The next time you go to your favorite big-box retailer for a bit of tech, think beyond the item you are there to purchase. The item you are there to get is only one component in a collection of gadgets and tools that make up a not inconsiderable investment.
Investing in Tech
That is why at least one of the product you buy should be a device and service to protect the other products you buy. Consumer electronics are high on the list of things thieves want to steal. They are easy to resale and difficult to trace. If you just recently set a large-screen TV box out on the curb, you can be sure that it has caught the eye of someone whose attention you do not want.
Fortunately, there are a number of DIY home security systems that allow you to protect your home with monitoring that costs as little per month as other companies charge per week. Companies like Alarm Relay offer a system that installs as easily as plugging it into power, and directly into an ethernet port on your wireless router.
Other products on the market offer similar ease of setup. Features, options, and pricing vary. It all depends on what you want and need. The point is that with these newer security systems, you are in control as opposed to a Gian corporation. So whether home or apartment, be sure to protect your investment with a security system designed for the mobile, digital age.
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Among the products you will be securing is your gaming system. To get into AR/VR gaming, you are going to need a lot more than other types of games. You will be investing in a headset. And that headset may not be compatible with every system. The headsets are also rather expensive and represent no small investment by themselves.
You are going to need a powerful PC to drive these headsets. That $300 HP is not going to get the job done. You are going to have to plunk down $2,000 for a good rig and be prepared to go up to $5,000.
Once you have all the gear you need, you are going to want to clear out some space for you to stand up and move around. You will still have to pay $60 per game. Modern gaming is at a whole other level, but so is the investment. These are expensive purchases that will carry you for years, not months.
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There was a time when home automation had to be built into the home at the time of construction or else be a very expensive add-on with professional installation. But today, you can turn your home into a smart home one relatively inexpensive gadget at a time.
That said, a smart home makeover is still a major investment. There is no such thing as getting one smart home item. You need a special wifi hub for that item. It will be associated with a protocol, which in turn, has to be compatible with your smartphone.
Smart lights are more of an investment than just a few smart bulbs. And you will want those lights to be able to work with your alarm system, baby monitor, and motion sensors. All that has to work with your smart speakers such as an Amazon Echo or Google home. The HomePod and other Apple products are yet another consideration. Making your home smart is a lot more than a handful of small gadget purchases.
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A major tech investment people don’t often think about is their choice of cloud service. These days, you can’t get the most from a Mac or iPhone without iCloud. You quickly start relying on it to store all your photos, documents, and entertainment. Once you get up to a terabyte of storage, it is a non-trivial matter to migrate it to a different service.
The same is true for Microsoft’s OneDrive. Over time, you pay a significant amount to cloud services that serve as lock-in to a particular platform or set of apps.
Whether gaming, smart home, or cloud services, you are doing more than making a one-time purchase. You are making a long-term investment in a platform and ecosystem. So give it a little more thought beyond the sale price. Your future self will thank you.