The tech you need to work effectively from home
Published Friday, April 3, 2020 3:00AM PDT Last Updated Friday, April 3, 2020 9:11PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- Like many people, you’re probably starting to realize how hard it can be to work from home. With pets, kids and any number of distractions, you’re realizing you may not have the right tools to be productive at home while waiting out the coronavirus.
So Consumer Reports looked at some of the common issues new work-from-homers are experiencing, and made recommendations on some tech that can help get the job done.
Problem 1: A lack of privacy
If you’re working from home and you’re not alone, you might want to try a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. They can keep you focused while your household carries on around you.
And you can still multi-task. The $90 Monoprice headphones Consumer Reports recommends have a built-in microphone for calls and videoconferencing. They deliver excellent active noise reduction and very good sound quality.
Problem 2: The old printer isn’t up to this new challenge
Like most of us, you probably haven’t needed a printer at home for a while. If your old model is up to the new workload, it might be time to get a new model.
If you print mostly text, consider the Brother MFC-L2710DW all-in-one black-and-white laser printer, which is about $250. Consumer Reports tech experts say the toner should run about $44 a year.
If you need to print in colour, you’ll have to spend more up front but could save on the cost of ink in the long run. The Canon Pixma G4210 inkjet all-in-one is around $350, but you’ll only spend about $6 a year on ink for its refillable tanks.
Problem 3: Too many people, too little bandwidth
If your house is suddenly packed with two people working from home, kids streaming movies and TV, and everybody needing fast, reliable Wi-Fi to do so, it may be time for a router upgrade.
The TP-Link Archer C3150 V2 sells for about $230, and Consumer Reports says its easy to set up.
If you have a big house, consider a mesh network. The eero Home WiFi (2nd Gen) system costs $300 for a three-pack. That will cover 5,000 square feet, connecting the modem you already have.
But remember to choose a strong password for your router and always keep the firmware up to date in order to secure your digital privacy.