This post was produced in partnership with Aura.
Despite all of the cool, new consumer technologies — robotic lawn mowers are a thing now — there are really just two kinds of gadgets in your family’s life: those meant for individual use and those that can benefit the entire family. Just in time for the holidays, it’s important to reconsider just how your family uses technology and what you can do to ensure you’re making the most out of your precious time together.
We picked out five tech gifts to consider this holiday season that are useful for the entire family. Bringing one or more of them into your home is a great way to ensure that the tech in your house helps create happy memories for everyone, all while protecting them from the inherent risks that come with being online.
Putting these smart speakers in every room of the house might be bad news for the oversleeping teenager when you wake them up by blasting what they derisively call oldies directly into their bedroom. But it’s good news for the family in the long run. That's because there's nothing like a whole-house family dance party during the weekend, and during the weekdays a network of smart speakers make it easy to broadcast house-wide announcements from 'has anyone seen my keys?' to 'time for dinner!' that everyone will hear no matter where they're hiding out.
The entire family is bound to get a new device or two over the holiday season, and keeping everyone safe as they use their new gadgets is important -- who knows what online dangers are lurking behind your screens. Aura is an all-in-one digital security platform designed to keep you and your family safe from a slew of digital threats, from malware to identity theft to credit card fraud. It also includes a VPN that protects your family’s online activity so they can browse, stream, shop, and work securely and privately, no matter where they are. Through the Aura family plan (get their ultimate family plan for just $25/mo this holiday season through December 25), you can add up to 10 eligible family members and secure their personal info, devices, and accounts. Give the gift of online safety with Aura, an easy way to make sure everyone you care about is protected from online threats.
The only thing better than gathering around a TV for family movie night is gathering around a massive projected image for family movie night. This excellent projector from XGIMI is even portable, which means you can turn your backyard into an al fresco family movie palace when the weather cooperates. With so many movies coming to streaming and theaters at the same time, this projector is a great way to get the convenience of the former with something much closer to the immersiveness of the latter.
It’s not the most exciting gadget in the house, but a secure router that can handle dozens of devices is absolutely essential. This one from ASUS meets the next-generation Wifi 6 standard, so you can be confident that it will let everyone do what they need to do online, even in the most remote corners of the house. And just as importantly, the companion app makes it easy to switch off the wireless, the best way to ensure that family dinners happen sans digital distractions.
You can cover every wall of your house with baby snapshots, school pictures, wedding photos, and the like, but depending on physical photos means you’ll always be limited in just how much of your family’s memories can be displayed. A digital picture frame solves this problem by cycling through a practically unlimited number of photographs—this one from Pix-Star even connects via wifi to online services like Instagram and Google Photos so your latest snaps will automatically become part of your home decor.