i-BRIGHT7x 4ft Smart Surge Protector by Tri Cascade – Review

i-BRIGHT7x 4ft Smart Surge Protector by Tri Cascade – Review



i bright

What we love…

Simple, easy to operate surge protector that allows you to turn on and off outlets using an app and also acts as a wireless booster and makes sure you don’t come home to a dark house.

What we’d love to see…

More outlets!  The ability to use 5G instead of just 2.5g for my wireless

Summary

Overall, this is a great product that you never knew you HAD TO HAVE!  I loved that I could bring one surge protector on vacation and charge my iPad/iPhone, boost my wi-fi and have more outlets at the same time!  it was a win win all around.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

How many times have you planned a trip away or gotten home late to a dark house.  With kids, life is unpredictable!  Thanks to the iBright 7X, walking into a dark house is a thing of the past.  Using a iOS app which can be accessed on your iPhone or iPad you can turn on and off the outlets at the top as well as set a schedule for them.  There are two always on outlets which are perfect for things like a speaker, lamp next to the couch or more.  It also features USB charging for your devices as well as a Wi-Fi extender.  I never imagined that a surge protector could be so smart and make my life easier!  It also allows me to control technology use, because I can turn on and off wi-fi via the app which means that I don’t have to worry it’s being used without my permission.

iPhone Screenshot 1

I loved that if I knew I was running late or going to be home at a different schedule, I could just change the cloud schedule for my outlets (which I did mark in the app so I knew what I was turning on and off!) so I didn’t come home to a dark, empty house with two kids.  That’s the worst feeling ever!  Having the ability to turn on and off wi-fi is perfect for parents of older kids, because you can make sure they do their chores and other items.  I had to be in town this week and loved that I could turn on the lights via the app as I was getting off the train rather than coming home to a dark house.    We brought ours on vacation because no only is it a surge protector and provides extra outlets we could use it to charge our devices AND to  boost wi-fi.  One small device so many uses!  You can use your computer or tablet to create a schedule, track performance and hourly consumption for the various outlets on the device which makes it perfect to really understand what your true usage is.  I loved the ability to schedule the outlets so that they were on when I needed them and off when I didn’t – but that I could override them.

In terms of enhancements, I’d love it if the Wi-Fi extender worked with my 5G network.  My 5G network works in most of the house, but once you get outside, it stops working entirely.  I was able to connect my 2.5G Wireless network and boost it so now we can listen to music on the deck via Pandora or iTunes without having to worry about using my data!

Overall, this is a great product that you never knew you HAD TO HAVE!  I loved not having to come home to a dark house as well as the ability to switch on and off outlets and monitor electrical consumption.  It helped me keep a better eye on what lights I did or didn’t leave on and helped me be accountable to it.  I loved that I could bring one surge protector on vacation and charge my iPad/iPhone, boost my wi-fi and have more outlets at the same time!  it was a win win all around.

The TriCascade is available from Amazon and other retailers.

BRIGHTenergy
BRIGHTenergy
by Tri Cascade Inc.

Category: Utilities, Productivity
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 3.08 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Tech

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Review of The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link

Review of The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link

TPLINK3

What we love…

Quick and easy set up, portable, simple to move between locations, dual band, can use with a Blue-ray or game console at the same time as using as signal extender

Summary

My house is a big challenge for a signal extender and although I did not find one ideal location for the RE200 that gave good signal in all areas of the house, I did see an improvement in WiFi signal throughout, and by moving it between 2 locations I could get a useable signal in all areas (which I could not previously).

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link is a Dual Band Range Extender designed to boost your WiFi signal in home or office locations where you have areas with poor WiFi signal or dead spots. The RE 200 plugs into a power outlet, and can also be used to provide wireless internet to a wired device such as a Blu-ray  player, Wii or Playstation console.

I have an awkwardly shaped house for WiFi signal – it is split over 3 floors with lots of walls and we have a lot of areas with poor reception and dead spots. I have used another WiFi extender in the past, but with it I have to keep switching between the main signal and the extender signal in different areas and still have dead spots, so I was interested to see how the RE200 would cope with this challenging environment.

TPLINK1

Setup

There are 2 ways to set up the range extender, if your router has a WPS button that is the simplest way, if not you need to setup via a web browser.

WPS  (WiFi Protected Setup)

My router does not have this button so I was unable to test this method but it sounds incredibly simple:

1. Plug in RE200, wait until WiFi light on RE200 is solid green

2. Press WPS button on router and Press WPS button on RE200, 2.4GHz and 5GHz LEDs will turn solid green once connected

3. Relocate the RE200 to preferred location (1/2 way between router area you are trying to extend coverage to.)

Web Browser Set Up

This is the method I used.

1. Plug in RE200, wait until WiFi light on RE200 is solid green.

2. Disconnect your Ethernet connection – this instruction confused me a little – disconnect it from where ? It actually just means if your computer is connected to your router via an Ethernet cable then disconnect it, otherwise do nothing.

3. Click on your computers WiFi to see available networks and choose TP-link-Extender.

4. Launch a web browser and connect to http://tplinkrepeater.net/, use admin as both username and password

5. Enter your router’s WiFi password and choose whether to keep this same name as your WiFi network name when using the RE200 or to give it a separate name. I choose a separate name  – it automatically suggested my regular WiFi name_EXT. Having a separate name allowed me to compare signal strengths with and without the extender in different parts of my house. If you choose to keep the same name as your regular WiFi network name you wont need to switch between networks in different parts of the house, making things very simple.

6. Repeat the setup for the other band (do once for 2.4GHz and once for 5GHz)

7. Relocate the RE200 to preferred location (1/2 way between router area you are trying to extend coverage to.)

Even though the non-WPS method has a lot more steps it was still very straightforward and only took about 5 minutes from start to finish.

If you make a mistake when setting it up (e.g. enter your WiFi password incorrectly) there is a recessed “reset” button on the base of the unit, a word of warning though – the RE200 must be plugged in when you reset otherwise the reset doesn’t work.

TPLINK2

In Use

My first challenge was finding a good location to place the RE 200 in, my router is upstairs in my kitchen, and I have dead spots in my bedroom (1/2 a level down and off to one side), living room (also upstairs) and office (full level down in another direction). One thing that made it a little tricky was that it needs to be located away from Bluetooth devices, cordless phones and microwaves, and I have a lot of Bluetooth devices in my house. The reason for this is that all these devices can interfere with the 2.4GHz signal, so you will get better performance avoiding them. The interference a typical household gets on the 2.4GHz band is a good reason to use a dual band extender like the RE200 (not all devices will work on 5.0GHz hence needing 2.4GHz also). The good news is it is really easy to move it between locations, after the initial set up it is just plug and go, when you move it to a new location just plug it in and wait for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz indicators to light green, and its ready to go.

My house is a really awkward configuration for WiFi signal, plus our incoming signal isn’t that strong (we have DSL but live quite a distance from the hub), so it is quite a challenge for a signal extender. I did find one location for the RE200 where I could get internet in all areas of the house, but the signal was still pretty weak in the far corners of the bedroom, this was still an improvement as there was no connection before in this area. However, I also found that by moving it between two different locations each one would improve my signal strength in different problem areas. The improvement in signal strength did vary significantly depending on the location of the RE200, and depending on whether I was using a computer or mobile device, in general the signal in the house was much worse on my mobile devices, so this was where I saw the biggest improvements. Once I had found the right locations I saw from 15% up to 100% improvement in download speed tests.

 

 

TPLINK1

The things I like about the RE 200 are: it is very easy to set up, very quick and easy to move between locations, it has both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands and can be used to provide wireless signal to a Blu-ray or game console at the same time as being used as a range extender. It worked better than my previous extender, and with my previous extender I found areas where my devices automatically connected to the extender even though it had no useable signal and I had to manually switch back to the main router signal in those areas, this did not happen with the RE200. My house is a big challenge for a signal extender, and although I did not find one ideal location for the RE200 that gave good signal in all areas of the house I did see an improvement in my signal throughout the home, and by moving it between 2 locations I could get a useable signal in all areas (which I could not previously).

The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link is available from Amazon and other retailers, retail price is approximately $50

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
DT4G™ Cellular Signal Booster by Wilson Electronics – Review

DT4G™ Cellular Signal Booster by Wilson Electronics – Review

dt4g inside It can be very frustrating to live in an area with poor cell reception, where dropped calls, internet connection issues and slow data upload and download times can lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time. We had this problem at my home for many years until a new cellphone tower was recently built nearby, and it has been a huge relief to now have good service; but I do spend quite a lot of time in an area in the Sierra Nevada mountains that still has these issues. I was happy to have the opportunity to test out the DT4G™ Cellular Signal Booster by Wilson Electronics to see if it could help.

Wilson Electronics are a company who specialize in products that boost your cellular reception. They have a wide range of cellphone signal boosters available, including options for the car, home and office. The DT4G™ is their newest home and office cell booster and works to boost 4G, 3G, and 2G data downloads. It works for subscribers of all US cellphone network providers except Clearwire. I tested it with AT&T.

DT4G

The DT4G™ is a multi-part system – it has an external antenna, an internal antenna, and a cellphone booster all connected by coaxial cable (similar to one you would use for cable TV). The kit includes everything you need for DIY installation, but this isn’t a 5 minute job, it does take a while to work out the best place for installation and to securely install the outside antenna.

Before starting I would recommend reading the instructions carefully and watching the installation video on the Wilson Electronics website. The system basically acts like a megaphone amplifying your incoming signal, so to get the best results you need to position the outside antenna where it gets the best signal. If you are unsure where the cellphone towers and antenna are in your area I’d recommend going to antennasearch.com to see the locations and help you find the best spot. Once you know roughly what direction the nearest cellphone tower(s) are in, you can put your phone in field test mode to confirm. For an iPhone if you dial 3001#12345#*  the phone will then enter field test mode. Simply put it displays your signal strength numerically instead of in bars. The number will be negative and the closer to zero it is the stronger the signal. At the home where I was testing the DT4G™ the un-boosted signal is typically  1 bar and -100 to -110 which is really, really bad! Walking around the outside of the house and testing the signal in different locations I found that location where signal appeared strongest was southwest side of the house, which was consistent with the direction of the nearest antenna I had found in my online search.

The outside antenna can be mounted in 3 ways – 1) on the roof 2) high up on a sidewall of the house or 3) stuck to the inside of a window. The installation kit includes mounting brackets for all 3 options, 1 is best; 3 the least effective option, but simplest installation. I tested both 1 and 3. For all 3 options the same general rules apply: point it in the direction of the strongest signal, place it as high as possible, separate the internal antenna from it by at least 20 feet (horizontal and or vertical separation), point the internal antenna away from both the external antenna and the booster.

DT4G Diagram

Window Mounted External Antenna

With an un-boosted signal at this location in the living room I have just enough cellphone signal to get email, I can usually connect to the web in parts of the living room but the signal is weak enough that I can’t watch videos or use my iPhone as a mobile hotspot. In the bedroom the situation is even worse – it often won’t connect at all in there. I first set up the external antenna on the inside of a window facing the strongest signal area, and set up the interior antenna in an adjacent room so that there was at least 20ft separation. The external antenna was mounted to the inside of the window using a bracket with suction cups. Although I did have cable running between the rooms it was quick and easy to set up.I found that the signal was much better as long as I was close to the internal antenna – within approximately 4-5 feet I could browse the internet, watch videos and use my iPhone as an mobile hotspot.

Roof Mounted External Antenna

For this option I sent my husband on the roof and he mounted the antenna to a pole on the roof, and I connected the internal antenna. I had him move the angle of the antennae approximately 22 degrees at a time, whilst I was using my iPhone in field test mode to check signal strength. Once we found the optimum position we kept it in that spot and tried the reception in different places. The internal antennae is in the bedroom (where we had next to no signal before) and now I can surf the internet, watch videos and use my iPhone as a mobile hotspot. The signal was good enough that I was able to connect multiple laptops to the iPhone and have them both connected to the web. I could also simultaneously download mail, surf the web and play a Youtube video, which would have been totally impossible before. With the roof mounted option I also found I had a useable signal over a much bigger area – I can watch videos and use the iPhone as a hotspot from the living room, which is 20 ft or so from the internal antenna. I now typically get 3 -4 bars, instead of 1 bar, numerically the signal varies but it is at times as good as -79 – much better than -110.

Download and upload speeds

I did use the OOKLA Speed test app to test the download and upload speeds with the boosted and un-boosted signal as I planned to be very scientific and show the results in several different locations with and without the booster. What I found was there was a huge moment to moment fluctuation in the speeds, both with the signal boosted and un-boosted. So you really couldn’t compare single readings at any location boosted v un-boosted, but instead could look at trends. Overall, the boosted signal speeds were noticeably better, but there was a lot of scatter – spurious reading both bad and good in boosted and un-boosted.

In the worst signal location the test was failing un-boosted, and boosted signal download speeds were about 2-3mbps. In other places the download speed was typically about 2x as fast boosted vs un-boosted, upload times were better overall too, but by a smaller % – closer to a 50% improvement.

 

The most important question for me is does the DT4G™  noticeably improve the performance of my cellphone ? The answer in my testing is definitely yes. Even though I still have a variable signal after boosting (which I suspect is due to location and not having a big tower nearby) it is much, much more useable. I can now consistently have enough signal strength to use my  iPhone as a mobile hotspot, watch online videos and be able to download apps and pictures, all of which were impossible 95% of the time before.

The DT4G™ Cellular Signal Booster by Wilson Electronics has an  RRP of  $399 and is available from many  retailers and online, find your local suppliers here.

 

recommended-by-the-imums

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
LINKASE PRØ Signal Enhancing Case For iPhone5/5S by Absolute Technology – Review

LINKASE PRØ Signal Enhancing Case For iPhone5/5S by Absolute Technology – Review


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Pros…

Simple, relatively inexpensive solution to poor internet reception.

Cons…

Won’t turn a really weak signal into a really strong one- a 1 bar improvement is typical

Summary

If you struggle with poor internet connection on your iPhone 5/5s I would recommend checking out the LINKASE PRØ – it will typically increase signal strength by 1 bar which can be enough to significantly improve performance

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you ever struggle with getting a decent WiFi, or 3G/ 4G signal on your iPhone ? I know I do. Absolute Technology have a simple solution to help with this frustrating problem – a case that improves your signal. The LINKASE PRØ  is available for the iPhone 5/5s, I tested it with the iPhone 5.

At first glance the LINKASE PRØ  looks like a regular simple Polycarbonate case. It comes in a variety of colors- black, white, midnight blue and pink, I reviewed the pink version. The iPhone slips easily into the case and the back and all 4 corners are protected against knocks. There are cutouts over the camera and all buttons and ports. There is no screen protection, so I used it with a stick-on screen protector to avoid scratches.

linkcase pro2

The real secret to the case is in two hidden 2 EMW elements. The EMW stands for Electro Magnetic Waveguide and they are like a flat antennae that is normally stored within the case, but when you want to use it you just pull on the tab to extend it. The upper one is for WiFi, the lower one is for 3G (4G in some areas).

The way that it works is that cellular phones use low level radiation for signal reception, but a lot of this energy is wasted. The EMW steers some the the radiation away from the body and into the open air this has 2 effects : 1. It improves the signal and 2. It decreases the person’s exposure to this low level radiation.

linkcasepro3

How well does it work ?

I frequently stay in a cabin that has very poor 3G/4G reception to the point that I can’t connect at all in some rooms and have very weak connection elsewhere, so I tested out the LINKASE PRØ there. I found that it did improve my signal by 1 bar (which is the level of improvement the manufacturers say to expect). Now this isn’t spectacular- it doesn’t turn a weak signal into a really strong one but it can be enough to make a real difference. Without the LINKASE PRØ I could check my email, but couldn’t use my iPhone as a hotspot for my computer and couldn’t watch Youtube or similar streaming videos. Using the LINKASE PRØ I was able to use my iPhone as a hotspot (thought it was still a slow connection at least it was a connection) and watch videos online. This was enough to make a real difference for me. An added benefit is that as the phone is having to work as hard to get a signal, it also improves battery life, the manufacturer quotes the battery life as increasing by 20%. This will only happen when you have the EMW elements extended so if, like me, you only extend them when you are actively using the phone the effect may not be so noticeable.

If you spend time in places with poor 3G/4G or WiFi signal I would definitely recommend checking out the LINKASE PRØ case. Don’t expect it to turn a really weak signal into a really strong one, but it will typically increases signal strength by 1 bar, which can be enough to make a real difference in performance. The LINKASE PRØ case is a simple, relatively cheap solution to the problem of poor internet reception on your iPhone.

Available online from AbsoluteTechnology RRP $39.95

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will get a LINKASE PRO case for iPhone 5/ 5s. This giveaway is open to USA and Canada only. Winner will be announced here and emailed, must contact the The iMums (info at theimums.com) within 48hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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