording options: Continuous Recording, Manual Recording and Event Recording
  • Once activity is detected, the SmartCam can be calibrated to save the footage directly to an SD card

We’ll soon be taking a look at the Samsung SNH-E6411BN IP SmartCam and letting you know exactly what we think. It’s priced at $199/£99 and available now from your favorite online tech shop.

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