Home Security can be Yours With 2GIG Rely

We’ve done many a review on cameras which assist in monitoring your home, but this might be the first time we do a review of an actual security system. Today we’re covering the 2GIG Rely Home Security Kit by Nortek Security & Control .

I’m going to focus on the basic kit that we were sent, but according to your needs, you can build on it even more.

2GIG Rely Kit 1 Contents

The basic kit comes with the Rely Security Panel, 3 thin door/window contacts, a passive infrared motion detector, and a four button key ring remote.

Rely Kit 1 Specs

The security panel is 3 1/2 x 5 x 1 inches. You can either hang it on your wall, or it sits on a flat surface with the stand to set it up at a 45 degree angle. An AC adapter and mounting screws also come included.  The remote to arm and disarm is small enough to fit on your keyring at 2 x 1 inches, and comes with a lithium coin battery.

The three thin door/window contacts have a magnet dimension of 1.3 x .435 x .312 inches. The sensors are 2.59 x 1.03 x .49 in. They also include batteries. Each one takes two CR2032 batteries.

Finally, there is the motion detector sensor. It detects motion within a 30 ft. by 50 ft. range. It also has the battery (3 volt lithium) included. It’s dimensions are also pretty small at about 3 x 2.5 x 2 inches. It comes with a few different mounting options. It will be immune to sensing your pets up to 55 pounds. If you have bigger animals, you might need to talk with the monitoring station you use.

Rely Kit 1 Setup

Once plugged in, you will need to download the 2GIG Rely app available for both Android and iOS. You’ll most likely be buying your kit through a dealer, and they will be able to tell you all you need to know to get it set-up. We did not actually do the set-up, as this system requires a monitoring service through Securenet or Aventguard. Again, your dealer will tell you all you need to know about setting that up. Here’s a video that explains how to set it up with your app, though.

2GIG Rely is Expandable!

We just received the basic kit, but you can buy more sensors, a wireless smoke/heat/freeze detector, a wireless glass break detector, window sensors, a wireless carbon monoxide detector, etc. This system really is versatile to work with your home security needs.

Here’s a video that shows what 2GIG can do for you:

 

If this product meets the need of your household, you can find a dealer near you on the 2GIG website. We haven’t been able to find the price of our basic kit, but found one with some of the extras on Amazon for $267.33.

We were sent this model to review, but not to keep, and no other compensation has been offered to us for our fair and unbiased analysis.

Reviewing the Apollo Cloud and Thunderbolt 3 Dock by Promise Technology

Promise Technology is a computer company based in California that is dedicated to improving storage capabilities for computers and the technology market. We had the opportunity to review two of their products. The 1st one is the Apollo Cloud 2 Duo- a personal Cloud storage system. The 2nd item is the Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

Apollo Cloud 2 Duo

credit: Promise Technology

If you need a massive storage system for files and photos, and don’t want to waste money on a monthly membership to the Cloud or some other on-line system elsewhere, then this is a great system.

It allows 40 users to have their own accounts on it at once, and you can access your content from anywhere and easy to sync from any device to your system from anywhere.

The software is smart, and can recognize faces and sort pictures into individualized albums if you roll like that. If you have Time Machine for macOS, that is supported as well. You can be assured that the info you store is secure with encryption of military grade.

This sleek, white tower measures 5.6 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches and weighs in at 2.64 pounds. It has a glowing light on the front that will change colors based on the status of the device. Thanks to an app you can download for your phone, you can control this light- among other things with some taps.

If you have a router with Gb port, internet connection(high-speed recommended), and a smartphone, tablet or computer, along with the free Promise Apollo Cloud app, you have what you need to get started with this great photo storage system- which you can buy with 4TB or 8TB of storage. The 2 TB model is $199, the 4TB model is $369 , and $449 will buy the extra storage at 8TB.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

photo credit- Promise Technology

Promise Technology has thrown their hat into the ring with this Thunderbolt 3 Dock (TD-300). We’ve reviewed a Thunderbolt 3 dock from OWC before, and you can see our review of that one here.

This Thunderbolt 3 Dock is $50 cheaper than the one from OWC, but it has less USB 3.0 ports(2 on front, and 3 on back). Still, five is better than the three most docks offer. There is the Gigabit Ethernet port to allow connection to your LAN. An Audio In/Out port gives access to your tunes. The SD 3.0 card reader is also a great feature.

The dock is about the same size and look as other Thunderbolt 3s. This one is 9 x 3 1/2 inches, and about an inch tall, weighing in at about a pound. It has a black matte finish on top, but is glossy on the sides.

Included in the box is the dock, an AC/DC adapter, and a Thunderbolt 3 cable. All other cables that you might need for connections like an HDMI cable is not included.

The dock is easy to use and setup right out of the box. There are no FireWire or eSATA ports like other docks, but these don’t seem to be extremely necessary for most people. The only other downside to this dock is that it only offers 60 watts of charging power, which can be useful, but if you need something more powerful, you will probably be paying more for an 85 watt device.

You can buy this product for about $249 off the Promise Technology website, or online stores like Amazon.com.

Disclaimer- We received both of these models for free to review by Promise Technology. No other compensation has been received for this fair and unbiased review.

PHICOMM KE 2P AC1300 Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router Review

Here’s another review from TheGeekChurch of a wireless router. These devices are always important in our technology-driven lives. This one is by Phicomm, a Chinese based company that is devoted to creating smart home solutions.

The Phicomm KE 2P AC1300 wireless router is dual band- which means it can work in two different bands at the same time. The KE 2P is an upgrade from their former KE 2. It’s up 100 Mbps from 300 to 400, allowing a better penetration of walls. And the 5GHz can reach 867 Mbps.

Now, you can have the fastest, best router, but the data speed will always depend on your provider and environmental factors. So don’t complain to us if this router doesn’t give you as fast a connection as expected.

The metal exteriors can be purchased in finishes of Moonlight Silver or Champagne Gold. It has a really nice look, despite looking like an alien ship, but the four antennae work together well to enhance the signal.

Another great feature is the PHICOMM Wi-Fi app you can download. This app allows you to see what all is using your signal, so you can boot off and block strangers trying to squat on your wi-fi signal. Probably the best for parents is the ability to set time limits on different devices using your wi-fi, so you can limit your kids from spending hours on-line. You can also set up a guest network to protect your password.

The best news of this wi-fi router has to be the price. Routers can be spendy, but this one only costs $59.99 on Amazon.com.

Chilipad Cube for the Queen Size Bed

I have been wanting to review the Chilipad for a long time now, as it was a device that I saw at CES 2018. Generally, I don’t get a chance to review anything like this, so I’ll try and just summarize it, in case the picture doesn’t make it obvious.

If you share a bed with someone, then you might have an issue with one feeling too hot, while the other feels too cold. In all honesty, I don’t know if my wife and I have ever had this problem, but we have been in a car where I was too cold and she was too hot.

Well, you can see where this is going, can’t you? The Chilipad is a way of regulating two zones of climate control on your mattress, so the hot stays hot and the cool stays cool. Think of it as the McDLT for the bed, and honestly, I am not certain what age group wouldn’t understand that reference.

Now, when this thing came to me, the box was huge. I wanted to do an unboxing video, but it didn’t really work out on this occasion. Needless to say, I opened the box to find the pad itself folded on top, and this particular product isn’t like an electrical blanket or cooling. No, this is a pad that lays atop the mattress itself, and I will explain how it works later.

Once I opened the product and took out the Chilipad itself, I saw two boxes within the big box. Each of them said this: “Inside this box is your solution. No more sweating, tossing, and turning. Only Sleep Nirvana.” Within these two boxes are a cube, cord, and a remote control.

Now, these cubes are the key to how the Chilipad works. The Chilipad itself doesn’t work with the power of electricity, like an electric blanket, but water power. Yes, there is water being pumped through the Chilipad, and the cube allows that water to be either hot or cold, depending on what side of the bed that you are on. So there is now plumbing going through your mattress, but not near as much water as a waterbed. I didn’t really want to test how strong these pipes were, but you need to attach a weird pipe to the cube. I don’t know if you should let a dog or cat on the Chilipad due to their claws.

Yes, there is a Single and Dual Zone option on this, but I have said this before. I don’t know if I need to say this, but the cubes have to be filled with water into order to work. What was funny was how I couldn’t figure out how to fill them at first. There is thing that unscrews that I actually thought was a dial.

Of course, a dial is not needed, as the heat and cooling function are controls by buttons on the cube. Of course, they can also be controlled by the remote controls, which require batteries, as I found out. Honestly, I am not certain why the remotes are needed, for you are going to have to sleep with these remotes to work them. I think it might just be better to just have the burden of leaning over and playing with the switches rather than stashing the remotes under your pillows or something.

So, is the Chilipad worth it? I don’t know, as it really depends how much comfort means to you. I used to love sleeping with an electric blanket, but I had settled for sleeping near a fan or a space-heater, depending on the weather. However, I can’t guarantee a temperature of 55 or 110 F. Not only that, it uses less power.

Yes, I agree that getting a good night’s sleep is important, and if this is of paramount importance to you, then the Chilipad is for you. Still, I need to let you know that it costs a pretty penny at $999.00 on the Chilipad site. At this point, you are going to have to ask yourself how much comfort is worth to you. It certainly is quite a product, and I would not be surprised to see more from Chilipad in the future.

Simplehuman 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror

I’m going to have to say that I believe that Simplehuman is one of those companies that really can make a home a home. You know how some people have IKEA furniture all over their place, and it makes their home a little less classy as a result? If there was a house with Simplehuman products all over, I believe it would make a home more classy.

After all, I think we all need products like the Foam Cartridge Sensor Pump, another great Simplehuman product that we had the opportunity to review. I believe that there would be many a bathroom that would benefit from this 8-inch Round Sensor Mirror, which we also had the opportunity to review.

The Sensor is for what happens when you get close to it, as the ring of light around it will illuminate. If it is somehow too bright, you can turn down the brightness by tracing your finger around the side, and it will adjust.

Believe me, that light is helpful. It can go from 100 to 800 lux, and the mirror itself is 5x magnification. I’m not one for doing make-up in the mirror, but something like this could really help out if you need to put your “face on”. Just a word of warning, the circle of light that the sensor mirror makes creates this odd ring effect on the eyes. It kind of reminds me of the way the replicant eyes would kind of glow in Blade Runner.

In case you are wondering where the light comes from, it is rechargeable via micro USB cord. I am told that one charge is good for five weeks, which means that you can use this for quite a while before you have to plug it in again.

So, yes, I would recommend this product from the get-go. It is available for purchase without any shipping for about $200.00 on the Simplehuman site.

The Simplehuman Foam Cartridge Sensor Pump

We’ve reviewed some items in the past from Simplehuman- including a rechargeable liquid sensor pump. This item that we’re reviewing today is similar, but different. This sensor pump is for foam soaps.

The stainless brushed steel is very elegant looking for a bathroom or kitchen. It actually comes in a variety of finishes. You can get brushed, polished, rose gold, and even Mickey Mouse(for an extra $10). The dispenser is rechargeable and will last up to three months on one charge.

The little disc pictured there is how it charges. The orange button pops out cartridges, which are easy to insert as well. It’s good to have the ability to turn it off if you aren’t going to be using it a lot during a certain time.

When the lid is down on top, the dispenser is waterproof, so you can easily clean it by running it under water.

The package comes with an included 10 oz. cartridge of foaming hand wash. The one we received was lavender, although there are other scents you can buy like cucumber, spring water, mandarin orange, fragrance free, and many more. You can get a single cartridge for $7, or save and get a 6 pack for $30.  There are also other brands of soap you can buy like EO, which is made with pure essential oil. The soap can be used for hands or dishes. You can get a six pack of the EO on the Simple Human site for $40. Amazon.com runs $72.90 for a similar six pack. Not sure why there is such a difference. There are more expensive brands as well.

The dispenser retails for $50 on the Simplehuman site (the price is $20 cheaper than the one we reviewed about four years ago). It’s a great little gadget for those who don’t want to push down on a pump. There’s also a 2 year warranty, so make sure to register your product!

Simplehuman was nice enough to send us this product for free to review in exchange for an unbiased, fair review.

iHome Bluetooth Headphones (iB90) and Color Changing Speaker (iBT76) Review

We’ve done many reviews of iHome products in the past. They’ve sent us a couple more more products for us to review, so we’ll do that today. We’re going to review the iB90 Bluetooth headphones and the iBT76 color changing speakers.

These lightweight wireless headphones with a long last battery (up to 43 hours of music and talk time) might not be of the same high quality as Beats or other more costly brands, but for what they do, they are well worth the money you pay.

Once you open them up, they are quick to hook up to any Bluetooth enabled device like iPhone or Samsung. From there, you can download an app called Melody which can be found in the App Store or Google Play.

Melody is a music assistant that will help you listen to songs without having to scroll through your phone. Melody works with Spotify, iHeart Radio and also NPR.

Here is a video on the Melody app:

As you can see, you can use this app with other iHome products, and with the headphones, you can simply tap the headphone to tell Melody what to play.

These headphones are also nice for answering calls, and you can use voice control to access Siri and Google Now. The have 40 mm drivers and enhanced bass response to provide a nice sound. Of course, the true audiophiles will probably disagree, but they are spending way more than $49.99 (on iHome’s site, or less on Amazon and other places).

Another product that works with Melody, and is very cool is the iHome Color Changing Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker. This item plays your music like the headphones do, but this lets you share your music with all around you, AND… it changes colors!

Yes, my favorite part about the speaker is that the lights pulse to the music, you can make them fade slowly, change quickly, or keep it on your favorite color.

The speaker has an option to use as a speakerphone with echo noise cancellation. And if you have iOS 10, you can know when to answer a call, as it will announce the name of your incoming calls.

It’s really portable, and comes with an attachable strap, so great to take to parties or picnics. You CAN hook it up to a stereo with a 3.5 mm in-aux jack, but that is not included.

It has up to 16 hours of playback on a rechargeable battery. If this works for you, you can buy it for $49.99 on the iHome website, or at stores like Wal-Mart.

Thanks to iHome for sending us these products to review. As usual, we are not compensated for these reviews, but we were sent these review items for free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Our Review of Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield Kit and Tabletop Stand Component

If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia,  Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands  and have a cell phone, you probably know that it is illegal to hold your phone while driving. But what is a person to do when using their Maps app to navigate? Maybe you want to be like all the people who make videos for social media in their cars? This windshield mounting kit by Nite Ize could be the perfect solution!

The Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield is composed of a couple different parts.  You get the windshield mount which is a metal ball on the end of a suction cup extension.

This attaches easily to the windshield, and adjusts for the viewing angle you desire. It also has a locking lever so you can lock it and release it quickly and easily. The Freemount bracket adjusts to fit most phones from 2.24 inches to 3.54 inches wide.

This kit can be purchased for $44.99 on the Nite Ize website. Here’s a video that explains how the system works:

There are other Steelie Nite Ize solutions for mounting your phone. We also received the tabletop stand component to review. A pretty straightforward system- this stand sits on your desk or table, and can hold a phone or tablet on the magnetic ball.

This system costs $29.99 on the Nite Ize Site and can conveniently tilt your phone at different angles. The downside is that the magnetic attachment on the back of your phone becomes permanent, but if you have the Freemount from the above kit, you could attach it to the Steelie on the tabletop stand. TaDa!

We were sent these products to review free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review, and the verdict from us is that these are both very useful products for those who want a system to hold their phones hands-free.

 

 

Gourmia GTA1500 Digital Electric Air Fryer, Griller, and Roaster

I was honestly surprised that I hadn’t heard of Gourmia before, but I have to say that this company has a definite mission to bring cooking technology that helps people cook meals easier, faster, and healthier. I was more than pleased to try out the Gourmia GTA1500 Digital Electric Air Fryer, Griller, and Roaster as evidence of their vision.

At first I thought that the GTA1500 was some kind of deep fryer, but I quickly discovered that no cooking oil or fat is required. That alone is going to make my arteries happy, and it works by circulating hot air around the food, which is more than enough to make food crisp and juicy.

In addition to being an air fryer, the GTA1500 also functions as a grill, steamer, convection oven, air saute and rotisserie. Yes, that is a lot, and the list of foods that it can prepare is just as numerous with pizza, grilled fish, beef kabobs, steamed rice, and a whole lot more, including brownies, for crying out loud.

The GTA1500 comes with accessories for cooking such as a classic rotisserie spit and spit forks. As you might have guessed, they are made for spinning the food so you can have that fresh rotisserie chicken from the get-go. There is also a frying tumbler that is good for stir-fry foods and French fries, without all the yucky grease. Then there is also a high/low rack for grilling, barbecuing, and frying.

Much of the recipes can be done in 15-25 minutes, which makes cooking rather quick. It is also pretty easy with a programmable lid, and you can see inside. Just to let you know, there is a vent for the steam. As for cleanup, it has a removable cooking pot that can be removed very easily.

All and all, I’m pretty pleased with this, and I’m wondering if I can review more of them. In the meantime, if you want to get on the Gourmia train, this GTA1500 is available for $199.99. It is available for a cheaper price on Amazon.

Leviton Part 3: Decora Digital

Leviton 3I suppose that this is a good time to end our discussion of the Leviton Decora Digital. I have to admit that this illustration looks like the product I reviewed last time.

The Decora Digital Controls has Bluetooth technology so you can use your Decora Digital Timer app to control, adjust, as well as time lighting for daily activities. Yeah, this does sound like the product that I reviewed.

So, the Decora Digital Dimmer and 24 hour timer with Bluetooth Technology, and it has Universal 450W 120VAC Dimmable LED and CFL, 1000W-120VAC Incandescent, and 1000 VA mark 10, along with 60 Hz Single Pole and 3-Way/Multi-location control.

Other features include an LED locator light which can be turned off via app, an automatic daylight saving time adjustment, as well as an astronomical clock that can automatically adjust to local sunrise/sunset times.

Anyway, you should be able to purchase this on the Leviton site for about $58.00.