Mr Coffee ECMP50 review: Dual espresso, cappuccino and latte machine

Mr Coffee ECMP50 review Dual espresso, cappuccino and latte machine

This Mr Coffee ECMP50 review will help you decide whether this is the right espresso maker for you. For the coffee lover, a cup of instant coffee ground should only be used in emergencies. Life is too short not to be able to enjoy your favorite espresso or cappuccino from home.

Mr. Coffee has been making coffee machines since 1970. The brand has mastered the art of delicious, quality coffee from a coffee machine in the comfort of your own home.

Mr. Coffee has an excellent range of coffee machines and tea machines to match all tastes and for the right price.

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Mr Coffee ECMP50 review: Dual espresso, cappuccino and latte machine

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What is the Mr. Coffee ECMP50?

The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 is an espresso machine that also functions as a cappuccino machine. Thanks to the fast water heating system and 15-bar pump system, you can enjoy barista espressos without having to visit a coffee shop.

You can choose between a single espresso shot or dual-shot brewing. And with the milk frother, you get to enjoy a crème-topped espresso or a creamy cappuccino.

Brewing time is fast, plus it comes with all of the tools to make the perfect espresso or cappuccino.

Why buy a Mr. Coffee ECMP50?

Mr. Coffee’s espresso machines and cappuccino machines are all made from quality materials. The same can be said for Mr. Coffee ECMP50.

Mr. Coffee has had decades to perfect the brewing system to create proper coffee drinks.

You can even use the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 as a latte machine. The multi-functions, as well as ease of use, make this a great coffee machine.

Another reason to buy a Mr. Coffee ECMP50 is a compact espresso machine so it won’t look oversized on the kitchen counter or take up too much space.

When you add all of this together, you might expect a high price tag. Actually, the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 has excellent value for money. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

Mr Coffee ECMP50 review Dual espresso, cappuccino and latte machine

Mr. Coffee ECMP50 product

The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 espresso machine is made of plastic with an aluminum filter holder and tank. The filter basket is stainless steel. The drip tray is also stainless steel and can be removed for easy washing.

The water reservoir holds 40 fl. oz. of fresh water and is clear so you can see how much water is in it. The water reservoir is also removable so you can fill it up easily. Overall, the espresso machine is 11.45 x 10.63 x 9.45 inches and weighs 8.9 pounds.

There are 4 LED indicator controls on the front panel. These controls are for brewing and a frother button and an LED indicator for power and another to show you the brew is ready. On the side of the espresso machine, there is a control knob and the on/off button.

The brew basket can take a single or double-cup portafilter, which is included. You also get a measuring scoop and a tamper. For the perfect cup of cappuccino, espresso, or latte, the espresso maker has a thermal block heating system.

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The water is heated instantly. With a 15-bar pump system, you have just the right pressure to extract an amazingly rich espresso.

The key to an excellent espresso and cappuccino is the creamy flavor.  For milk frothing, there is a steam wand that will create warm, frothy milk in no time. It has a powerful milk frother nozzle so you can create that lovely creamy layer over your brew.

To brew espresso, you need to fill the water tank while the espresso machine is switched off. Use the markings on the water tank to fill between the minimum and maximum amount. Choose between the two portafilters, depending on whether you want 1 or 2 cups of espresso.

Fill the filter basket with espresso coffee ground and use the tamper to compress the coffee ground. Wipe away any coffee ground from the rim so that the filter basket fits perfectly under the brew head. Click the filter basket back into place, turn the espresso maker on and choose the right setting on the control knob. You are now ready to begin brewing.

Mr. Coffee has made sure this espresso maker/cappuccino maker is easy to clean. Once the coffee machine has cooled down, you can wipe down the milk frothing tube and the housing with a wet cloth.

It has to be a soft cloth because you don’t want to scratch the surface. The water reservoir, filter basket, and drip tray can be washed in soapy water or on the top shelf of a dishwasher.

Finally, we love how Mr. Coffee has included some delicious coffee drink recipes. You might be inspired to try a Café Mocha or Mocha Hot Chocolate. For adults, you could Irish up your brew with some whisky in your cup or take yourself to Mexico with a dash of Kahlua and Tequila.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

The recipes show you just how much you can get out of an espresso machine like the Mr. Coffee ECMP50.

Pros:
  • This espresso maker easily pays for itself
  • It’s perfect for not only daily use but multiple brews per day
  • It’s so easy to use even beginners can get excellent espresso drinks
Cons:
  • The steam wand is a little short for larger frothing pitchers and could be better designed

Buyer guide

So, why should you buy the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 instead of other espresso machines like the Delonghi Nespresso Inissia, the Delonghi EC155, or the Breville BES870XL?

The main reason is the price. Both Delonghi and Breville coffee machines can cost you hundreds of dollars. Some might argue about the quality coffee you can brew but a lot of this also comes down to the coffee ground you choose.

We felt it makes more sense to buy a top-quality espresso coffee ground and save a few hundred on the coffee maker. Plus, The Delonghi Nespresso Inissia is not the most attractive of espresso machines.

Mr Coffee ECMP50 review Dual espresso, cappuccino and latte machine

The Hamilton Beach espresso maker comes closer to the Mr. Coffee price range, but you have to remember that it is larger. There has also been some question of the taste of the espresso with some people mentioning that it’s not hot enough.

Some people will look at coffee pod espresso machines. At first, they seem to be less fussy as you don’t need to measure out the coffee ground or clean filters. We also found that using coffee pods for your espresso limits your ability to play around with the strength and the coffee pods are quite expensive.

The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 might not be an espresso maker that would be used in an upscale coffee shop, but it does have the right features, price, and quality coffee.

FAQs

Can you use Mr. Coffee ECMP50 for drip coffee?

No, because of the 15-bar pump, this espresso maker isn’t designed for drip coffee.

What is the best type of milk to use with the milk frother?

Skimmed is the easiest milk to froth well. 2% milk works well too. The most important is that the milk is very cold before you start using the frother.

There is no steam coming out of the milk frother, what can I do?

The first thing is to check you have enough water in the water reservoir. Next, you can remove the milk frother nozzle and use a cocktail stick to see if anything is blocking the milk frother.

Why is the brewing slower?

Because of the minerals in the water, the espresso maker needs to be delimed after approximately 40 brews if you use tap water or 80 brews for soft/filtered water. You can delime the espresso machine with white vinegar and detailed instructions are included.

Wrap Up

When it comes to making a perfect cup of espresso, cappuccino, latte, or other variants, you need to consider three main things about an espresso machine. Above all, for any coffee lover, it has to be the taste of the coffee drink.

Ensuring the perfect taste comes down to the right temperature and the right pressure. The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 has certainly got this right.

You then want to consider the ease of use. Once you have your ground coffee it is just a matter of a few buttons. The ease of use also includes the cleanup. The removable drip tray and dishwasher safe parts help with this.

Finally, the cost. You can probably do a quick mental calculation on how much you would spend on espressos and coffee drinks in a coffee shop. Now think how much you can save with this espresso machine. One last bonus is the convenience. You have all of this waiting for you in the kitchen every morning.

Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker review

Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker review

Welcome to our Mr Coffee Iced Tea maker review. We’re going to highlight this product’s greatest aspects as well as its cons so you can decide if it fits your needs.

Iced tea is a delicious drink that is full of nutritional benefits. Great iced tea is not only refreshing and hydrating, but it can also improve your heart health, reduce stress and slow down the signs of aging. Our Mr. Coffee iced tea maker review will help tea drinkers to learn everything about this iced tea maker.

Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker review

What is the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker?

As the name would imply, Mr. Coffee began by creating simple coffee maker machines that allowed people to brew coffee grounds with a professional taste at home. The brand’s success with coffee makers and iced coffee maker machines led the company to create a series of iced tea making machines.

Mr. Coffee has three different ice tea makers. We will look at the features of all three. There are a few things they have in common. For example, they are all-electric iced tea makers, and you can brew tea bags as well as loose tea leaves. You are also able to brew the tea to your preferred strength.

The iced tea makers have a water tank, which is filled with cold water. At the top of the ice tea maker, there is a brewing basket where you can add your favorite tea. Fill the pitcher with ice and start the brewing cycle to create your own home-made iced tea.

Why buy a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker?

You can indeed buy iced tea in most bars and cafés, even bottled. However, these iced teas are not as healthy as the iced tea you can make at home.

Aside from the health benefits, it is difficult to buy a premade iced tea with just the right brew. The Mr. Coffee iced tea maker means you get the perfect tea with the right health benefits.

A manual iced tea maker can take too long to brew. That is why buying a Mr. Coffee electric iced tea maker is a great time-saving solution. Unlike other iced tea makers, these machines are incredibly easy to clean. What’s more, Mr. Coffee produces top-quality iced tea machines at excellent prices.

Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker products

Mr Coffee 4 Iced Tea 2-QT 3-QT Brewing System
Color Blue White and black
White and red
White and blue
Black
Power 700w 725w 900w
Size 15 x 13 x 12 in
(38 x 33 x 30,5 cm)
7 x 6,85 x 12,71 in
(17,8 x 17,4 x 32,3 cm)
10,5 x 11,4 x 14,8 in
(26,7 x 29 x 37,6 cm)

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker 2-Qt Blue

Key features:

  • 700w electric iced tea maker
  • It takes 10 minutes to complete the brewing cycle
  • Comes with a 2-qt plastic pitcher
  • Brews tea bags, loose tea leaves, or ground coffee

The Mr. Coffee 2-quart iced tea machine doubles up as an iced coffee maker too. It is 15 x 13 x 12 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds. It is made of plastic, which makes it easy to clean. The pitcher and lid are dishwasher safe, but it is best to wash them by hand.

The brew basket is removable. You can use it with loose tea, green tea, or other flavor tea bags. They are compatible with medium size paper filters for loose tea and coffee grounds.

There is just one simple power button that starts the brewing cycle and in just a few minutes, your iced tea or iced coffee is ready. It has an automatic shut-off when the brew is complete.

You can make single-serve or double servings. The pitcher can be used to brew and serve for added convenience and fewer dishes.

In terms of value for money, this iced tea maker is amazing. Some pitchers cost more than this tea maker. Furthermore, it comes with a limited 1-year warranty.

Pros:
  • This tea maker is very simple to use
  • The tea is the right brew for most people, but you can easily play with the brew strength
  • You can even replace your old kettle to make hot tea
Cons:
  • The pitcher isn’t as good quality as the tea maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker 3-Qt

Key features:

  • 725w electric iced tea maker
  • Short 26″ cord to prevent accidents
  • You can choose your brew strength
  • It makes great tea infusions and iced coffee

For the tea drinker who needs more, we have the 3-Qt iced tea machine. The actual machine is 7 x 6.85 x 12.71 inches and weighs a little more at 4.05 pounds. There are three color options, white and black, white and red, or white and blue. Like the 2-Qt tea maker, this has a removable brew basket and auto shut-off feature.

What we prefer is the water tank window so you can see the level of the water in the reservoir. You also have water line and ice line markings on the plastic pitcher for different measurements.

The ease of use is also the same. You only need to put your favorite tea bags, loose leaf tea, or coffee grounds in the tea basket, fill the reservoir and choose the brew strength from mild or strong with the brew strength selector bar.

The iced tea maker will automatically switch off when the brew is complete. Again, the pitcher is dishwasher safe, but it is best to wash it with warm soapy water.

For just a couple of dollars more than the 2-Qt iced tea maker, this is even better value for money. There is also a 1-year limited warranty with the 3-Qt tea maker.

Pros:
  • It’s even easier to get the perfect cup of fresh iced tea or cold brew of coffee
  • It is quick to brew the tea or coffee
  • The tea maker wipes clean with a damp cloth
Cons:
  • For 3-Qt of tea, you need to refill the water reservoir

Mr. Coffee 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System

Key features:

  • 900w electric iced tea maker
  • It comes with a permanent filter basket and glass pitcher
  • You can add other flavors to the brewing basket
  • There is a handy recipe book for inspiration

The first thing we noticed about this iced tea machine was the price difference. You might be looking at around $40 to $50 more than the first two tea makers from Mr. Coffee. Nevertheless, the overall product is better and still compact at 10.5 x 11.4 x 14.8 inches.

In the first place, you have more power, which means the water will heat better and improve the brew. Next, you have a permanent filter basket, so you don’t have to worry about buying paper filters.

The downside to this is that the permanent filter isn’t designed for ground coffee. So, this iced tea maker is for loose tea or tea bags.

The other benefit is that it has a glass pitcher. Glass pitchers are less likely to retain odors from the tea and look newer for longer. The glass pitcher and lid are dishwasher safe.

There are other great features like the pivoting brew head and the drip-resistant design. Both of these features make cleaning up a breeze. Finally, this tea maker has the brew strength selector bar and auto shut-off once the tea is ready.

Pros:
  • You can make 2.5-Qt of iced tea in just minutes
  • Nice water and ice markers on the glass pitcher
  • The tea is absolutely delicious
Cons:
  • Glass pitcher is a little thin

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker buying guide

When you are choosing the best iced tea machine, you will first decide between a manual or electric iced tea maker. We decided that electric machines were superior because of the quality of brewing tea that was produced and that they are far simpler to use. And Mr. Coffee has designed three machines that are all easy to clean.

The type of pitcher should factor into your decision. If you have a habit of breaking crockery, plastic might be safer. But if the quality of the tea and the brew is more important, a glass pitcher might be a worthy investment.

Having the ability to adjust the brewing strength is also an excellent feature. You know how different a hot tea can taste. This is exactly the same for your iced tea. The same can be said for tea infusions, green tea, and iced coffee.

The more you can do with the iced tea machine, the more you get for your money. Not everyone wants just plain iced tea. We felt that all though it wasn’t part of the buying decision, the recipe guide with the 2-in-1 iced tea maker was a nice touch.

Finally, no kitchen appliance is fun when you have to make a lot of effort to clean it. Dishwasher friendly is a great choice but even then, you want something easy to wipe down.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know the right amount of tea to use?

You can follow Mr. Coffee’s recommendations for the first time. It is suggested that to make 1-Qt of iced tea you need 1-3 tea bags or ½ – 1 teaspoon of loose tea. For 2-Qt of iced tea, you should use 3-5 tea bags or 1-2 teaspoons of loose tea. For 3-Qt of iced tea, it is 5-7 tea bags or 2-3 teaspoons of loose tea.

At first, make sure you use the exact amount of water and ice marked on the pitchers. You can play with the amounts of water when you are more familiar with the tea maker. Naturally, it will very much depend on how strong you like your tea.

Is plastic BPA free?

Yes, all of the plastic used in Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Makers are free from BPA.

What should I do if the tea doesn’t taste right?

When the tea or coffee doesn’t taste right, it probably means that the iced tea machine needs to be cleaned. After a time, minerals build up in the machines and can affect the taste of your tea and coffee.

If you have hard water, you should decalcify the iced tea maker after every 40 brews, soft water every 80 brews.

To decalcify the iced tea machines, you can pour 1-qt of vinegar into the reservoir and run the brew cycle. Leave the machine for 30 minutes and then fill the pitcher with water and run the brew cycle with just water. You might need to run the brew with water only one more time.

Can you buy replacement pitchers?

Yes, there are replacement plastic and glass pitchers available. You can also use mason jars to make extra and iced tea and iced coffee and store them in the fridge.

How can I make sweet tea?

With the Mr. Coffee 2 and 3-Qt iced tea makers, you need to put the sugar into the pitcher when you add the ice. With the 2-1 iced tea maker, you can add sugar to the brew basket before you begin the brew cycle.

Wrap Up

The three iced tea makers we have seen from Mr. Coffee all make amazing, refreshing iced tea. We loved that they were electric tea makers and extremely easy to use. Once you have mastered the perfect brew for you, your tea will consistently taste perfect.

Out of the three products, we felt that the Mr. Coffee 3-Qt iced tea maker was the best buy. It really is difficult to find an iced tea machine for better value.

You can use it with tea bags, loose tea leaves, and coffee grounds. You can use it for iced tea and iced coffee as well as green tea, sweet tea, and fruit teas. It has a brew strength selector to ensure you always brew delicious home-made iced tea and cold brew coffee.

Mr Coffee 4 Cup coffee machine review

Mr Coffee 4 Cup coffee machine review

This article will present you with a Mr Coffee 4 Cup coffee machine review. The perfect cup of coffee is a science. It’s not about adding a spoon of your favorite coffee ground and mixing hot water. Your perfect cup of coffee will depend on everything from the coffee beans to the size of the granules and the brew cycle.

We often settle for a quick cup of coffee and a coffee taste that does the trick. But you shouldn’t have to settle. If you are a coffee lover, we have a Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Machine review that covers every detail.

There are so many coffee machine brands on the market today it is hard to decide which is the best one for you. Perhaps you have been looking at an espresso machine, a programmable coffee maker, or one that allows a coffee drinker to enjoy iced coffee.

All are good options, the only thing that beats a great coffee is a 4-Cup coffee maker. Enough to last you for a few hours or to enjoy with friends and family. On that note, let’s take a closer look at the Mr. Coffee range of coffee maker machines.

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Both same great products, it’s just a matter of your color preference.

Mr Coffee 4 Cup coffee machine review

Mr Coffee 4 Cup DR4 DR5 DRX4
Color White Black White
Clock No No Yes
Delay brew No No Yes
One-Hour Auto Shut-Off No No Yes

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The design

This 4-cup coffee maker comes in white (the DR4) and black (the DR5). In the DR range, you also have the DRX5 which is a programmable coffeemaker. The DR4 and the DR5 are 14.6 x 11.8 x 10.2 inches and weigh 1.6 pounds. This is quite a compact coffee maker size and fits nicely on most kitchen counter spaces.

The design is incredibly simple with dual water reservoir windows, a removable filter basket, and a glass carafe. The removable filter basket makes it easy to lift out and clean or fill. At the back, there is a cord storage space. The hot plate is non-stick, making it easy to clean in case of any spills.

On the front of the coffee maker, there is an on/off button and a green light to indicate that the coffee machine is on.

How to make a cup of coffee with the Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffee machine

If the coffee maker is new, it is always best to wash the glass carafe and filter basket before use. Then, you can add a 4-cuppaper filter and your favorite ground coffee. Replace the filter basket and close the lid. Add cold water to the water tank. On the water tank window, you can see the amount of water you need for the number of cups of coffee you want to make.

Click here to learn more about Mr Coffee 4 Cup DR4 (White) on Amazon.com.

 

Mr. Coffee recommends 1.5 teaspoons of ground coffee for two cups of coffee and 3 teaspoons of ground coffee for 4 cups. Also, be careful not to add cold water to the glass carafe when it is hot. It may crack.

Click here to learn more about Mr Coffee 4 Cup DR5 (Black) on Amazon.com.

 

Mr.Coffee 4-Cup coffee maker features

Because it is such an easy-to-use coffee machine, there isn’t a long list of features. The DR4 and the DR5 come with a Pause ‘n’ Serve feature. The coffee machine will automatically stop the brew for 30 seconds when you lift the carafe off the hot plate. You can make a cup of coffee and then replace the carafe. Brewing will then continue.

The DRX4 and the DRX5 programmable coffee makers come with a LED clock, a delay brew, and a one-hour auto shut-off.

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Caring for your Mr. Coffee 4-Cup coffee maker

For daily washing, you should wait until the coffee machine cools down, and then you can wash the filter basket, filter basket lid, and glass carafe in wash soapy water. You should only use a soft cloth to wash the parts, or they are dishwasher safe when placed on the top shelf.

Every once in a while, it is also a good idea to decalcify the coffee maker. You can do this by running Mr. Coffee Cleaner or 4 cups of vinegar through the coffee maker.

Brew the vinegar or cleaning solution and leave the coffee maker on for 30 minutes. After, fill the water tank with water and brew just the water. Once the brew has finished, refill the water tank and brew again. This will help remove the build-up of minerals and keep the coffee taste perfect.

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup coffee machine troubleshooting

The advantage of having a simple coffee maker is that there are few things to go wrong. If the coffee taste isn’t right or the brewing cycle is slow, it means you need to clean it. You may also need to make sure you have the right coffee ground to water ratio.

If coffee ground appears in your coffee cup it’s because the filter isn’t in the brew basket correctly. You can try dampening the paper filter so that the sides stick to the filter basket.

What people say about Mr. Coffee 4 Cup coffee machine

People are generally happy with this small coffee maker. Its economical size is perfect for brewing coffee for one or two people. You should bear in mind that one cup isn’t the same as a mug. The actual size of the coffee machine is ideal for smaller spaces and even offices. One user has this in her classroom.

If you have ever been frustrated by a cold brew, this is the machine for you. The brewing cycle is quick, and coffee comes out piping hot. That being said, not everyone has felt that it is hot enough. We assume this is down to each person’s idea of a hot coffee.

Most people found the coffee maker to be easy to clean. This is another perk for daily use. Its simplicity means you can’t go wrong using it, even first thing in the morning when a coffee drinker needs their brew most.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com for Mr Coffee 4 Cup DR4 (White).

 

The value for money is also excellent. The price is similar to other big brands 4-cup coffee maker machines. At the moment, the black coffee maker is more expensive.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com for Mr Coffee 4 Cup DR5 (Black).

 

This is a shame but fairly typical when it comes to electrical appliances. There is a 1-year warranty with the Mr. Coffee DR4 and DR5 and a twin pack of 100 paper filters also comes at a good price.

On the downside, a few people have said that the coffee pot is hard to use. We felt that this was a bit of an exaggeration. You only need to lift it off the hot plate and pour. Indeed, it’s not easy to get the last bit of coffee out of the carafe.

Comparative coffee maker machines

Hamilton Beach has a commercial 4 cup coffee maker for a lot more than Mr. Coffee. The 4-5 cup home-use coffee machine is around the same price as Mr. Coffee, but the filter basket rotates out and the paper filters tend to collapse.

The design is nice, and it is simple to use but the markings on the stainless steel carafe wear off after some time so you have to guess the water amounts and you can’t see the water reservoir.

Another popular brand is Cuisinart. The Cuisinart DCC 4-cup coffee maker is smaller than Mr. Coffee but weighs more. It comes with a stainless-steel carafe and a dripless spout. It offers an auto shut-off which is a nice feature. Nevertheless, it costs more.

The overall look is rather nice, and the size is a bonus. Some people have complained about the unpractical lid design and while the coffee taste is good, it might not be the hottest.

You may not associate Black and Decker with coffee machines, but its 5-cup coffee maker is a few dollars cheaper than Mr. Coffee and it has a reusable filter.

There are a water tank window and glass carafe. The simple on/off button and the light indicator are similar to Mr. Coffee. We felt that it may be better value for money, but the design is not as nice.

If you are wondering why we didn’t compare Mr. Coffee with Keurig, we felt that it wasn’t really a fair comparison. Keurig is also an excellent coffee maker brand, but they use pods rather than a filter basket. This makes the price generally higher and most of the coffee makers are one cup coffee makers.

The Mr. Coffee coffee maker brand

Mr. Coffee was founded in the early 1970s in Ohio. Vincent Marotta and Samuel Glazer hired two engineers to create a drip coffee maker. Before this, coffee was normally made in a percolator. Marotta and Glazer wanted to design a coffee maker that didn’t leave a bitter or burned coffee taste.

The first-ever drip coffee maker used gravity to pull hot water through the coffee ground, improving the overall taste. Later versions drew water up from a water tank as it boiled, much like the percolator but it didn’t require reheating of the coffee.

Some of the brand’s more recent coffee makers use a boiling chamber to flash heat water to temperatures of 195-200ºF. The brewed coffee stays warm in a thermal carafe instead of a hot plate. This again helps to prevent the coffee from burning.

Over half a century, Mr. Coffee has created a wide variety of coffee machines for professional use and home use. There is a range of coffee makers, espresso machines, iced coffee, and latte coffee makers.

Some have reusable filters and other paper filters. For a while, there was even a Mrs. Tea that used a drip maker to brew tea. Today, Mr. Coffee still has iced tea makers.

Mr. Coffee has stuck to the same motto since the first drip coffee maker was made. The brand wants people to be able to use a simple coffee machine to make a perfect cup of affordably coffee at home. This is very true of the 4-cup machine for drip coffee, which is both easy to use and very well priced.

There are two versions of the Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffee machine. Let’s go through their design, features, and ease of use.

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Wrap Up

As a coffee lover who has always been on the lookout for a great coffee, I can safely say that I have tried many different coffee machines. Espresso makers and iced coffee makers have their place but when you want that perfect cup of coffee, simple is often best. And treating yourself to a nice coffee in a bar or café is not always affordable or practical.

Then, the idea of having another bulky kitchen appliance on your countertop isn’t appealing. Not only will it take up more space but there is also more to clean. Luckily, the Mr. Coffee is small enough to save countertop space and easy to clean.

Brewing coffee is fast and easy. It’s a case of filling the filter basket, adding cold water, and placing the glass carafe on the hot plate. One button and the brew cycle begins. If you can’t wait for a full coffee pot, just remove the carafe, fill your cup, and replace the carafe to finish the brewing cycle.

There are several other 4-cup coffee makers on the market, but none seem to tick all the boxes as the Mr. Coffee machine does. For a very good price, you get a simple, stylish design and a good amount of hot coffee.

Depending on your ground coffee and the amount of water you use, you can create a delicious coffee taste to your liking. Mr. Coffee has 5 decades of experience making drip coffee makers and it certainly shows.

What does renewed mean on Amazon?

What does renewed mean on Amazon

If you’re used to buying items online, you probably wondered what does renewed mean on Amazon. Amazon is undeniably a household name since the global health crisis.

Millions of people have been on some form of lockdown, only allowed out for the strictly necessary. Still, the world goes on, and the need to buy things that are non-emergent goes on with it.

Not only that but with the additional time at home, more people have started those DIY projects they have been putting off. Or enjoying picking up the book that they never had time to read and, along with so many other things. Because of the size of Amazon, there is almost nothing that you can’t buy on this site.

As more and more vendors turn to Amazon, we see alternative buying options. We are now able to buy both renewed and refurbished products on Amazon – saving potentially hundreds on certain goods.

So, what’s the difference between Amazon renewed and Amazon refurbished? We are going to have a look at a few examples to see whether these products are worth it and how reliable they are.

What does renewed mean on Amazon?

What does renewed mean on Amazon

Products advertised as renewed are second hand but have been inspected and tested to ensure they are like new. This is both in appearance and function. If the product is sold by Amazon, this will be carried out by a qualified inspector. If it is sold by a third-party vendor, they too must use a certified inspector.

The testing and inspection are quite thorough and will include:

  • A complete clean;
  • A full diagnostic test;
  • Replacement of any damaged parts.

In the case of products that have been used, there might be small scratches or dents. These won’t be visible from 12-inches away. No small defect like this will have an impact on how the product works.

Every product will come with all of the necessary accessories although they might not be the originals. They might not always come in the original packaging. Wireless device batteries should have at least 80% charge capacity.

Also, under the Renewed program, you can find unboxed items. This is a product that another customer has returned for one reason or another, but they didn’t even open it. Other times, it could be a product that has been used for display in a shop.

Are Amazon renewed products under guarantee?

Whether you buy from Amazon or a vendor in the Renewed program, the product will be under guarantee. You have 90 days from the date of purchase (1 year for a Renewed Premium iPhone). You can ask for a refund or a replacement. You can return a renewed product from your Orders page.

Products also come with a minimum 6-month supplier-backed warranty for extra peace of mind. In most cases, you will find all of the information on the warranty card with the product. If not, you can contact the seller.

How can you find renewed products on Amazon?

There are two ways. If you are not looking for anything in particular, you can type “Renewed” into the search box. If you know what you are looking for, you can type the product name followed by “renewed”.

Which products are renewed?

Mostly electronics, from tablets to TVs, smartphones to gaming consoles. You can also find some kitchen appliances like blenders and pressure cookers. For around the home, there are irons, vacuums, and tools.

What does renewed mean on Amazon

Are Amazon renewed products worth it?

Looking at a Samsung 34-inch Class Ultrawide Monitor. The original price is $399.99, and some vendors are selling the same monitor for $430. On Amazon, it is listed as $279.00 renewed. That’s a saving of at least $121, which most people would consider worth it.

We also wanted to consider the opinions of those who bought the new model versus the renewed model. On Amazon, the new model has a 4.9-star rating while the renewed model has a 4-star rating.

On the Samsung website, the average is 4.4 stars. The majority of people were incredibly happy with their purchase. And whether renewed or new, there were still some issues – as with any product.

For Apple fans, it is definitely worth checking out the Amazon renewed section. You can find iPads for $100-$150 less than the original price and laptops for as much as half price.

What does refurbished mean on Amazon?

Refurbished refers to the products that have been tested, repaired, or had parts replaced, cleaned, and then repackaged.

Essentially, all refurbished products are renewed. However, not all renewed products are refurbished. As we have said before, some products sold in the Renewed program have not even been opened.

What does renewed mean on Amazon

Wrap Up

If a product is advertised on Amazon as refurbished, you know that someone has used it and returned it. A qualified technician has then inspected the product and certified that it functions like new.

If a product is advertised as renewed, it may be refurbished, unboxed, or was a display model. You have a 90-day guarantee and a minimum 6-month warranty.

The savings can be massive on refurbished household items. These include printers, Wii games, security cameras, etc. Today, electrical appliances don’t last as long as they used to. In the past, you could buy a new TV and it would last for at least a decade.

With so many advances in technology, it’s normal to replace devices much sooner. When you consider this, and the benefits to the environment buying renewed or refurbished, we think it’s a great way to go.

How to connect Amazon Fire Stick to home theater system

How to connect Amazon Fire Stick to home theater system

How to connect Amazon Fire Stick to home theater system? For those who like watching movies in the comfort of their homes, a home theater system is just a great thing to have.

With that being said, it is possible to make the entire experience even more immersive by bringing into play the Amazon Fire Stick as well. In case you happen to be unfamiliar with it, allow us to give you guys a brief overview. The Amazon Fire Stick is a small-sized digital media player that lets you turn your television into a Smart TV.

Accordingly, if you happen to own both a home theater system and an Amazon Fire Stick and want to connect them together, you’ve headed to the right article as today we’re going to be discussing just that.

How to connect Amazon Fire Stick to home theater system

If you want to connect your Amazon Fire Stick to your home theater system, let’s take a look at the steps that you’ll have to follow.

The first thing that you’d have to do is establish a connection between your Amazon Fire Stick and the surround sound speakers. For this purpose, you’ll be using an HDMI cable that connects your Amazon fire stick to the receiver or amplifier of the surround sound system.

If you’ve successfully done this, let us tell you that you don’t need to read on and start your Fire Stick home theater system as it will be all good to go.

Using an HDMI extender

However, in some cases, there is no HDMI port on the receiver which brings you down to only one option: the HDMI extender. It luckily comes with the Amazon Fire Stick itself, so you’d just have to connect it to the input port that every receiver comes with.

Besides that, one great advantage of using an HDMI extender is that it will allow you to place your Amazon Fire Stick away from other electronics so that it could get even better WiFi signals. Plus, in case if anyone has lost their HDMI extender cable, you don’t need to worry since there are a plethora of them available on Amazon.

Now, you may think that the next step would be to send the video signals to your television. With that being said, it isn’t really the case since even though the HDMI cable has separate pins, you cannot send audio signals separately.

Accordingly, if you had already connected all your HDMI pins to the receiver of your surround sound system, the good news is that you won’t have to do anything else since the receiver will send the video signals to the television itself.

Connecting to an old home theater

Another problem that you may come across while connecting your Amazon Fire Stick could be that the home theater system has analog video ports instead of multiple HDMI ports. However, this shouldn’t worry you either since there’s a solution to this problem as well.

There is a piece of equipment available on Amazon that converts the Fire Stick’s digital signals into analog signals. All thanks to this device, you would be easily able to connect your Amazon Fire Stick to older home theater systems too. However, even if you go for this method, you should know that you’d still be needing that HDMI extender.

Wrap Up

The Amazon Fire Stick is a useful tool if you want to give your home theater system the features of a Smart TV. With that being said, it might be a tad difficult for you to establish a connection between these two.

Accordingly, we’ve discussed a very simple way to do so easily and also mentioned the solutions to a few problems that people frequently encounter. If this article was of any help to you, make sure to let us know in the comments down below.

Top 10 Outdoor Security Cameras 2021

Top 10 outdoor Security Cameras

In this article, we’ll review the top 10 outdoor security cameras. A security camera (or a spy camera) is a plus to keep your home safe. You can even keep an eye on it while you’re gone – you just need your phone to access the footage and spy your surroundings.

Whether you’re concerned about home intruders or burglars, or even if you just need it for home monitoring to spy on your children or pets, these devices can stream a high-quality live video feed straight to your smartphone.

And the best part, you don’t need to hire a technician or to be an expert to set up a security camera or a surveillance system nowadays. These new IP security cameras require minimal installation and offer flexible setups and a wide range of security features. Some don’t even need to be connected to electricity, running in internal batteries.

IP spy cameras work over your house’s local wi-fi network so it is as simple as setting up a wireless home network device on your router. Most can also be connected via network cable. You can even place a hidden camera so no one notices it.

There are plenty of great options to choose from, offering features such as High-Definition video (and some, even up to 2K or more), night vision, two-way audio communication, motion detection and alert, SD card storage and cloud storage.

You won’t break the bank either. Even the cheapest wireless security camera does a good job nowadays. Don’t give a stranger any reason to invade your property for no reason.

In a hurry?

  • The SV3C is one of the best budget security cameras with great video quality and smart motion detection at an incredibly low price.
  • The Arlo Pro 3 offers one of the overall best wireless security camera systems for home use. It has the best video quality in the test with 2K (2560p) resolution, HDR, 12x digital zoom, and a 160-degree field of view.

Throughout this article, we’ll do an in-depth review of the top rated wireless security cameras where you can find the best home security camera systems.

Security Cameras Review

In the following table, you can compare these products’ main features. For more information, please click the images to see the products on Amazon and be sure to read this article until the very end.

Product Name Field of View Night Vision Range Storage Type Weatherproof Rating

SV3C
Not Stated 67 ft. (20m) SD Card IP66
Ring Stick Up Battery 115º 30 ft. (9m) Cloud IPX5
ReoLink Argus 2 130º 33 ft. (10m) SD Card / Cloud Not Stated

Google Nest Outdoor

130º 45 ft. (14m) Cloud IP65

Arlo Pro 2

130º 25 ft. (8m) SD Card / Cloud IP65

Arlo Pro 3

160º Not Stated SD Card / Cloud IP65

D-Link DCS-8600

135º 23 ft. (7m) SD Card / Cloud IP65

Ezviz Outdoor Camera

118º 100 ft. (30m) SD Card / Cloud IP66

Lorex W281AA

129º 50 ft. (15m) SD Card IP65

TP-Link Kasa KC200

130º 30 ft. (9m) Cloud IP65

In terms of resolution, the Arlo Pro 3 records video in 2K (2560p) while all the others record in Full-HD (1080p).

Let’s go into more detail on each one of these cameras.

SV3C

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 67 ft. (20m)
  • Two-way communication
  • Micro SD card compatible
  • Smart motion detector
  • IP66 waterproof rating
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Local storage

SVC3 group was founded in 2013 and is specialized in intelligent and security home devices. They manufacture this simple and affordable IP outdoor camera that offers some interesting features without breaking the bank.

Being one of the cheapest home surveillance cameras for outdoor use, it is lacking some features that are standard in more expensive ones like cloud storage or smart home compatibility, but it offers a great Full-HD resolution and a considerable night vision range of 67 feet (20m). It is equipped with 36 IR led lights which can monitor your house plainly and quickly even when it is totally dark outside.

Also, it has smart motion detection, which means that when movement is found, this camera will send you a notification via SMS through your mobile phone or send out real-time photos to your email.

If you are after a budget security camera, the SV3C may be a great choice for you. It is one of the cheapest wireless security cameras and features an outstanding image quality for the price, offering a reasonably good build quality too. Summing all up, it may be the best budget home camera.

Pros:
  • Great video quality
  • Broad night vision range
  • Two-way audio
  • Smart motion detection
  • Very affordable
Cons:
  • No cloud storage
  • No smart home compatibility

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 30 ft. (9m)
  • 115º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Completely wire-free
  • Rechargeable battery (solar-powered option)
  • Motion detection
  • Built-in siren
  • Smart home compatibility
  • IPX5 waterproof rating
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Cloud storage

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is an affordable camera that runs 100% wire-free. It connects to your router via wi-fi and doesn’t need to be plugged to any power source thanks to its internal battery. It gives you a ton of flexibility in where you put it, being easy to be placed right where you want it, and changed whenever it’s needed.

Running on the battery is also a plus in terms of security. It means this camera would still be working and video recording your home surroundings even when there is some power shortage and you’re out of electricity.

This video camera features a great 1080p video with good color reproduction and sharp detail and has a 115-degree field of view. The night vision is also sharp and clear. It has video-based motion detection and two-way audio by offering a built-in microphone and speaker. Also, there’s a siren button in which you can activate the camera’s internal siren.

The Stick Up Cam Battery comes with a free Basic plan that gives you motion alerts and live video-on-demand. However, you have to pay for a subscription to subscribe to a cloud plan. It is not expensive though.

On the minus side, recharging the Stick Up Cam may be a tedious process since the battery needs to be removed and placed each time you charge it. There is a solar panel accessory available so you don’t need to remove the battery as often – it’s something you may consider. It is one of the best cheap outdoor security camera devices you can buy.

Pros:
  • Sharp video quality, even in night mode
  • Completely wireless
  • Two-way audio
  • Smart motion detection
  • Smart home automation compatibility
  • Good price for what it offers
Cons:
  • No SD Card for local storage (Requires cloud subscription)
  • Tedious process to recharge the battery

ReoLink Argus 2

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 33 ft. (10m)
  • 130º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Completely wire-free
  • Rechargeable battery (solar-powered option)
  • Motion detection
  • 80dB built-in siren
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Waterproof
  • 1080p video recorder resolution
  • Local storage space and cloud storage

Like the Ring Stick Up Cam tested above, the ReoLink Argus 2 is also 100% wire-free, being connected to your router via wi-fi and powered by an internal, rechargeable battery. You can also get an optional solar panel to extend the battery life.

Thanks to its wireless network capabilities, it’s very easy to change this camera for one place to another. So you can put it where it’s more convenient. It’s also not dependable on your home’s electrical power, staying active even when there’s a cut in the power grid.

Being an IP camera, you are able to access the live video feed from anywhere using the provided mobile app on your smartphone, and it is free, no contracts required. You’ll just have to purchase a micro SD card to record video since it features a convenient SD card slot.

Also, basic cloud storage space is available for free which is a great feature! And if you want extra cloud storage, Reolink offers different paid plans where you can choose from.

The 1080p video quality at 15 frames per second is fairly good and the viewing angles are above-average for its price at 130 degrees, offering a great depth of view. The night vision also offers good performance with sharp, clear images. This camera offers two-way audio communication and also includes a strong siren.

The Reolink Argus 2 also features motion detection, but unfortunately has a considerable delay and is not the most accurate, triggering too many alerts when set to the default Mid setting.

This camera is an interesting choice, especially for its portability and ease of installation and moving it from other places. Not being wired to anything has also some downsides, like having to recharge its battery from time to time. Free basic cloud storage is also a big plus of this camera as well as being capable to record video to an SD card.

Pros:
  • Good video quality
  • Completely wireless
  • Strong siren included
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Includes basic free cloud storage and SD slot for local storage
Cons:
  • Have to be recharged from time to time
  • Imprecise motion detection
  • Unstable wifi connection at times

Google Nest Outdoor

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 45 ft. (14m)
  • 130º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home compatibility
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Cloud storage

Nest is a security camera manufacturer owned by Google and offers this great camera for outdoor usage. It features an IP65 rating, meaning it is watertight and also dustproof.

It has a 1080p Full-HD video recorder with a wide field of view of 130 degrees. It also has the ability to zoom in 8x. The overall video quality is great, with vivid color reproduction and sharp images, both during the day and night, thanks to its 8-led infrared sensors. It records at an above-average 30 frames per second. giving a natural, smooth video.

Google Nest cam also offers two-way audio, meaning that you can speak through your Nest app to whoever your wifi camera is pointing at with a fairly good audio quality. It also offers smart home compatibility and motion detection, which works very accurately and lets you select activity zones to select the areas where you want to receive an alert when motion is detected.

Unfortunately, you won’t find a microSD card slot for local video storage. You have to rely on cloud storage and you’ll get three hours of free storage, just that. You have to subscribe to a paid plan to get further storage, and it can be costly.

This camera’s strongest points are without a doubt its superior picture quality both during the day and the night. Its night vision capabilities are among the best, covering a range of up to 45 feet (14m).

This is one of the best wireless security cameras systems in our opinion, offering good features for a reasonable cost.

Pros:
  • Video quality (day and night) among the best
  • 30fps recording
  • Great Android App
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Good quality two-way audio
Cons:
  • No SD card slot for local storage
  • Costly subscription service
  • Only paid person detection and facial recognition

Arlo Pro 2

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 25 ft. (8m)
  • 130º field of view
  • Completely wire-free
  • Two-way communication
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Built-in siren
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Local storage and cloud storage

Arlo is considered by some as the best IP camera manufacturer. The Pro 2 features a 2-camera kit and a hub station. Both cameras are 100% wireless, so you can easily place each one and move it from one place to another without fuss. They integrate a rechargeable battery that you can charge by connecting a USB-C cable.

The video is very crisp and clear. It records in 1080p Full-HD and has a better-than-average 130-degree viewing angle. The camera also offers a 16x digital zoom that maintains the quality throughout the zoom range, which doesn’t happen in most cameras.

Night vision capabilities are not so upper class though. The claimed 25 feet (8m) range seems too optimistic, despite the 6 infrared LEDs. This camera also integrates a good quality two-way audio and has a built-in loud “smart” siren. Motion detection works very well too but it’s advisable to lower the sensitivity to avoid false alerts.

The Arlo Pro 2 comes with a free Basic subscription plan that gives you 7 days of cloud-based video storage, 3 months of technical support, and the ability to connect up to five cameras on one account. Additionally, you have some paid plans offering extra features and capabilities. You also have the option to use an SD card to store video.

It may not be the best budget security camera system, as it is more on the expensive side, but offers you a great set of features in a kit with two cameras and a hub station.

Pros:
  • Super video quality during the day
  • 7 days of free cloud storage
  • Loud siren
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Good quality two-way audio
Cons:
  • The night vision range could be better
  • It’s on the expensive side

Arlo Pro 3

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision (color and black & white)
  • 160º field of view
  • Completely wire-free
  • Two-way communication
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Built-in siren
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 2K 2560p video resolution with HDR
  • Local storage and cloud storage

Arlo Pro 3 is a step up compared to the Pro 2. It also comes in a kit including 2 100% wireless outdoor surveillance cameras and a hub station. This kit offers a convenient magnetic charging system that promises up to six months of camera battery life between charges.

This model now features an outstanding image resolution of 2560p (2K) and support for high dynamic range (HDR) for better video quality in very dark or really bright areas.  With 12x digital zoom and a 160-degree field of view, the video quality and depth is one of the best things about the Arlo Pro 3.

The night vision is good too and this device also works as a spotlight cam. It integrates a led spotlight which allows Arlo to claim support for color night vision.

However, it also has the standard infrared night vision, if you prefer the brighter black and white solution. Arlo Pro 3’s night vision provides greater sharpness and clarity than many competitors. Two-way audio is also offered with above-average quality and minimal lagging.

Motion detection feature is very accurate, but you’ll have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart Plan to take advantage of several premium features including intelligent notifications that differentiate between people, animals, and cars, package detection that lets you know when a parcel has been delivered,

Arlo Pro 3 offers local storage via an SD card and has also its own cloud storage. It offers you 30 days if you sign up for Arlo Smart, but after that trial is over, you’ll have to subscribe to a paid plan to get 30 or 60 days of cloud storage.

This model offers the best security camera resolution in our camera review. If you’re aiming for the best security wireless camera system for home, this may well be up to your requirements. And more, it’s so portable you can even use it as an indoor camera.

Pros:
  • Superb 2K video quality both day and night
  • Integrated spotlight for color night vision
  • Loud siren
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Good quality two-way audio
Cons:
  • Some features are only available via subscription
  • Expensive

D-Link DCS-8600

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision mode up to 23 ft. (7m)
  • 135º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home compatibility
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1080p Full-HD video resolution
  • Local storage and cloud storage

This D-Link camera outdoor capable, offers a lot of value for what it costs. It’s robust and designed for ease of use yet features some great capabilities. It delivers a sharp 1080p video with a 135-degrees field of view and also has a very robust IR LED array getting clear images even in total darkness up to 23 feet (7m) away.

The two-way audio is loud and clear and does the job for what it’s supposed despite being somewhat laggy at times. Motion detection is also included and works reasonably well, letting you set up activity zones. Just make sure to adjust sensitivity settings so you don’t get false alerts every now and then.

This outdoor camera not only includes a Micro SD card slot to allow local onboard storage but it also seamlessly integrates with D-Link’s online portal where you’ll get 24-hours of free online rolling recording which is enough for most regular users. You also have some other, more complete cloud storage plans for which you have to pay for.

For its price, this camera can be a great option for many, offering good quality and many nice features.

Pros:
  • Local and free cloud video storage
  • Good video quality
  • Motion and sound detection
  • Smart home compatibility (Amazon Alexa and others)
  • Good quality two-way audio
Cons:
  • Audio communication is sometimes laggy
  • Lacks support for Apple Home-kit

Ezviz Outdoor Camera

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 100 ft. (30m)
  • 118º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Built-in 100dB siren
  • Motion detection
  • IP66 waterproof rating
  • 1080p Full-HD video resolution
  • Local storage and cloud storage

Ezviz is backed by Hikvision, one of the biggest names in the video surveillance market. The Ezviz Outdoor Cam is among the best cheapest security cameras, being an affordably priced outdoor security camera. It lets you keep an eye on what’s happening on the outside of your home at the touch of your phone.

Unlike many surveillance cameras in this price tag, it can physically pan, tilt and track motion on its own to provide full coverage with recordings of possible intrusions.

The 1080p video quality is good, with no distortion at all and offering sharp day and night video. It uses a motion sensor and you can set it up to record activities locally in the SD card, or use the cloud. Details were sharp and color vivid and accurate. Night vision scenes are illuminated well enough to make out facial details even with minimal external light – it is surprisingly good.

Motion detection works alright as soon you adjust the sensibility settings to prevent false alerts. Two-way audio is clear and adequately loud but sometimes laggy, and push notifications arrive instantly. This camera also features a very loud built-in siren.

Ezviz comes with 7-day free trial cloud storage offered for one month. After that period, if you want to be able to save your videos on the cloud and access them remotely, you’ll have to subscribe to a paid plan. If you don’t need to remote cloud access your videos, you can simply use a microSD card.

Pros:
  • Local and cloud video storage available
  • Excellent night vision capabilities
  • Motion and sound detection
  • 340-degree motion tracking and manual pan/tilt
  • Built-in strobe light and a loud siren
Cons:
  • No free cloud storage options
  • Lacks Smart home compatibility

Lorex W281AA

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision up to 50 ft. (15m)
  • 129º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Built-in 110dB siren
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home connectivity
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1080p Full-HD video resolution with 30 fps
  • Local storage

The Lorex outdoor cam offers a lot of powerful features that would serve almost every home user. The 1080p video delivers excellent quality with saturated colors and without any noticeable pincushion or distortions of any kind. Night vision feature also performs well, with good contrast and sharp images.

It also offers motion detection. Without any setup, the app sends text alerts every time it detects motion. You may also adjust the sensitivity level accord to your needs and choose to have the security light or the powerful siren activate every time it detects motion.

Lorex doesn’t offer cloud storage. The camera stores recorded video locally on the included 32 GB SD card. It also features two-way audio communication.

Pros:
  • Sharp 1080p video
  • Dual-band wi-fi
  • Intelligent motion detection
  • Customized notification features
  • Built-in strobe light and loud siren
Cons:
  • Doesn’t offer cloud storage
  • Doesn’t support Apple HomeKit

TP-Link Kasa KC200

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

Key features

  • Night vision mode up to 30 ft. (9m)
  • 130º field of view
  • Two-way communication
  • Built-in 80dB siren
  • Motion detection
  • Smart home connectivity
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1080p Full-HD video resolution with 30 fps
  • Cloud storage

The TP-Link Kasa captures 1080p Full-HD video at 30fps and has a 130-degree field of view and 8x digital zoom. Daytime video quality is a little soft but provides rich colors and no distortion. The above-average frame rate is a plus for video smoothness. Night vision is not so clear though, with facial features being harder to make out.

The camera’s two-way, push-to-talk communication is clear and very audible even beyond 30 feet (9m). Motion detection is also available and you can also adjust motion sensitivity according to your needs to avoid generating a flood of alerts. You can set activity zones so you’re only alerted if motion or sound is detected in those areas, rather than across the whole image.

Unfortunately, Kasa doesn’t feature any kind of local storage capabilities. You’ve to rely on cloud storage and subscribe to a plan. For free, you’ll get 1GB of cloud storage for two days of recorded video (up to three cameras). Although if you need more you have to subscribe to one of the Kasa paid plans.

Pros:
  • Good daylight video quality
  • Free cloud storage available
  • Highly customizable motion detection
  • The magnetic mount makes it easy to position
Cons:
  • Doesn’t offer local storage
  • Video player software could be better

Wrap Up

Home security cameras are a crucial investment to protect your home from intruders. Unfortunately, you can’t watch everything around your property all the time. Lucky for you, security cameras can.

Thanks to a new wave of connected home security cameras, it has never been easier to keep an eye on your home even when you’re far away from it.

There are a bunch of different security cameras available on the market nowadays within a very wide range of prices from cheap home camera security systems to very expensive ones, offering all kinds of capabilities.

We hope this article, where we review our top 10 outdoor security cameras on sale, can be a great help for you when choosing a security camera that better suits your home needs.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does IP camera need power?

There are two types of IP cameras: the ones you have to connect to your home’s power supply and others that are 100% wireless and are powered by an internal, rechargeable battery.

Do home security cameras have audio?

Most security cameras feature two-way audio communication capability. Although, some inexpensive entry-level cameras may only include one-way audio or don’t offer any audio capabilities at all.

How long do home security cameras record?

Most security can be set to record continuously or be programmed to record video footage in a given period of time. Many can also record images only when motion is detected.

How long do home security cameras keep footage?

It depends mainly on two aspects: how big your storage card is in case your camera is storing video locally in a memory card, and if the video is being recorded to a cloud service, that will depend on the cloud storage plan you have subscribed to.

What is the best IP camera software for PC?

We recommend the IP Camera Viewer. It is very easy to use with a friendly interface and supports more than 2200 camera models. So yours likely to be included. It can control and view up to 4 camera feeds simultaneously. In our point of view, it is the best IP camera software free.

What is the best IP camera software for Mac?

Ivideon is an awesome option if you’re a Mac user. Online home use and access is completely full featured and freeware. It has smart notifications and it’s very easy to use. It’s our choice as the best software for security camera if you’re a Mac user.

What is the best IP camera iPhone app?

Alfred Home Security Camera is one of the best IP camera app for iPhone. It has video streaming, motion detection, a two-way walkie-talkie, free cloud storage, and instant notifications. It is compatible with iPhones running iOS 8 and up. It’s our personal choice as the best IP camera viewer for iPhone.

What is the best IP camera app for Android?

AtHome Camera is very easy to use and includes some great features such as time-lapse recording, multi-view for up to four cameras, remote monitoring, and even facial recognition. Also it doesn’t have considerable cons. And what’s more, it’s free! For us, it is the best IP camera viewer app for Android.

What is PoE?

It stands for Power-over-Ethernet. Devices with Power-over-Ethernet use a single ethernet cable to connect the security surveillance camera. You don’t need to connect it to a power outlet.

In a PoE camera, the ethernet cable is capable of powering the camera and transmiting video at the same time. Outdoor PoE security is unquestionable.

Surge Protectors for Home Theater 2021

Of all of the things in our homes, the home entertainment system is usually something we take the most pride in. We may just start with a TV but as time goes on, we treat ourselves to a video console or surround sound system. Our home entertainment system is a symbol of our hard work and savings. It is a considerable investment and should be protected. In this article, we’ll be reviewing surge protectors for home theater systems.

Unfortunately, most aren’t aware of the potential dangers a power supply has. Many of us have experienced a big storm that causes a power cut. It’s not just a blackout that we need to be careful of. Storms, blackouts, and power surge all cause damage.

The not so fortunate have lost thousands in equipment after a power surge. So, our appliances can also be damaged over time with each power surge. This will reduce the lifespan of our investment.

The simple way to overcome a power surge is to connect your home entertainment system to a surge protector. This will block any extra electrical power passing through the outlet.

In a hurry?

Get the Tripp Lite 12-outlet surge protector which offers excellent value for money and provides great levels of protection. For us, this is the best surge protector for home theater in this article.

There are hundreds of power surge protectors. Choosing one is not always easy and customer reviews can be one-sided. Today, we are going to look at 10 of the best surge protectors for our home entertainment systems. Aside from just value for money, we will look at their features and some of the pros and cons.

Best Surge Protector For Home Theater

Let’s dive into the reviews. This table helps to compare the various products:

Product Name Outlets USB Outlets Cord Length Connected Equipment Warranty
CyberPower CPS1215RMS 12 0 15ft (4.6m) None stated
GE Surge Protector 12 2 (tethered) 8ft (2.4m) $500,000
Etekcity 6-outlet 6 4 6ft (1.8m) None stated
Belkin 7-outlet 7 0 7ft (2.1m) $75,000
Tripp Lite 12-outlet 12 0 8ft (2.4m) $250,000
Amazon Basics 12-outlet 12 0 8ft (2.4m) Not stated
Tripp Lite Isobar 10 0 8ft (2.4m) $500,000
SafeMore Smart Surge Protector 8 4 6.5ft (2m) None stated
DailyComb Smart Power Strip 4 4 6ft (1.8m) None stated
Arista 12-outlet power station 12 0 6ft (1.8m) None stated

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - CyberPower CPS1215RMS
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CyberPower CPS1215RMS

Main Characteristics:

  • 12 outlets
  • 1800-joule protection
  • 15ft (4.6m) power cord
  • Side facing outlets for space-saving design

We liked the features of this surge protector. Rather than the traditional design, the outlets are on the side and it looks sleek and modern. No extra-wide outlets, but with 12 in total, there are plenty of options.

It can be mounted on a wall either vertically or horizontally and it’s very slim so it will sit behind furniture. The housing is made of industrial-grade metal, so it’s protected from damage.

The device comes with EMI/RFI noise filtration. This protects against interference from other electrical appliances. A great thing about this surge protector is the long 15ft (4.6m) long power cord.

Pros:
  • It comes with a three-year warranty
  • Lots of wall mounting options because of the cable length
  • It’s really easy to use with straight-forward LED lights to read
  • The response time is 1 nanosecond
Cons:
  • It’s a bit pricey for the lower joule rating of 1800J
  • It doesn’t appear to be UL listed

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - GE Surge Protector
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GE Surge Protector

Main Characteristics:

  • 12 outlets and 2 USB ports
  • 4320-joule protection
  • Safety covers
  • Lifetime warranty and $500,000 connected equipment warranty

The GE surge protector has the right safety features. It has an excellent joule rating of 4320J and a clamping voltage of 400v. Besides, the safety covers prevent fingers and dirt from entering the outlets. It also comes with a built-in circuit breaker and power filtration. Furthermore, automatic shutdown provides even better protection for your technology equipment.

Of the 12 outlets, 4 are wide-spaced, which will allow for larger adapters. There are two USB ports tethered to the surge protector and the power cord is 8ft (2.4m) long. Also, it can be wall-mounted and has a flat plug to save space.

It comes with a lifetime warranty. We also appreciated that the $500,000 connected equipment warranty covers surges, spikes, and lightning.

Pros:
  • A lifetime warranty and $500,000 connected equipment
  • Ample outlets for those with a lot of home entertainment equipment
  • The UBB ports are handy for charging console controls
  • UL listed
Cons:
  • The blue LED light is quite strong

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Etekcity 6-Outlet
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Etekcity 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip

Main Characteristics:

  • 6 outlets and 4 USB ports
  • 5610-joule protection
  • ABS flame-resistant materials
  • UL and ETL listed, FCC certified

While it might not be the most attractive surge protector, it certainly does an excellent job. It offers the highest joule rating of our top 10 at 5610J and features 400v clamping voltage. It has various safety certifications and it’s made from ABS flame-resistant materials.

Each of the 6 outlets is widely spaced. The USB ports are fast charging with a maximum of 6 amps across all four ports. The cable is 6ft (1.8m) long, which is standard.

It’s easy to mount on a wall with 4 holes for added security. On top of that, it comes with a 2-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. This surge protector is great value for money.

Pros:
  • It protects against over-current, over-voltage, overheat and overloading
  • It’s well made and the plugs aren’t difficult to slot in
  • It works well as a surge protector
Cons:
  • Stays off after a surge, doesn’t automatically restart

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Belkin 7-Outlet Surge Protector
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Belkin 7-Outlet Surge Protector

Main Characteristics:

  • 7 outlets
  • 7ft (2.1m) long power cord
  • 2160-joule protection
  • 330v clamping voltage and less than 1 nanosecond response time
  • ADSL modem outlets

There are three buying options with 6, 7, or 12 outlets. There seems to be some confusion with the joule rating. According to Belkin, it is 2160J and, the clamping voltage and response time are ideal.

As well as the outlets, you will be able to connect your ADSL modem. Besides, this surge protector has EMI/RFI filtration up to 43db. Also, it is incredibly lightweight at 1lb (453.6g).

This is the cheapest device we have looked at and offers a lovely sleek design. In addition, it has a lifetime warranty and comes with a $75,000 connected equipment warranty.

Pros:
  • It is a sturdy, high-quality and reliable surge protector
  • Belkin hasn’t reduced the safety features to compensate for the price
  • Although there are only two LED indicator lights, it makes it very easy to read
Cons:
  • The right-angled plug causes some issues regarding the direction of the power cord

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Tripp Lite Surge Protector Power Strip
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Tripp 12-Outlet Lite Surge Protector Power Strip

Main Characteristics:

  • 12 outlets plus telephone/Coax/Modem/Ethernet protection
  • 2880-joule protection
  • 8ft (2.4m) long power cord
  • $250,000 connected equipment warranty

This is another great option for home entertainment systems. You can have all your appliances connected to one surge protector: TV, game console, speakers, telephone, Internet, and cable TV. 4 of the 12 outlets are widely spaced.

It has a great amount of protection with 2880 joules. The clamping voltage is 400v and the response time is less than one nanosecond. It comes with a long power cord at 8ft (2.4m) and EMI/RFI filtration.

The keyhole slots allow you to mount the surge protector and the flat plug will keep your furniture close to the wall. Tripp Lite offers a limited lifetime warranty. The $250,000 connected equipment warranty covers damage caused by power surges.

Pros:
  • Features simple LED diagnostic lights
  • A 6ft telephone, network, and coax cable is included
  • It’s UL listed
Cons:
  • Depending on your Internet provider, the Internet may face interruptions

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Amazon Basics 12-outlet Power Strip Surge
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Amazon Basics 12-outlet Power Strip Surge

Main Characteristics:

  • 12 outlets, 4 are widely spaced
  • 4320-joule protection
  • 8ft (2.4m) power cord
  • Fireproof MOV protection

The 12 outlets have sliding covers to keep the dust out. Four are widely spaced. With a total of 12 outlets, you can plug in all of your home entertainment systems.

The levels of protection are better than some of the more expensive surge protectors. In addition, it has 4320-joule protection and 330v clamping voltage with a response time of less than 1 nanosecond.

It comes with EMI/RFI filtration to prevent interference from other electrical equipment. The 8ft (2.4m) power cord is heavy-duty. The LED indicators show that the surge protector is protected and grounded and it’s also wall-mountable.

Pros:
  • Good value for money with perfect levels of protection
  • It is UL listed
  • A must-have if you live in a stormy area, or you have a lot of expensive equipment
Cons:
  • Some might not like the brightness of the LED indicator

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Tripp Lite Isobar
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Tripp Lite Isobar

Main Characteristics:

  • 10 outlets, 4 are widely spaced
  • 3840-joule protection
  • Telephone/Modem/coax/Network outlets
  • Metal housing

This high-end surge protector will protect everything and then some. There are plenty of outlets plus 3-line 22GHz gold coaxial. There is also 1-line high-speed Ethernet and 1-line phone/modem.

All of this comes in a durable and fire-resistant metal housing. Each outlet is color-coded to help you make the most of the surge protector.

The power cord is 8ft (2.4m) long with a right-angled plus and there is high joule protection (3840j). Besides, the clamping voltage is 330v and less than 1 nanosecond response time.

It is UL listed and comes with a lifetime warranty. Most importantly, for extra peace of mind, there is a $500,000 connected equipment warranty.

Pros:
  • The high-speed Ethernet resolves potential problems of a slow Internet
  • Excellent protection, even for larger home entertainment systems
  • The noise filtration helps prevent data errors on PCs and similar appliances
Cons:
  • It’s quite pricey

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - SafeMore Smart Surge Protector
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SafeMore Smart Surge Protector

Main Characteristics:

  • 8 outlets and 4 USB ports
  • 2100-joule protection
  • Tower design available in two colors
  • FCC, CE, and ROHS listed

This surge protector has been tested and certified to prove its safety. It has a nice level of joule protection and fire retardant protection. SafeMore offers a 2-year guarantee.

With a tower design, it is easy to plug in a variety of sized adapters. The 4 USB ports have Smart Charging technology, so the additional charge will be sent to those outlets in use. The power cord is 6.5ft (2m) and the plug is flat.

It’s nice that you can choose between black or white and blue. Having 2 power buttons is also a great feature, so you can control the top half and the bottom half individually.

Pros:
  • We liked the idea of tower design. It can sit next to the TV and it’s easy to access all of the outlets
  • It has 10 different protections including short circuit and overload. In addition, there is opposite charging avoidance and electric field interference avoidance
  • The LED lights are soft and not too bright
Cons:
  • It’s not very sturdy and may fall over

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Daily Comb Smart Power Strip
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DailyComb Smart Power Strip

Main Characteristics:

  • 4 outlets and 4 USB ports
  • Safety Protection design
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
  • 90-day money-back guarantee and 1-year warranty

There are only 4 outlets so this might be better for smaller home entertainment systems. However, they are all widely spaced. Furthermore, it features additionally 4 USB ports.

Unfortunately, we are lacking all of the protection information. And we aren’t even sure if it is UL listed. However, it does have an anti-fault outlet and an anti-fault power button for security. Also, it’s made from PCVO fireproof materials.

On a positive, it’s great for the tech-savvy. You can control this surge protector by voice or from your smartphone. Also, you can set timers and control each outlet individually and set other controls for the USB ports. And you can also turn appliances and devices on and off when you aren’t home.

Pros:
  • Great for gaming systems/movie rooms that you want to be hands-free
  • Simple to set up and pair with the Smart Life app
  • Nice design and spacing, the USB ports work well
Cons:
  • Many have had issues getting it up with Google Home

Surge Protectors for Home Theater - Arista Power Station
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Arista 12-outlet Power Station

Main Characteristics:

  • 12 outlets, 4 widely spaced
  • 3150-joule protection
  • Coaxial/cable/CATV/DSS/telephone protection
  • UL listed

Our final surge protector will also offer protection to several different appliances. 6 of the outlets are on the front of the surge protector. There are 6 more on top. The coaxial and modem outlets are on either end.

This surge protector offers 3150-joule protection. The clamping voltage is 400v and the response time is less than 1 nanosecond. It’s also equipped with MOV technology.

Other features include a 6ft (1,8m) power cord and a flat, right-angled plug to save space. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros:
  • All-round protection for phones, cable, Internet, and home entertainment systems
  • Good value for money for all of the protection options
  • The design maximizes the space you have for all the outlets
Cons:
  • It would be nice to see a longer warranty for the price

Wrap up

So, how do we choose the best surge protector? We decided that this would depend on two basic things: whether you are looking for a standard surge protector or one with the ability to provide more advanced protection.

If you are in the search for a surge protector for your home entertainment system and more, we would recommend the Tripp Lite 12-outlet surge protector. It is an excellent value for money and provides great levels of protection. Besides, it has a longer than average power cord. We also felt that the lifetime warranty and $250,000 connected equipment warranty adds a lot to its value.

If you are into something more focused on TVs, game consoles, speakers, you may consider the GE Surge Protector and the Etekcity. Both have high joule protection and 400v clamping voltage. Most importantly, GE has a lifetime warranty and a $500,000 connected warranty. Etekcity only has a 2-year warranty, however, it’s half the price. Either one is going to provide your home entertainment system with brilliant protection. In the end, you just have to decide if you need the GE with 12 outlets and 2 USB ports, or the Etekcity with 6 outlets and 4 USB ports.

 

A few features that you must consider

Joules: The energy absorption rate. Generally speaking, the higher the better. For a TV you should look for a joule rating of at least 2500J.

Clamping voltage: The maximum voltage that can pass through the surge protector. The lower the better.

Response time: How quickly the surge protector will block the power surge.

Outlets: The number but also the design, whether they are spaced out, and if it has USB ports. Some will also have outlets for telephone cables and Ethernet outlets.

Value for money: Aside from the cost, we look at warranties and connected equipment warranties. This is the amount you can claim if your equipment is damaged.

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel 2021

The Best Surge Protectors For Electrical Panels

Today we’re taking a look at the best surge protector for the electric panel. It is estimated that each home has approximately $15,000 of electrical equipment. Power surges can cause around $26 billion of damage in lost time, repairs, and equipment per year. 20% of our electrical surges come from lightning or issues caused by provider companies. A massive 80% come from within our homes, according to NEMA Currents. If these statistics aren’t enough for you to rush out, think of your family’s safety!

In a hurry?

Get the Morris Products 89114. It features 72,000amp protection, a 500 VPR, and less than 1 nanosecond response time.

Power surges may cause electric shocks and/or fires. A whole-house surge protector is worth the investment. Before you choose one, it is worth taking the time to understand more about how they work.

Top Rated Surge Protectors For Electric Panels

In this article, we will explain the technical details of a whole house surge protector. This way you know some things to look out for. After that, we will look at 10 of the top surge protectors for electric panels. Those are surge protectors that are installed in your house’s electrical panel and protect the whole house electrical installation.

Not all of us are qualified electricians. For those who are, we apologize if our explanation is rather simplified.

Imagine one big power line coming from your utility company. It reaches your home at the electrical panel. From here, the power goes throughout your house whether that’s through telephone lines, Ethernet cables, or electrical wires. All homes will have a grounded wire.

Here are some key things to look out for when buying a whole house surge protector

Before we dive into the product reviews, let’s check a few key points you should be aware of:

  • Amps: There is no correct number, but we recommend it to have a protection level of 20,000 – 40,000 amps. If your area is prone to lightning storms, aim for 80,000 amps. A higher number doesn’t mean better protection. It means it will last longer.
  • VPR: The clamping voltage, or voltage protection rating. It is more complicated than a surge protector strip because there are various modes of protection. However, a lower number is still better.
  • Modes of protection: There must be a minimum of two modes, L-N, and L-G (Line to Neutral and Line to Ground). Most offer at least 4 modes, the two previously mentioned are N-G and L-L, (Neutral to Ground and Line to Line).
  • Joules: Unlike a power strip surge protector, we don’t consider the joule protection because the above factors are more important.
  • Response time: The best whole house surge protectors will respond within less than a nanosecond.

For more information check out our surge protector buying guide.

Pros and cons of whole house surge protector

Pros

The biggest advantage of having a whole house surge protector is to ensure the safety of every electrical device you have connected, and also the integrity of the whole home’s electrical system.

That being said, a proper installation of whole house surge protectors not only protects your electrical devices such as computers, TVs, kitchen appliances, etc. but also your home’s electrical outlets, switches, plugs, electrical wiring, and even light bulbs from unexpected harmful power surges.

It is an investment that can prevent the loss of thousands in electrical equipment. Keep in mind power surges and their effects are rarely ever covered under home insurance plans.

And more, it’s a plus for your safety too as it’s not only protecting your equipment but also your life by preventing potential short circuits and fires.

Cons

The most notable drawback of having a whole house surge protector is its price and other costs associated with the install process. Those are not cheap devices and you’ll have to add the installation cost as another expense.

A surge protector installation needs to be done by a credited professional, ensuring having a proper connection between the surge protector and your house’s electrical panel.

You should also consider getting your home’s electrical grounding inspected by a licensed electrician. If it has an unstable electrical grounding, it will not be capable to handle the excess electricity forced onto it by the surge protector. And that’s another additional cost you should be counting on.

Whole house Surge Protector review

This table helps to compare the various products in this review:

Product Name Volts Level of protection (AMPS) Connected equipment warranty
Leviton 51120 120/240 50,000 per phase None stated
Eaton CHSPT2 Ultra 120/240 105,000 per phase $75,000
Siemens FS140 120/240 140,000 per phase Yes, but amount not stated
Intermatic IG1240RC3 120/240 10,000 per phase $25,000
Square D HEPD80 120/240 80,000 per phase $75,000 for residential use
Siemens TPS3A03050 120/240 50,000 per phase None stated
Morris Products 89114 120/240 72,000 per phase None stated
Murray MSA2020SPD 12/240 10,000 per phase None stated
Square D SDSB80111 120/240 80,000 per phase $75,000
Intermatic AG3000 120/240 20,000 per phase $7,500

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Leviton 51120
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Leviton 51120

Key Features:

  • 50,000amp protection
  • 3-Phase panel protector
  • 4 modes
  • Limited lifetime warranty

They designed the Leviton for a range of buildings from homes to commerce. It is available in single-phase or 3-phase protection. It has 4 modes of protection and a low VPR at 300. 50,000amp is well within the recommended amount.

There are 3 LED indicators. When all three are on, you know it fully protects you. If one light goes out, you know you need to replace the module inside. This means you don’t need to replace the whole surge protector each time.

They make the box from metal and it is easy to mount with a standard J-Box enclosure. The Leviton is UL 1449 3rd Edition Listed, so it has passed all the safety tests.

Pros:
  • Good protection for appliances
  • Easy to install
  • Correct levels of protection
Cons:
  • Expensive

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Eaton CHSPT2 Ultra
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Eaton CHSPT2 Ultra

Key Features:

  • 105,000amp protection
  • 4 modes
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • < 1 nanosecond response time
  • $75,000 connected equipment warranty

This is a great whole house surge protector. It has high amp protection, so it is ideal if you are prone to storms or power cuts. It has 4 modes of protection. If a power surge strikes, it will respond within less than a nanosecond. The VPR is a little too high at 600V but there is joule protection of 2820j.

There are two indicator lights. If either of these goes out, you must replace the surge protector. It comes with a warranty covering up to $75,000 connected equipment. However, it doesn’t say how long the warranty is for. The warranty also doesn’t cover lightning strikes.

This one is very easy to install and you can install it indoors or outdoors. It has the UL 2449 3rd Edition Listing which is great value for money considering what it can save you.

Pros:
  • Listed as Type 4 by NEMA
  • Installation is straightforward
  • Excellent value for money
Cons:
  • Warranty needs careful reading

 

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Siemens FS140
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Siemens FS140

Key Features:

  • 140,000amp protection
  • 3-phase protection
  • 4 modes
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • 10-year warranty

It is great when your whole house surge protector can work for homes and/or commercial buildings. The Siemens FS140 is good for residential properties, offices, and commercial buildings. It has high amp protection and a response time of less than 1 nanosecond.

While there are 4 modes of protection, the VPR is still slightly high at 600V. Considering the price, it would be nice to see a lower number. We like the audible alarm and LED indicators.

NEMA rated this model as Type 4, suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It is easy to install, and it is UL 1449 listed. There is a 10-year warranty and a connected equipment warranty although they don’t state the amount. Again, read the warranty carefully. It is only valid if a licensed electrician fits the unit.

Pros:
  • Excellent all-round protection
  • LED lights
  • Audio notification
  • Made from quality materials
Cons:
  • Some people received refurbished models

 

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Intermatic IG1240RC3
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Intermatic IG1240RC3

Key Features:

  • 10,000amp protection
  • 6 modes
  • Replaceable modules
  • 10-year warranty

The Intermatic whole house surge is a popular choice. However, we feel there are better options regarding protection. It has 10,000amp protection, which is far lower than the recommended amount. The VPR is 800v but they do not state the response time.

The Flush mount kit comes with it and it is nice that holes in the door line up with the LED lights. Blue lights show power, green lights mean there is protection, and red rights mean the module needs replacing. You can buy individual modules rather than replacing the whole surge protector.

It is UL 1449 3rd edition listed and comes with a 10-year warranty, and a $25,000 connected equipment warranty. Intermatic stated that it has state-of-the-art TPMOV technology. But we would prefer to see some better amp/VPR numbers.

Pros:
  • Easy to install
  • Offers more modes
  • Excellent quality build
  • Made from good materials
Cons:
  • Too expensive for the value it provides

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Square D HEPD80
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Square D HEPD80

Key Features:

  • 80,000amp protection
  • 6 modes
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • 5-year warranty

This product looks too good to be true. It ticks all the protection boxes we like. It has 80,000amp protection and a 600 VPR. The response rate is less than 5 nanoseconds. There is also a joule rating of 3300.

The LED indicators will let you know that everything works correctly. NEMA gave it a Type 4 rating so you can use it both indoor and outdoor. The connected equipment warranty is for up to $75,000 but residential use only.

It even comes at an excellent price. Unfortunately, Square D has used potentially harmful materials.

Pros:
  • Great value for money
  • UL listed
  • Very good levels of protection
  • Easy to install
Cons:
  • Potential health risk

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Siemens TPS3A03050
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Siemens TPS3A03050

Key Features:

  • 50,000amp protection
  • 2 modes
  • UL 1449 3rd edition listing
  • UL 96A listing
  • Compact size

This is like the little brother of the Siemens FS140. It has 50,000amp, which is less than the FS140 but still a sufficient amount. The VPR is still 600. Here, we are unsure of the response time.

The size of the unit is useful if you are short on space. It is just 3.2 x 3.2 x 3.3 inches (8.25 x 8.25 x 8.38cm). It is UL listed and UL 96A listed- Lightning Protection Master. There is a 5-year warranty, however, they don’t state the connected equipment warranty.

We highly recommend that a professional install this unit. It is super simple to read with one green LED indicator when it is protected. Overall, a good whole house surge protector for a relatively good price.

Pros:
  • High-quality
  • Mountable indoors or outdoors
  • A great option for protection
Cons:
  • Only 2 modes of protection

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Morris Products 89114
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Morris Products 89114

Key Features:

  • 72,000amp protection
  • 2 modes
  • UL listed
  • Easy installation

It is difficult to find fault with this whole house surge protector. It is the perfect example of how you need not spend hundreds to protect your home. 72,000amp is enough for standard homes and will hold up well during storms.

It also has a 500 VPR and less than 1 second response time. There is a joule protection rating of 940j, not much but handy to know. They have a UL Listing for it and they make the housing from high-quality plastic. It also has an automatic rest button, so it protects you in case of multiple power surges.

It only has 2 modes of protection but this is not enough to put us off. There is no information about a warranty or connected equipment warranty.

Pros:
  • Excellent protection
  • Protects from lightning and electrical faults
  • Easy to install
  • Brilliant value for money
Cons:
  • None

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Murray MSA2020SPD
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8. Murray MSA2020SPD

Key Features:

  • 10,000amp protection
  • 2 modes
  • 360 VPR

This is a good option if you are looking for space-saving surge protectors for electrical panels. It has just the right amount of protection but it would be good to see more than 10,000amp. The 360 VPR is the lowest we have seen.

It takes up the same amount of space as two standard single breakers. Installation is straightforward and the LED indicators show you it works correctly.

Features a two-year warranty but we recommend you to read the fine print. Once this unit has received a hit, or you notice the LED light is not on, you will need to replace it.

Pros:
  • Low VPR of 360v
  • Protects against electrical faults
  • Good price
Cons:
  • Low-quality materials
  • Not UL listed

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Square D SDSB80111
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Square D SDSB80111

Key Features:

  • 80,000amp protection
  • 6 modes
  • Removable modules
  • 5-year warranty

This Square D whole house surge protector has the same amps and modes as the HEPD80. It has a faster response time at less than 1 nanosecond. Unfortunately, we can’t find any information about VPR. As it is UL listed, we know it has passed the safety tests.

The main difference is that this version has removable modules. You can replace those that are not working rather than the entire unit. It has the same 5-year warranty and a $75,000 connected equipment warranty.

As the price is higher, you would have thought the company would have improved its materials. However, it still contains chemicals that can cause harm.

Pros:
  • Cable and Ethernet surge protection
  • Good protection
  • Protects from lightning
  • Easy to install
Cons:
  • Contains harmful chemicals

 

Best Surge Protector For Electric Panel - Intermatic AG3000
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Intermatic AG3000

Key Features:

  • 20,000amp protection
  • 3 modes
  • TPMOV technology
  • NEMA Type 4

20,000amp is right at the lower end of the recommended amount. The 700 VPR isn’t adding to its attractiveness. On a positive, there are 3 modes of protection and it is UL listed to ANSI and UL 1449 4th Edition Listed.

The NEMA Type 4 listing means the outer casing is durable enough for indoor and outdoor use. There is a simple green LED indicator to show you it’s working.

It’s the cheapest whole house surge protector that comes with a 3-year warranty. The $7,500 connected equipment warranty isn’t as grand as others but it’s better than nothing. If you are on a budget, this is not a bad option for you.

Pros:
  • Good warranty
  • Simple installation
  • Great value for money
Cons:
  • Low amps
  • High VPR

Wrap Up

Before we deliver our final opinions on the best whole surge protector, we feel it is important to mention one thing. We are dealing with the main electrical panel in our homes. If you don’t have the basic knowledge about electrics, ask an electrician to install it. It is always better to be safe than sorry. And this way you will prevent potential issues with the warranty.

There are three whole house surge protectors that we will cross of our list straight away: the Murray has no UL listing and both the Square D protectors have risks to our health that are not worth it.

Initially, we thought the more expensive units would have to provide better protection. But after thorough investigations, we changed our minds. A high amp doesn’t make for the best protection. So, this took the Siemens off our favorites list.

Both of the Intermatics didn’t have the recommended VPR. Neither of them had enough amp protection either.

Our final best option for a whole house surge protector is the Morris Products 89114. On the downside, it only has 2 modes of protection. That being said, it offers 72,000amp protection, a 500 VPR, and less than 1 nanosecond response time. You couldn’t ask for better protection.

It has an automatic reset button and an LED indicator. All of this for a lot less than you would pay for some leading brands.

Check out our other resources

Any kind of power surge means all of your electrical appliances will receive an extra load of electricity. This may cause small amounts of damage. Check out our article on the Difference Between Surge Protector and Power Strip

Here are some of our other articles to make sure you stay protected:

Having no protection against power surges could blow every appliance in your house. You can add a whole house surge protector to your electrical panel. It will take any additional power to the ground through the grounded wire.

If you’d rather save some money on your electric bill, take a look at our article on the best Energy-saving Surge Protector.

If you’re into RVs, also take a look at our other reviews on Surge Protector for Travel Trailers (RVs).

How To Unclog A Paper Shredder

How To Unclog A Paper Shredder

If you’re new to using paper shredders you might soon be finding out that sometimes they get clogged. Until you can unjam them, the device won’t be able to operate. That can be annoying but in most cases, you might be able to solve it in a few minutes. In this article, we’ll go through various ways on how to unclog a paper shredder.

Each shredder has a particular amount of paper that it can handle, beyond which clogging happens easily. It can also get jammed as some shredded pieces of paper accumulate in the shredding mechanism, even without taking too much paper at a time.

If the clogged paper prevents the blades to rotate, the paper shredder will not work.

The top of the range paper shredders are less prone to clogging, although these machines are recommended for intensive use and quite expensive. On the other hand, this is more likely to happen on lower-end machines, frequently used in home offices or small offices. But don’ despair, there are ways to fix it.

How to Fix a Paper Shredder Jam

In this article, you will find various ways how to unclog a paper shredder. We’ll go over automatic and manual ways to fix your clogged shredder.

As said before, a paper shredder gets jammed when too much paper clogs in its mechanism and prevents its blades to rotate.

The objective of this article is to reveal to you how to fix a jammed paper shredder.

Automatic option

It should be the first method to apply when you notice the problem. If it works, the solution will be easy and fast.

The shredder comes with a built-in option that can make its shredding mechanism run in reverse. Since the problem is that the shredder got clogged up by rotating in one direction, the device will try to unjam by rotating in the opposite way.

This is how you should do about it:

  1. Press the reverse button and the shredder will try to rotate backward;
  2. After the device rotates in reverse successfully and unclogs, try to shred again using less paper;
  3. If it doesn’t, sometimes alternating between forwards and backward movement might help;
  4. In any of the cases, if it doesn’t start rotating freely, don’t insist.

If this attempt was not successful, it’s time to try the manual options.

Manual options

First of all, before you do any of the following, unplug the shredder’s power cord. The manual fixes include trying to unclog the shredder mechanism. This is a shredder and its blades are dangerous. Be absolutely sure that the shredder has no power to prevent accidents.

There are various manual ways to go about this process. Some of them include:

Lift the top of the shredder

Several modern shredders come along with two pieces that include the mechanical part and the wastebasket. Removing the mechanical section helps in accessing both sides of the paper to unclog the equipment. You can lift the top off the wastebasket or unlock it if it uses the locking mechanism.

Use tweezers

Even without power, you can get hurt in the blades. For that reason, avoid direct hand contact.

You can opt to remove the small pieces of paper in the blades using tweezers. You need to check whether the jamming is on the outside or the bottom of the shredder mechanism. Go for the largest blocks of paper first.

Use a knife or scissors

Shredders will cut the paper into small strips that wrap around the cylindrical rollers, and this can result in clogging. To avoid that, use a knife or scissors to slice papers. It makes the shredding process much more manageable.

Use a narrow screwdriver

If in some instances you have might have difficulties reaching the clogged paper. f that’s the case, try using a narrow or precision screwdriver.

Feed the shredder with a heavy card stock

So you removed most of the clogged paper which was jamming the shredder.

To be sure it runs well, install the top of the shredder back and get away from its blades. Plug the power cord and check if the blades rotate backward and forward.

If they are rotating well, great job, you fixed it.

To finish the cleaning process, you may want to feed the shredder with card stock or more paper. Just make sure not to feed it more than it can handle.

The card or paper feed will push the clogged pieces of paper. Push the paper or card stock into the center of the paper slot as you run the equipment and check whether it works. If it fails, try another option to avoid worsening the problem.

Use shredder oil

Using shredder oil can also help. Read on to know how.

How to lubricate paper shredder

Shredder oil is an excellent remedy for a nasty clog. Add it to the jammed spot to aid in lubrication.

Remember, you need to leave the oil to soak up the paper conveniently. For that reason, apply the oil and leave it to rest for half an hour before you run the shredder again. Make sure that the lubricant is an aerosol lubricant to avoid causing some damage.

A great option is the Fellowes Powershred Performance Shredder Oil, which comes in a 16 oz (473ml) bottle.

How To Unclog A Paper Shredder - Fellowes Powershred Performance Shredder Oil

Click the image to check the price on Amazon now!

In case you’re wondering, Fellowes is a reputable brand when it comes to power shredders and office gear.

Moreover, this bottle also features an extended nozzle. That makes its application very easy. If you ever applied oil without a nozzle in a tight spot, you know what I’m talking about.

If you aren’t doing it already, lubricate your shredder regularly. It will run better.

Let’s see how to lubricate paper shredder. It’s quite easy. There are two methods to consider:

Using paper

This is the way to do it if the shredding mechanism is out of reach.

To start, be sure to do this on a surface that can be easily cleaned afterward.

Apply oil on a sheet in a zig-zag pattern and make sure that there’s oil going to all edges of the sheet.

Insert that sheet in the machine so it shreds it. As the blades shred the sheet, they will become lubricated.

A few minutes later you can shred two or three sheets of paper to remove excess oil from the blades.

Applying directly

Apply the oil directly on the blades using the extended nozzle.

After applying, make the shredder work in the reverse direction for 15-20 seconds.

That will ensure that the oil spreads evenly across the shredding mechanism.

Some minutes later, shred two or three sheets of paper to remove excess oil from the blades.

These are the best ways how to fix a paper shredder jam

While I can’t guarantee that these specific procedures will work in your case, they will surely fix most situations.

Try out one after the other if the preceding fails to work. Do not force the device if it fails to work because it can lead to unexpected damage. Instead, seek professional intervention.

And remember, anytime you take an object or a hand near the shredder, unplug its power cord before. Put safety first.

Further information on paper shredders

If you’re in a hurry you could shred paper without a paper shredder.

If you’re looking for a new shredder, we got you covered, too. Read our article on paper shredders for home use. For intensive use, you should get a paper shredder for office use.

To know what to look for, check out our paper shredder buying guide.

How To Shred Paper Without A Shredder

How To Shred Paper Without A Shredder

Most of the papers that you have will contain sensitive information that might be personal or work-related. Many people depend on shredders to do away with the piles of paper that do not serve any purpose to them. However, other alternatives will still handle the process equally well. Read on to know how to shred paper without a shredder.

Before you decide on the ways to do away with your papers, it is essential to acknowledge the documents that you should consider not necessary. Let me point you in the right direction.

What sensitive information should you destroy?

The first question to answer is if the documents hold any sensitive information.

If a document has sensitive information, it’s better to shred it. You could just dispose of it like you’d do with adverts but it’s better to prevent less than well-intentioned ones to get hold of your information.

Some of those elements include the following:

  • Your name
  • Home address
  • Your employer
  • Account numbers
  • Social security number
  • Card statement
  • Bills
  • Receipts

You wouldn’t want any of these documents being available to strangers, right?

These are the general pieces of information you should track for shredding. When you’re disposing of documents always remember to consider if it has sensitive data that you’d like to keep private.

With that said, let’s find out how to shred paper without a shredder.

How to destroy paper without a shredder

If you’re going to regularly destroy documents with sensitive data, the best option is, by far, getting a paper shredder. Yes, it costs more initially but in the long run it’s cheaper. Not only that, with a paper shredder you can destroy paper in a matter of a few seconds, effortlessly.

Let’s see how to destroy paper without a paper shredder. If for some reason these options are not suitable for you, please read until the very end of this article.

For those of you who haven’ decided to make that move yet, read on. The same applies if you’ve just ordered your paper shredder but you need to destroy documents now.

In my opinion, there are two main options:

Pulping or bleaching the documents

This process requires a few items and some of your time. But in the end, your sensitive data will disappear.

The goal of this process is to remove the colorants of the ink. It is an ideal way to recycle the paper.

The process requires you to use a large trashcan that can hold all the documents that you intend to shred. It should hold around 8 gallons (30L) to dissolve the documents with about 5.8 gallons (22L) of a mixture of water and bleach.

If your trashcan holds a different volume, please adjust accordingly.

This is the way to do it:

  1. Start by gathering documents before starting;
  2. If applicable, remove content from their envelopes;
  3. Keep the sheets unfolded to make the process much easier;
  4. Add about 0.5 gallons (2L) of bleach into the trashcan and add water until the paper saturates completely;
  5. Use a rod to hold the documents into the mixture until they submerge entirely into the mix;
  6. Leave the documents to sit for twenty-four hours if you want them to break effectively.

For faster results, in an emergency, you should consider using a different process. All you need to do is use a paint turbine mixer to blend the paper until they break completely. You should occasionally check if there is any content that you can find and break the documents into much smaller pieces and re-blend them.

Since your garbage services might fail to collect the wet pulp, you should decide to dry the pulp. So, lay it out in the sunlight and leave it to dry. You can use the dry pulp as mulch (although you should avoid using bleach) or dispose of it using the normal process.

Make sure that you use the right safety precautions in this process when handling bleach. It can be dangerous to your skin and eyes. Inhaling it or accidentally consuming it is also dangerous. Read the instructions and safety precautions on the bleach bottle.

Burning the Documents

Burning your sensitive documents might seem to be a simple task but there are a few precautions you must consider.

The best way to handle it is by using standard fire pits since they allow a better flow of air, which burns your documents completely. At the same time, it’s off the ground and prevents the escape of any burning paper.

In many places, it is illegal to burn paper or other objects openly, which requires one to employ other means. Please inform yourself on local legislation on this matter.

One excellent way to handle the process is by using professional burn cages.

However, if you cannot use such equipment, you can use a fire pit or a cast-iron bathtub.

Keep away any and every inflammable object. Also, keep a bucket with water near the chosen place or even a hose or a fire extinguisher ready. I know you know that starting a small fire can be dangerous and you’ll take every safety precaution. Still, I must insist.

You should burn the documents starting with a small fire and continue adding them up until they are finished. Check whether there are any remaining documents and burn them as well. Once you have completed and the ashes are cool, you can scatter them in your yard.

Wrap-up

Now you know how to destroy paper without a shredder easily.

With these techniques at hand, you can get rid of your sensitive documents without spending too much on a shredder. It also gives you the confidence of doing away with your data. Just be sure to follow the best safety precautions.

If this will be a regular activity, as mentioned before, it’s probably too much hassle. Get a paper shredder, it’s faster, easier and safer.

To know what to look for, check out our paper shredder buying guide.

Also, read our article about paper shredders for home use. But if you want a device for more intensive use, you need a paper shredder for office use.

If you have a paper shredder, it’s good to know how to fix a jammed paper shredder.