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Rob Archer


Xbox One S vs. Xbox One X

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S ATB

The Xbox One X is the most powerful and most expensive gaming console released by Microsoft. With its high price tag comes high resolution, ultra-HD, high dynamic range graphics, and performance enhancements for no-lag gameplay. (Shop Xbox One on Amazon)

While the Xbox One S does support 4K upscaling to play 4K Netflix and Blu-ray discs, it doesn’t support native 4K gaming like the Xbox One X. In the simplest of terms, the Xbox One X is the “true 4K” version of the Xbox One S. If you have a 4K HDR UHD TV, and an extra few hundred bucks, the Xbox One X is 100% worth the upgrade.

In terms of size, while the Xbox One X is the smallest game console Microsoft has ever released, it is only marginally smaller than the Xbox One S (we’re talking 0.2″ smaller).

Xbox One X
Introductory Price: $399.99
Check current price on Amazon

  • Size: 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.3 in
  • Weight: 8.4lbs
  • Released: Nov. 2017
  • Native 4K Gaming: YES
  • Netflix 4K: YES
  • Memory: 12 GB GDDR5 (9 GB available to games)
  • CPU: 2.3 GHz AMD 8-core APU (2 quad-core Evolved Jaguar modules)

Xbox One S
Introductory Price: $299.99
Check current price on Amazon

  • Size: 11.6 x 9.0 x 2.5 in
  • Weight: 6.4lbs
  • Released: 2016
  • Native 4K Gaming: NO
  • Netflix 4K: YES (upscaling, not native)
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR3 (5 GB available to games), 32 MB ESRAM
  • CPU: 1.75 GHz AMD 8-core APU (2 quad-core Jaguar modules)

The connectivity ports on the Xbox One X and Xbox One S are identical; both consoles offer the following:

  • 3x USB 3.0
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Built-in IR blaster


When the Xbox One X was released, Microsoft published the graphic below to compare the two consoles.

Remember, in order to benefit from the graphics of the Xbox One X, you have to use high-quality HDMI 2.0 HDCP cables, plugged into a 4K HDR UHD television/display. Check out the video below to see a side-by-side comparison of Forza Horizons gameplay on Xbox One S vs. Xbox One X:

Now with the all new Xbox One S Disk-less Edition, there’s even more to compare. Check out the comparison table below to see all three console’s features stacked side-by-side.
New Xbox Diskless Comparison

101+ Clever & Funny Wifi Network Names (running list)

  • Mom, Click Here for Internet
  • Bill Wi the Science Fi
  • Abraham Linksys
  • Keep it on the Download
  • Drop it like it’s Hotspot
  • TheWorldWasWifiEnough
  • B(.)(.)bies / Boobies(.)(.)
  • SilenceOfTheLANs
  • FBI Surveillance Van
  • ReallyReallyGood
  • Obamacare
  • The LAN Before Time
  • Pretty Fly for a Wi-Fi
  • I’m cheating on my WiFi
  • Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wi-Fi!
  • New England Clam Router
  • Network Not Found
  • 2 Girls, 1 Router
  • Winternet is Coming
  • The Wireless-G Spot
  • It Burns When IP
  • Slower than Yo Momma
  • Winter WonderLAN
  • Not the Wifi You’re Looking For
  • SyncingTitanic / TitanicSyncing
  • This LAN Is My LAN
  • This LAN Is Your LAN
  • Escaped Nigerian Prince
  • iCanHearYou
  • Wu Tang LAN
  • Trust in God but Protect Your WiFi
  • Everyday I’m Buffering
  • Lag Out Loud
  • Russian Hackers
  • Panic at the Cisco
  • Wi-Fight the Feeling
  • Tell My Wifi Love Her
  • Get Your Own
  • Happy Wifi Happy Lifi
  • Wi FiLecia
  • Lord of the Ping
  • One Wifi to Rule Them All
  • That’s What She SSID
  • A Linksys to the Past
  • Skynet
  • Dumbledore’s IT Staff
  • Connecto Patronum
  • Jar Jar Linksys
  • Two Girls One Router / 2Girls1Router
  • MothersMaidenName
  • The LAN down under
  • CloseYourBathroomCurtains / Bedroom Drapes Open Please Watch Us
  • Do Re Mi Fa So La Wi Fi
  • Missed Connections
  • Thanks Obama
  • Bathroom Cam 2
  • We Were On A Break!!
  • Chance the Router
  • Benjamin FrankLAN
  • Alexander Graham Belkin
  • Linksys Lohan
  • VladimirLANputin / Vladimir Computin / Vladimir Routin
  • LAN Halen / LAN Morrison
  • Bilbo Laggins
  • Connect and Die
  • Martin Router King
  • Bluetooth
  • Nintendo Wii-fi
  • DoLAN Trump

We’ve all seen “FBI Surveillance Van” in our WiFi network list… want a funny and noteworthy Wifi network of your own? Check out this running list of network names we’ve run into the past years. At a minimum, you may find some inspiration…

Have a network name of your own and want to share? Comment and we’ll add it to the list!


Aeotec NanoMote Quad: Multi-function Z-Wave Controller

Aeotech NanoMote on AverageTech: Review

Available on Amazon$44.99

Released in early 2019, the new Aeotec NanoMote (Available on Amazon) comes natively compatible with Samsung SmartThings, in addition to other Z-Wave Smart Home Hubs, including:

  • Open Z-Wave
  • Zipabox
  • HomeSeer
  • Home Center

Offering 4 physical buttons, each with 2 touch-modes (short press & long press), the NanoMote is an upgrade to the Aeotec WallMote Dual and Quad button controllers. Comparatively, the NanoMote is significantly smaller; measuring about 2-inches by 2/3-inch.

Our favorite feature is the optional PIN lock – useful when the remote controls emergency or critical smart-devices – to avoid accidental activation. The Aeotec NanoMote is powered by a replaceable and rechargeable LIR2450 battery. After about 3 months use, the device will need to be recharged using the included MicroUSB port.

Wireless Range: NanoMotes are designed to be used inside your home and outside of it. To make that possible, they need a wireless signal optimized for distance. NanoMotes can communicate over distances of 328 feet or 100 meters, with signals repeated via Z-Wave when NanoMotes can’t communicate with your gateway directly.

Battery Charging: NanoMotes can be easily recharged via USB; but all batteries eventually get a shorter life span. When that happens, there’s no need to replace your NanoMote. Simply remove the backplate, insert a new LIR2450 3.6 volt battery, and full, rechargeable battery life is yours again.

PIN Lock (New Feature):Accidents happen. But to ensure that NanoMotes aren’t causing them, it’s been crafted with an inbuilt pin lock. Simply hold down your secret combination of button presses to disable your NanoMote and then do the same again to enable it.

Security Features: The NanoMote can control entrances to your home such as garages and door locks, and they do so securely. Each NanoMote includes Z-Wave S2, enhancing the remote control with 3 separate layers of security to help stop hacking, cloning, and unauthorized control.

Cable Management Tools for DIY Home Automation Projects

DIY Essentials by AverageTech - Cable Clips

Black extension cord running along a white baseboard? Matrix of cables hanging from your new flat screen? Three power strips plugged into each other in the closet?
These types of finishing touches can detract from the hard work and hours it took to setup. A few simple additions focused on cable management, like cable clips or raceways, can give any project a professional appearance.

The good news is, any DIY project can look professional if you follow these 3 simple tips: plan in advance, utilize the proper tools, and take your time.

After years of DIY projects, these are the cable management products and tools we consistently rely on to achieve a professionally-installed appearance.

Cable Loops and Wire Clip Kits

This 60-piece variety pack of adhesive cable clips, straps, and ties provides easy cable concealment under desks and tables, along walls, behind equipment.

In terms of price – at less than 20 cents per clip, the value is unbeatable. The adhesive is standard 3M adhesive tape, but each clip also has a hold in the middle for a screw to provide additional support.

Available on Amazon$9.99

Example Applications

  • Hiding low-hanging wires under tables, desks, counters
  • Securing long runs of wire on walls, floors, and ceilings 
  • Securing light strips to hard surfaces
  • Hide printer, scanner, phone, and computer cables from sight

Other Popular Cable Clip Packs for DIY

If you don’t need 60 pieces, or want different colors or sizes, check out these other cable clip options on Amazon. Consider getting more than you need, because the clips can be broken with too much force, or detach from excessive heat or pressure.

Cable Raceways for Concealment

When you have multiple devices that need power, ethernet, HDMI, etc., it is all too easy to end up with a rat’s nest of cables – visible to all your home visitors and guests. This is why cable raceways are a key component to proper cable management techniques. We’ve linked to our favorite DIY raceway kits below, all available on Amazon.
View all raceway products on Amazon –>

There are many variations of cable raceway kits, ranging from $13 to $25, for roughly 13-15 feet of raceway. Some kits include adhesive backing, other come with a roll of adhesive tape, and some with screws or both.

How to Optimize Your Home WiFi Network for Speed

How to Maximize Home Wifi Speeds

In addition to router brand, home size, and internet service provider (ISP) speed caps, there are a number physical factors – inside and outside – which can affect performance and speed of the WiFi network in your home. It’s important to think about these factors when placing access points, and mesh network nodes, around your house.

We’ve had great success with Netgear’s Orbi router, and will be using it in the following example. If you’re using Orbi too, check out this post that outlines the right settings for Orbi networks.

Location, Location, Location

The physical location of your router, and other access points, is critical to properly optimize your network for speed. Particularly important for mesh networks, the router should be placed behind the least possible walls, and away from other electrical device (printers, IoT hubs, wireless home phone systems, etc).

However, placing the router in your closet is not the right solution; a single wall can block 40% of the available signal, depending on the construction method and materials. If the WiFi signal has to travel through multiple walls, signal strength degrades exponentially after 3 standard drywall-covered walls.

Believe it or not, in the mid 1900’s, many residential walls were lined with mesh chicken wire, which acts as a massive disruptor to modern wireless signals. Just like a metal roof can reduce cell phone reception, walls made of stone, concrete, or metal will be detrimental to achieving widespread wireless signal strength.

The ideal location for a router is central to the rooms it will be servicing. Luckily, many routers these day – including Netgear Orbi – have reinvented the idea of what a router can look like. The smallest mesh network available today is the Eero system, whose router, and wireless nodes, measure 4.8 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches. They look very similar to Samsung’s SmartThings IoT hub, although Eero is 1″ thinner, and has more rounded corners.

An App to Map WiFi Signal Strength

In enterprise environments, where WiFi reliability is monitored by a dedicated team, technicians use portable signal meters to measure the signal strength throughout the building. For consumers in their home, there’s an app for that too!

Wi-Fi Sweetspots iOS App (Free)

Wi-Fi Sweetspots is a free iOS app that offers persistent signal speed metrics while you move around holding your phone.

Wi-Fi Sweetspots is a free iOS app that offers persistent signal speed metrics while you move around holding your phone. The app also has an audible tone-indicator, which can be turned on and off, that varies in pitch to indicate signal strength. To toggle this feature, tap the speaker icon located between the Start and Stop buttons.

The screenshot below shows the primary function of the app, with the ability to save snapshot speed readings for various positions throughout the house.

Aeotec Z-Wave Smart Dimmer Outlet Plug

Aeotec Smart Dimmer 6 - product-package
Available on AmazonOut of stock

Smart Dimmer 6 is the latest outlet controller from Aeotec, utilizing Z-Wave Plus to provide on/off and dimming control your interior lamps and small appliances.

This device offers native SmartThings integration, so this smart plug is the easiest way to control basic appliances and lighting using the Samsung SmartThings mobile app.

Aeotec Smart Dimmer 6 - multiangle


The basic operation is to toggle power on and off using the SmartThings mobile app, but you can also dim the brightness of the plugged-in device using a fully customizable sliding scale. This feature enables homeowners to achieve the perfect dimmer level for table and floor lamps, and other lighting applications.

In addition to the standard outlet plug receptacle, the Aeotec Smart Dimmer 6 features a USB port with easy access for charging phones or powering lightweight devices.


Installation is as simple as plugging it in and syncing it with your Z-Wave gateway. From there you’ll have full control of the lamp plugged into Smart Dimmer.

Once the Aeotech Smart Dimmer is plugged into the wall, simply tap “Add Device” in the Samsung SmartThings mobile app and wait for the smart dimmer to appear.

Product Photos

Available on AmazonOut of stock

GE Outdoor Z-Wave Appliance Control Switch

GE Z-Wave Outdoor Switch Product Image ATB
Available on Amazon$33.71

The Z-Wave Plus outdoor smart switch from GE is a reliable, heavy duty controller for lighting and appliances exposed to weather and the elements. Natively compatible with SmartThings, its compact, all-black enclosure and short 7.5-inch power cord can easily be concealed behind foliage and rocks, or mounted to an exterior surface.

GE Z-Wave Outdoor Switch Plugged in example ATB

With this outdoor switch, Z-wave smart home owners can control landscape lighting, Christmas holiday lights, and so much more. Currently available on Amazon for $33.71.

In addition to remote access via the SmartThings mobile app, this outlet has a small, discrete physical on/off button located on the top/front of the main unit – perfect for manually turning the Christmas lights on.

GE Z-Wave Outdoor Switch Product Dimensions ATB

The GE Outdoor Smart Switch enables you to wirelessly control your home’s outdoor lighting and appliances, including seasonal and landscape lighting, fountains and pumps, letting you toggle power on and off, or schedule a timed event, from the convenience of the SmartThings mobile app.

Available on Amazon$33.71

Z-Wave Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke Detectors for Smart Homes ATB

Simple, Affordable, and Reliable Z-Wave Smoke Detectors for Smart Homes

Fire safety is, arguably, one of the most important aspects to home ownership. Not only are you responsible for yourself, but also everyone else living in the home.

If your home is not already equipped with hardwired smoke detectors, it’s simple to add wireless smoke detectors to SmartThings (or any Z-Wave home automation system) for less than $50.

fire - smoke detector saves lives

Most modern smoke detectors (include every one listed below) can also detect carbon monoxide, in addition to smoke. For those unfamiliar with the dangers of carbon monoxide, this 3 minute video, courtesy of The Mayo Clinic, outlines the potential dangers of CO.

#1 Pick: First Alert 2-in-1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

First Alert Z-Wave Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

This compact unit from First Alert is our top pick because of its 5-minute installation and native SmartThings compatibility.

Simply add betters, mount the bracket to a wall with the included screws and drywall anchors, and twist the unit into place. Within minutes your home will be protected from both smoke and carbon monoxide.

Other Options for Wireless Smoke/CO Detector

There are many other available products in the ‘wireless smoke detector’ category. Not all are Z-Wave and/or Zigbee compatible, so be sure to check the network compatibility before purchasing.

Aeotec WallMote

Aeotec WallMote product overview

WallMote Dual Button Remote

Aeotech WallMote product overview
Aeotec WallMote – Two Button Remote for Samsung SmartThings

The WallMote from Aeotec is a sleek and simple dual-button remote control with Z-Wave Plus radio and native SmartThings compatibility. Available on Amazon, the Aeotec WallMote is an essential smart device for high-end smart homes.

The most notable feature of the WallMote is its support for 4 different input methods:

  • Single tap
  • Tap and hold
  • Slide up
  • Slide down

When mounted on a wall, typically near existing switches, the Aeotec WallMote supports up to 8 scenes with its simple 2-button design. In addition to its visual appeal, the WallMote offers both haptic and audio feedback for command confirmation and error reporting. This means you can tap 1 button to turn lights ON, then slide UP or DOWN to dim or brighten the light. 

Aeotec WallMote product overview
Aeotec WallMote – Two Button Remote

On top of SmartThings, the Aeotec WallMote is also compatible with Vera, Jeedom, Open Z-Wave, and Zipabox home automation systems. This button offers native integration with Samsung SmartThings, making installation a 30-second breeze.

More Z-Wave Products from Aeotec

Two buttons not enough?

If you want more than two independent buttons, Aeotec also makes a WallMote Quad which features 4 buttons that can be fully customized. Available on Amazon, the Aeotec WallMote Quad is the perfect addition to a SmartThings smart home.

Aeotec WallMote Quad

More SmartThings Devices to Consider

Samsung SmartThings Push Button

SmartThings Button Featured Image Product ATB

SmartThings Button for Lights, Scenes, and more ($14.90)

SmartThings Button Featured Image Product ATBManufactured directly from the makers of the Samsung SmartThings Hub, this simple, elegant, and affordable push button enables unlimited possibilities for smart home automation Available on Amazon for $14.90.

With native device compatibility, this button takes about 30 seconds to pair to your hub. Simply open the app, tap “+Add Device” and select “Samsung SmartThings Button”.

Instantly, you’ll be able to map the button to a single light, light groups, appliance, and any other on/off device also paired with your hub. It’s important to note that this button is for indoor use only, and will not withstand the moisture from outdoor exposure.

This button can be used with smart thermostats, light bulbs, cameras, sensors, and actuators. Samsung claims to have more than 40 partner brands that can utilize their affordable, simple button.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Samsung SmartThings
  • Compatibility: Native SmartThings Compatibility
  • Price:
  • Available on Amazon for $14.90
  • Range: 50-130 feet, depending on interference and walls
  • Zigbee radio frequency (compatible with SmartThings)
  • Operating Temperature: 32 to 104ºF
  • Indoor use only

Multi-function Button Mappings

The Samsung SmartThings button supports single tap, double tap, and long press interactions to trigger automations on your hub. This means you can use 1 button to provide the following:

  • Push once for lights ON
  • Push twice for lights OFF
  • Push and hold for ABC (Example: Party mode)

More Z-Wave Buttons for SmartThings

SmartThings Partner Integrations

Enjoy seamless control of these brand products using a Samsung SmartThings hub.

Works with SmartThings - Brand Logos