Gigabit USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter on USB 2.0 port

Gigabit USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter on USB 2.0 port

Is there such thing as a gigabit USB 2.0 Ethernet adapter? There is, but they’re hard to find because gigabit runs faster than the limits of USB 2.0. But you can use a gigabit USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter on a USB 2.0 port and it will function.

When you plug a USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter into a USB 2.0 port, it will still work at reduced speed, as long as your operating system has a driver for it. It will still negotiate a gigabit link speed with your Ethernet switch, and you’ll get whatever speeds your system can manage. It will be faster than 100 megabits.

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Can Magnets Damage Electronics?

Can Magnets Damage Electronics?

Can magnets damage electronics? It’s a common question, or at least a common belief, especially among people over the age of 30.  But the danger that household magnets pose to modern electronics is minimal and grows smaller with each passing year.

While a household magnet can theoretically damage a hard drive, it’s only under unusual circumstances, and more and more electronics are moving away from magnetic hard drives. Household magnets have no effect on computer chips. Household magnets could damage the media older computers used for storage and make CRTs act strange, but that’s where the idea came from and both of these technologies are fading from use.

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Roku Internet speed is poor? Here’s what to do

Roku Internet speed is poor? Here’s what to do

If your Roku Internet speed is poor, or you think it might be inadequate, there are some things to do about it. Here’s how to run a Roku Internet speed test and how to interpret the results it gives you.

The key to managing your Roku Internet speed is knowing what constitutes good or poor speed. Sometimes we overestimate how much bandwidth we actually need to stream, and what seems like poor speed may be a different problem.

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Computer power cord AWG: Why it matters

Computer power cord AWG: Why it matters

If you look at your PC power cord really carefully, you’ll see a number stamped on the side followed by the letters AWG. What does a computer power cord’s AWG mean, and should you worry about it?

With a typical desktop computer, even a light-duty power cord is sufficient and you don’t have to worry about AWG. High-end computers like servers or gaming computers with high-power video cards in them do benefit from a heavier-duty power cord, such as 16 AWG or even 14 AWG. Using a heavier cord than the manufacturer specified won’t cause any problems, but a too-light cord can cause power issues.  

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How long should a router last? It depends.

How long should a router last? It depends.

In 2016, I got spiffy new Internet service that promised to be a little faster than 100 megabits. So I got a spiffy new gigabit router to work with it. It worked for six months. That got me thinking about how long should a router last.

For a while, routers were so cheap I didn’t really care how long they lasted. You could get a good-enough router for 20 bucks. But to get the features we want today, you’re looking at $100 or more. And at that price point, you should expect it to last a while.

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Hyperx Alloy FPS Pro review

Hyperx Alloy FPS Pro review

I want a quiet keyboard that doesn’t feel like typing on overcooked oatmeal. Ideally I want it to be tenkeyless to save space on my desk. I need the desk space more than I need the keypad these days. I realize I ask for an awful lot. My quest led me to the Hyperx Alloy FPS Pro. It’s designed to be a gaming keyboard, but I’m using it for work. Here’s my Hyperx Alloy FPS Pro review.

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How much does it cost to build a computer?

How much does it cost to build a computer?

How much does it cost to build a computer, you ask? It depends on how much you want to spend, whether you have any parts you can use already on hand, and what your expectations are. But I can give you some ranges so you can figure it out.

Generally, it’s not cheaper to build than buy, but you do get exactly what you want, so there’s that benefit. And there’s nothing wrong with spending a little more to get exactly how much quality you want, or because you enjoy it, or because you want to learn more about how computers work. Those things all have some value too, even if I can’t necessarily put a specific dollar figure on them.

But let’s talk about the things I can put a dollar figure on.

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