IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR again when we all get festive, eat and drink more than we should and think about what to give each other as Christmas presents. Whether you're struggling for ideas or just love giving gifts to people, we've trawled through what's on offer to find information technology items that we think will bring a smile this Christmas.
We could have had a very long list of our favourite bits and pieces that we've seen, reviewed and wanted to own over this past year, but after much deliberation here are our top 10 choices for this year. There is a wide assortment of things so we hope you will find something suitable to give.
10. The Onion Router (Tor) Virtual Private Network
We live in a time where privacy is key, and not just if you're Ryan Giggs.
The Tor Project allows people to route their online communications anonymously and is used by activists as well as others seeking anonymity. It has also been used in countries with oppressive political regimes. It is multi-layered, like an onion, hence the name.
Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace internet activity, including visits to web sites, online posts, instant messages and other communication forms and most importantly, promotes freedom of the internet allowing users to browse confidentially. This means companies also won't be able to collect your data and use it for their own profit - the perfect Christmas gift.
The best thing about Tor is, it's free! So you can pretend it cost you the Earth while giving someone something nice. That's Christmas spirit for you.
9. Kingston Wi-Drive Hard Drive
Not all of the gadgets we own such as smartphones and tablets have enough storage for all the content we want to carry around. If this is the case then the Kingston Wi-Drive will make a great present. The drive is about the size of a typical smartphone and therefore really portable and unobtrusive.
The device is a cheap and easy way of adding 16GB or 32GB of storage to the devices you carry around. As you can probably guess from the name it uses WiFi to stream content, which it can do to multiple devices at once.
It won't stop you from connecting to a WiFi connection for internet access while in use and gave us an impressive four hours of battery life. The Wi-Drive is compatible with several operating systems including IOS, Android and QNX. There's only a specific app for IOS but one for Android is on its way.