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How to choose better gadgets

This is the only way we can make you stick to the pledge that you will no longer buy gadgets in blissful ignorance!

Have you ever thought why one power bank is costlier than another? Why hard disks are passe (almost)? Why you can still trust a cheating partner, but not a pirated anti-virus? How the dude who installed the `free wi-fi router' at your place made a fool out of you? How anti-radiation chips undo the harm done by the heap of devices around you? If you don't know the answers to the above, leave everything else that you are doing right now and read this buyer's guide.

Power Bank

Mobile makers have over committed and under-delivered on battery back-up, which is why power banks have become the new fad.Genius buys it like: I don't subscribe to the `I'll buy anything that's cheap and Chinese' school of thought because I want more than just the basics. My power bank should charge multiple devices simultaneously, not waste energy while charging the plugged-in device, and quickly charge itself and the devices. Then, it should automatically turn itself off when idle, should be certified for safety by safety certifications like EEE, 6 Way Circuit Protection or any other popular safety standard agency.

Techxpert: Sudip De, vice-president, Adata, says, "Unlike the power bank, your mobile device is not cheap, so, if you buy a faulty product, it will damage your device."

Anti-Virus Software

If you ever meet someone who has purchased an anti-virus and not downloaded a pirated version of it, most likely, you are hallucinating because such people don't exist, and this, when antivirus is one of the most crucial computer tools.Genius buys it like: Does my system have the RAM and processor required to run the anti-virus? Is the software itself compatible with my system? Will I be able to erase the data if the system gets stolen and click pictures of the thief when he uses my system? Does it have bootable rescue?

Will the anti-virus be able to defend itself when a virus tries to disable it? If it does all of this, I will buy it.Techxpert: Pankaj Jain, director, Eset India, says, "Sadly, security comes last for an anti-virus purchaser; price is first. The biggest loss of a pirated anti-virus user is that they don't get the support from the developer, so if one fine day, the system crashes, the user will have no one to go to for help."

An anti-virus should be anti-virus, anti-malware, antiTrojan, antirootkit, antiphishing, give email and instant messaging protection, be certified by independent testing agencies and labs, be fast, scan cloud and have 24x7 support mechanism.

Mobile-scan app

With growing internet activity on smartphones, a mobile scan app will soon be a must.Genius buys it like: My scan app should not consume too much battery, it should provide add-on features like tracking over and above basic scanning, blocking inappropriate websites and prohibiting downloads from non-Apple and non-Android app-stores, Most importantly, it should let me completely wipe out the data on the phone in case of theft.Techxpert: Govind Rammurthy, MD & CEO, eScan, says, "The app should warn any transmissions of contact lists and should have the ability to block the same, detect transactions that use mobile-wallets andor other forms of mobile-money and store records, transaction details on the cloud."


Don't just blame your mobile operator for the snailpaced internet; your `free' router might be at fault.Genius buys it like: I will buy a router that is capable of handling high-speed, that lets me create small networks with limited use for guests, has parental control, is low in radiation and lets me manage media and connects multiple devices.Techxpert: Subhodeep Bhattacharya, regional director, India & SAARC, Netgear, says, "A router is the hub of the digital ecosys tem, and if it's built around an ignorantly purchased router, all the thrill that you expect from your high-end gadgets will come to a naught."


These compact, superfast, durable and energy-efficient data storage solutions will change the way you store data.Genius buys it like: I'll buy an SSD as it's smaller, sturdier and faster than hard disks. It should preferably fit in the camera too, and have shockproof capabilities for accidental drops.Techxpert: M A Mannan, country manager - India, Corsair Memory, says, "No SSD is a poor performer but one with a 40,000 IOPS or more is better."

Radiation protection chip

With wireless gadgets starting to rule our lives, an anti-radiation chip, which protects you from electromagnetic radiation emitted by phones and other personal electronic devices, is a must-have.Genius buys it like: The chip has to be tested and approved for its capabilities at warding off the side-effects of benefits, by a medical institution in India.Techxpert: Pranav Poddar, MD, Synergy Environics, says, "A phone should not be used for more than six minutes in an hour and be kept at least 15-25 mm away from the body at all times. Since this is not possible, you need something, like an anti-radiation chip, that will let you use devices for extended time."

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