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Kenneth H.

Kenneth H.

Joined on 09/01/04

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Most Favorable Review

Great for LAN/gaming parties...

TP-Link 5 Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch - Ethernet Splitter | Plug & Play | Fanless | Sturdy Metal w/ Shielded Ports | Traffic Optimization | Unmanaged | Limited Lifetime Protection(TL-SG105)
TP-Link 5 Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch - Ethernet Splitter | Plug & Play | Fanless | Sturdy Metal w/ Shielded Ports | Traffic Optimization | Unmanaged | Limited Lifetime Protection(TL-SG105)

Pros: - This thing is TINY! Barely wider than the 5 RJ-45 ports across the front, ~4" x 4" x 1". - 5 ports of gigabit goodness!!! - It's cheap (currently $25), but this may end up being a con as well (if its price point reflects its quality) - Supports IGMP snooping and 802.1p QoS - Supports up to 9k jumbo frames - Supports up to 4k ARP table - Each port has link/activity lights - All metal construction, doesn't feel cheap - Screw holes in the bottom for vertical mounting - AC adapter is the narrow type (the prongs are in-line with the overall length, not perpendicular) so it only uses 1 outlet on most power strips - Great/cheap switch to give the teenagers for gaming with their friends - Auto-MDI/MDIX means you don't have to worry if your cable is straight-thru or crossover - So far, I've seen REALLY good response from the TP-Link support staff here. They seem to have a genuine concern for their products/reputation (more than you can say for a lot of other vendors)

Cons: - Un-managed switch - Touted as 5 port, but I'd consider it 4+1 (the uplink is the +1, but at least it's gigabit too) - Rubber stick-on feet always tend to come off over time - Manufacturer's MTBF not listed for this product, combined with another reviewers report of questionable capacitors

Overall Review: Not really sure how you could go wrong with this product in 95%+ of home consumer situations. The features are a little lack-luster for me, but as a networking guy by trade, my requirements are considerably higher. The power adapter is 9V 600mA tip positive output.

Most Critical Review

It's OK, nothing spectacular and sometimes frustrating

BUFFALO LinkStation 421e Diskless Enclosure High Performance RAID NAS Personal Cloud Storage and Media Server - LS421DE
BUFFALO LinkStation 421e Diskless Enclosure High Performance RAID NAS Personal Cloud Storage and Media Server - LS421DE

Pros: - Overall Easy setup - be patient, first boot takes a while - DLNA streaming was easy to setup and TVs/Blu-Rays found the NAS with no issues - Didn't experience the firmware nightmare issue (1.01-0.53) - although the drive I used was new out of the box and not one that had already been formatted - Better management GUI than older/previous Buffalo NAS owned

Cons: - Took repeated attempts to configure WebAccess with manual configured account (dyndns) - Couldn't get the WebAccess app for mobile devices to work with manually configured dyndns account - buffalonas.com would not set up an account - Price point too high for empty enclosure - WebAccess randomly turned itself off - Drive mounts are really flimsy - PDF manual is lacking - difficult to understand - No option to install my own cert for SSL/HTTPS

Overall Review: Others have posted some more technical information on this enclosure, but I wanted to add something more of a typical user's experience. Overall, I personally think the price point is about $50 too high considering it doesn't have any drives. I would be more likely to consider it at around the $99 mark. It is nice that it supports 2x >4TB drives, but I currently only have 1x 1TB drive installed (until I can see how it performs for a longer duration). I travel almost every week for work and it's nice to be able to keep all of my movies and music on this at home and stream them through the WebAccess. Even at my hotel now, it seemed to stream a 1080p movie well on the limited hotel bandwidth. I am disappointed, however, that the iPhone/iPad app didn't work with the manually configured account - I believe the only real reason for the buffalonas.com account is to act as a dynamic DNS server so that they keep up with whatever your external address is - so I'm not really sure why a manually configured account for webAccess should cause any problems, but my experience was that it did not work. I can reach the NAS on my phone/iPad through the browser, but can only see photos as the audio and video streaming doesn't work through Safari. I haven't had any issues streaming through WebAccess on my laptop, though. When I'm at home, I can easily connect to the NAS with DLNA through my TVs and Blu-Ray players. I added some content to test with and was easily able to view pics, stream audio and video. I'm hoping to set up the FTP in the next couple of weeks to test having my wireless security camera write image/video captures to the NAS. I'll update this once I get a chance to test that.

Super compact for the capacity!

SanDisk 1TB Portable SSD - Up to 520MB/s, USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 - External Solid State Drive SDSSDE30-1T00-G25
SanDisk 1TB Portable SSD - Up to 520MB/s, USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 - External Solid State Drive SDSSDE30-1T00-G25

Pros: - Small physical size - Large storage capacity (1TB) - Has attached keychain loop for convenient carry

Cons: - Slower than advertised with respectable setup

Overall Review: - Tested with USBDeview v3.05 and Crystal Disk Mark v8.0.4b - Advertised "up to 520 MBps" transfer rate, fastest observed during testing was 463.5 MB/s - Device is USB C, a USB C/USB A cable is provided (expect USB C/USB C required for faster throughput)

The Light's Not Bad...

Rosewill 2-in-1 Portable Streaming Tripod with Ring Light and Phone Holder | 3 Light Modes, 10 Brightness Levels, 360 Degree Rotation, USB Powered (RABH-20018)
Rosewill 2-in-1 Portable Streaming Tripod with Ring Light and Phone Holder | 3 Light Modes, 10 Brightness Levels, 360 Degree Rotation, USB Powered (RABH-20018)

Pros: - The light is literally the only thing I can find positive about this setup. 3 color temps with 10 brightness/intensity levels. The controls are fairly intuitive.

Cons: - Very cheap construction, seems like it's going to fall apart at any moment. Tripod poles are thin aluminum tube construction and feel like they will bend quite easily.- The phone holder will NOT open wide enough for some phones (iPhone 12 Pro Max in Otter Box Prefix case).- The holder clamp slides no matter how tight with a typical phone. It MIGHT hold up an iPhone 12 Mini or similar, but didn't have one available to try.- While the light IS the best part of this product, it is very cheaply made, as well. The plastic is flimsy and probably wouldn't survive a drop from the top of the tripod if it fell off.

Overall Review: I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend this product to anyone. Granted, at the price point you can't expect something like Manfrotto, but it could still be better. I'm usually pretty happy with Rosewill products and have included some of their stuff in a number of my builds over the years, but this, this is a miss. It might be semi-usable with some mods, but as shipped, it's pretty much a paperweight/doorstop for me.

Do Not Buy

Rosewill Compatible Black Toner Cartridge Replacement for HP 12A Q2612A
Rosewill Compatible Black Toner Cartridge Replacement for HP 12A Q2612A

Pros: - Fit the toner slot - Recognized as compatible toner cartridge (no errors)

Cons: - Print so light it's barely readable (even after shaking as recommended, running a cleaning cycle, and increasing print density to maximum)

Overall Review: - Will never buy this product again, would never recommend to anyone

Ehhh...it's OK...if you can get past setting it up

D-Link DCS-5010L Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera
D-Link DCS-5010L Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

Pros: - Night vision was much better than I expected...although I only tested it in a typical size bedroom (home office) and the garage, but it was more than sufficient for that environment. Even in total darkness, everything was clearly visible. - P, T, and not really, but almost Z...pan and tilt functions worked, albeit somewhat clunky with the various mobile apps - zoom was just a 1x, 2x, etc. image size and not really true zoom of the lens (this also appeared to only be available from the web management GUI access to the camera and not in the mobile apps) - Slim-line AC adapter (saves room on the power strip) - Ability to invert/mirror image if mounting upside down (from ceiling) (this feature is only available from the direct web management GUI)

Cons: - Cheap construction, everything seems loose - P/T function is not 360* - 802.11n capability is only in 2.4GHz spectrum, come on D-Link...it's 2013, give us a 5GHz 802.11n client radio - Camera and mount are rather large - Serious PITA to set up emailing of "events", still image or video clip - Image quality is only 640x480 - The auto day/night feature is problematic at best, it seemed to randomly jump back and forth between the two modes...ended up just setting it to night mode so it would always be able to "see" - Lighting changes within a selected motion detection area is enough to cause a triggered event - Documentation wasn't very intuitive for walking through the initial setup, unless you have a D-Link Cloud Router (I do not)

Overall Review: After initial configuration, I updated the firmware. It never came back up during the upgrade process, I eventually got tired of waiting and unplugged it and it came back up with the new firmware (luckily it didn't brick it). I should've known at that point that this was going to be an adventure. I'm not sure I'd recommend this camera to someone who wasn't pretty technically savvy. Original intention was to put in the garage to keep an eye on my car while travelling and have it email me stills/clips when any motion is detected within the defined area. Good idea in theory, but more difficult to set up to do that then it should be. I was finally able to get an email account configured to work with the event notification feature (took a bit of research and trial/error to find the right ports) but got notification to a gmail account working. Hotmail/MSN, work email, etc. just wouldn't work for the relays (even though I had the required info). Honestly, this is probably my biggest complaint (along with the clunky P/T feature)...as a cloud device, I should be able to just enter an email account and password for where I want to send the images/clips on notification into the cloud account and have it proxy everything for me. With the issues encountered getting the email notifications set up, I didn't even attempt the FTP capability.