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Review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Posted in Products with tags on September 24, 2022 by itnerd

It’s iPhone season and this is my review of Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone ever. Yes that’s sarcasm, or perhaps cynicism as Apple has only managed to marginally move the needle on this this year’s crop of iPhones. In fact, by the time that this review is over, you may not want to upgrade.

The iPhone 14 lineup this year is different than most years. What is the same is that Apple has four phones for you to choose from in two sizes. You can get the iPhone 14 in a 6.1″ size, the iPhone 14 Plus in a 6.7″ size, the iPhone 14 Pro in a 6.1″ size and the iPhone 14 Pro Max in a 6.7″ size. Gone is the iPhone Mini as it apparently didn’t sell all that well. In any case, you should completely ignore the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus as those are essentially a repackaged iPhone 13 with some software updates. That’s because they’ve taken the A15 Bionic processor that was in the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, added some software tweaks and called it job done. Not a whole lot else has changed. Instead, if you want a new iPhone, my recommendation is to focus on the 14 Pro and Pro Max as that’s where Apple has spent a lot of its time and effort.

Let’s start with what you get in the box:

This is the iPhone 14 Pro in space black. More on the colour in a bit. Underneath the phone you see this:

You get the usual pack that has some documentation, a SIM eject tool as I am in Canada and unlike the US, I still get a physical SIM slot, and a white Apple sticker. I also get a USB-C to Lightning cable. And this is where I will start to criticize Apple. They’ve stuck with Lightning instead of moving USB-C. This despite the fact that this phone is capable of creating 90 MB ProRAW photos and gigabytes of ProRES video. This is an issue as Lightning runs at USB 2.0 speeds which is 480Mbps or 60MB/s. In other words it is slow which makes you say WTF as it could take an insanely long time to pull a ProRES video off an iPhone via Lighting. As in an hour or two. Seriously Apple, you need to put USB-C at the very least in the next iPhone and if you want extra brownie points, have it do Thunderbolt 3 or 4 speeds as well because it is 2022 and not 2012 and you need to get with the times. Now Apple likely doesn’t want to do this because Lightning gives them control and a some extra cash via their MFi Program. Which is great for them. But what’s great for us is that the EU will force Apple to USB-C next year. Thus I will call it now. The iPhone 15 will have USB-C, though I suspect that they will do something to implement it the “Apple Way”.

And for those who are wondering, I am so over the fact that the phone doesn’t come with a charging brick.

As for the space black colour, here’s a comparison with my iPhone 12 Pro:

The iPhone 12 Pro is on the right in the graphite colour. Space black is darker but it’s not absolutely black like the desk mat that these phones are on. But it is a welcome change. The sides are made of surgical grade stainless steel, and they are a major fingerprint magnet as has been the case since Apple went to this design. The back is matte glass, and is not a fingerprint magnet. If fingerprints bother you, I’d advise that you get a case. Here are three options for you on to choose from. And a screen protector would be a good idea as well. I use this one for the record.

As for other design elements, it looks like the iPhone 13. And the iPhone 12. As in there’s zero discernible changes on the design front. In fact, I have been walking around for a week with my 14 Pro and nobody has noticed that it’s the newest iPhone around. I guess if you want to fly under the radar with your new iPhone, this phone will accomplish that. But if Apple wanted to get some attention with their latest iPhone, it’s not going to happen here.

The two design elements that have changed start with Apple’s implementation of an always on display. In typical Apple fashion, they couldn’t just have the screen dim down and show a minimal amount of information like pretty much every Android phone out there. Instead, they went above and beyond and added a few party tricks. By that I mean that pictures on your lock screen will maintain the same skin tones and still be largely visible when the screen dims. And in bright lighting conditions, the phone’s screen will be plenty bright which makes me wonder how much power that this feature is sucking back when in use as OLED screens even at minimal refresh rates are not power efficient. It also makes me wonder why Apple didn’t have some sort of option to allow the user to control that. Alternately it will dynamically adjust the brightness down in dim lighting conditions. But Apple didn’t stop there. If you have an Apple Watch and you walk away from the phone, the screen will turn off once the watch gets out of Bluetooth range. Or if you put the phone in your pocket, the screen will turn off. All of this sounds interesting. But the thing is that it took some time for me to adjust to that as since 2012 which is when I got my first iPhone, I have been conditioned that when I see something on my iPhone screen, the phone on and I need to hit the sleep/wake button to turn it off. And that’s true for my wife as well as she’s tried to turn off my iPhone as she thought it was on a couple of times. And I’ve heard this from other people with this phone or the Pro Max variant. So clearly there’s going to be time needed to get used to this feature. One thing that is missing from this feature is the ability to put it into some sort of “nightstand mode” like the Apple Watch where it will very dimly display the time alone when the phone is on a charger. In my mind, that’s a bit of a swing and a miss by Apple. But conversely if you’re in a sleep focus mode, the display turns off entirely. I am guessing that Apple’s use case is that it is one thing to have an Apple Watch display lit at night as that is not likely to bother you, but it’s a bridge too far for the iPhone. Though I suspect that this might change if enough people complain. Another thing that Apple might have to change is the fact that notifications will cause the screen to go to full brightness which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

The second design change is the “dynamic island”. I’m going to go off on a tangent and ask why anyone at Apple thought that this was the best name for this feature? You know that a bunch of people got into a room and they wrote up a bunch of names on a whiteboard in order to pick the best one. Why did this one win? It honestly sounds like the name of a reality TV show where either someone will find love or people will be voted off the island. Surely a multi-trillion dollar company could have done better than this?

Back to the phone review. What Apple has done is eliminated the notch that has been in every iPhone since the iPhone X and turned it into a pill shaped cutout where all the Face ID hardware and the front facing camera live. But they then took the extra step of creating an entire software feature around it that allows you to task switch between apps and see information as well as interact with items that are in the “dynamic island”. Plus some notifications like Face ID being in use by an application or the orange and green dots for audio and video usage live there too. Effectively, Apple took a feature that people would criticize and made it something that people would be blown away by.

Mission accomplished.

Let me illustrate how the “dynamic island” works with this video.

One thing that I would like to point out is that the “dynamic island” visible in screen recordings. They didn’t bother to do that with the notch in the MacBook Pros that came out last year. Thus I guess that this will be their design language going forward and we can expect to see iPads, and MacBooks with the “dynamic island” soon. But there is one downside to the “dynamic island”. It cuts into full screen video. The notch didn’t do that and some will see this as a regression as a result. Another thing to point out is that you have to press and hold to surface the widget and simply tap the “dynamic island” to bring up the full app. That seems backwards to me.

And i’m calling it now. Every single Android phone will copy this feature.

The screen is different as well. This year besides ProMotion which is Apple’s adaptive refresh rate technology that ramps the screen from 1 Hz to 120 Hz to save battery power, it’s brighter as well topping out at 2000 nits. This is a total win as in bright sunlight the iPhone is extremely readable. And just in general, the screen is bright, clear, and easy to read. And that’s above and beyond my previous iPhone.

One last thing in the design area. Apple removed the SIM tray if you are in the US which slightly alters the design of the iPhone 14 Pro, and forces iPhone customers over to eSIM technology. Everyone else on the planet gets a SIM tray and eSIMs are optional. You can find out the pros and cons of that here. But I suspect that this will spread elsewhere as early as next year.

Now that the design is out of the way, let’s talk specs. Every iPhone this year gets 6 GB of RAM, but only the 14 Pro and Pro Max variants get Apple’s 16 Bionic processor. This processor is built on TSMC‘s 4 nanometer manufacturing process and it features a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. It has many improvements over the A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13 Pro (or iPhone 14), such as a new display engine which helps with the new always on display feature, new image signal processor, and more power efficiency. But if you’re expecting it to destroy the A15, it won’t based on these Geekbench 5 results:

A16 BionicSnapdragon 8 Gen 1A15 Bionic
Geekbench 5 (single-core / multicore)1891 / 54691214 / 33611733 / 4718

To be clear, Apple continues to humiliate Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with ease. But the A16 is only a marginal gain over the A15, and you are unlikely to see the speed difference during daily usage. My guess is that the key differences are going to be found in the energy usage and heat it generates as it is manufactured on a 4 nanometer process.

Now over the camera which Apple spent a lot of time talking about during their presentation. Specifically:

  • 48MP quad-pixel main sensor that bins down to 12MP
  • 12MP ultrawide sensor that’s twice as large as the one on theiPhone 13 Pro.
  • The telephoto lens is still 3x which is unchanged
  • You now get 0.5x, 1x and 2x, and the telephoto’s 3x zoom

As part of this camera upgrade, Apple have now come out with the “Photonic Engine” which is not only another questionable name for a feature, but it sounds like something straight out of Star Trek.

<Scene fades in from black showing the bridge of the Starship Enterprise with tense music playing. The red alert siren is audible>

  • Sulu: “Captain! Two Romulan warbirds just decloaked off our port bow!”
  • Kirk: “Chekov! Arm all weapons! Scotty! Prepare to engage the Photonic Engine and get us out of here!”
  • Scotty: “Aye Captain!”
  • Chekov: “Aye Captain!”

Seriously, could they not have come up a better name? After all, this is not a company that’s short of cash so surely their marcom group could have come up with something better than “Photonic Engine”? In any case. The “Photonic Engine” is a new computational photography model that improves mid and low light photos by incorporating Apple’s Deep Fusion technology earlier in the pipeline before the frames get compressed. The “Photonic Engine” promises to enhance dynamic range to bring out detail even in low-light pictures. Let’s test that by taking the iPhone 14 Pro and pitting it against the iPhone 13. Here’s a pair of photos that were taking with dark mode enabled. Starting with the iPhone 13:

Then the iPhone 14 Pro:

Is the iPhone 14 Pro better? Well, you see more detail and it does look brighter. For example if you look at the tree on the left you see the bark of the tree better in the iPhone 14 Pro. But it’s not a quantum leap above the iPhone 13. So the answer is yes the iPhone 14 Pro is better. But the differences are not huge. But they are there.

Let’s look at a low light photo without dark mode, starting with the iPhone 13:

And now the iPhone 14 Pro:

Again, you see more detail and it does look brighter in the iPhone 14 Pro photo. But again, it’s not a huge leap forward.

Now there’s an improved macro mode on the iPhone 14 Pro in play and here’s what it looks like:

The detail level is great in this photo and there’s the right amount of bokeh in the photo. And from the party tricks department comes the ability to look up some objects that you take photos of:

You’ll see the words “Look Up – Plant in the screenshot above. If you click on that you will get this:

That way you know what you’re taking pictures of and you can act like you’re a botanist. It apparently works with animals too, though I didn’t test that. But in any case, this is the power of having a neural engine on a smartphone.

Another improvement is the enhanced cinematic mode. Last year it was 1080P. This year it is in 4K and here’s an example of what you get via a video with yours truly looking as “Gangsta” as possible:

Cinematic Mode mostly works as it enables when it detects me and turns off when I exit the video. I am sure you’ll be able to do some interesting things with it.

Next up is Action Mode which is the only new feature name that Apple came up with that makes sense. It stabilizes video at 2.8K which is a bit of #fail as this is a 4K world. But in the next year or two, I am sure that this will be a feature that works with 4K. But since I review what is on the table in front of me so to speak, here’s a video that illustrates what you get without and with Action Mode:

The only thing that you have to keep in mind with Action Mode is that it requires a lot of light to work well and it will warn you when you don’t have enough light. And if you are in a location that has a borderline level of light, the results may not be that great. Though it does have options that are kind of buried in the Settings app to allow for low light usage at the cost of the level of stabilization that you get.

Earlier I touched on the fact that you get more zoom levels with the iPhone 14 Pro. Specifically that you get 0.5x, 1x and 2x, and 3x zoom which are all optical zoom levels. I tested these zoom levels and compared them to the iPhone 13 which doesn’t have all of these zoom levels which means that you get digital zoom and a less optical photo. First the iPhone 14 Pro:

Followed by the iPhone 13:

Clearly the iPhone 14 Pro photos are better. But Apple really needs to give users a broader zoom range seeing as some Android phones will do 10x optical zoom.

Finally on the camera front, you have the option of shooting pictures in ProRAW format to get all 48 MP rather than photos that are binned down to 12 MP. And returning from previous iPhones, you get the option of shooting video in ProRES format as well.

The next thing that I will cover is battery life. The short answer is that I can make it through a day on a single charge. Which is typically from about 7AM to around 10PM. The long answer can be found in this screen shots.

This is a day where I worked from home mostly and only went out once to deal with a pair of clients who were close to my home. Thus it was plugged into my car a couple of times for 20 minutes or so total. As you can see it had no problem making it through the day having used about 50% of my battery. Which implies that I could have expected plus or minus 10 hours if I emptied the battery which isn’t bad.

This day I was working exclusively from home, but I didn’t charge it once. I used 75% of my battery and I suspect that I could get to 10 hours if I emptied the battery. Now I might get better battery life if I turn off the always on display though. And apparently the haptic feedback from the keyboard plays a part in this too as Apple suggests that this feature eats some battery life. But I’m leaving them on as I like the always on display and the haptic feedback.

Now let me deal with three final items. The first is the obligatory speed test for 5G. Here it is on the TELUS network:

The Qualcomm’s X65 Modem that Apple is using really delivers the goods here. And that’s not the only improvement as this modem promises better power efficiency. Which is welcome as 5G isn’t exactly power friendly. In terms of other wireless, you get WiFi 6, which is odd because WiFi 6E is a thing, as well as Bluetooth 5.3. The latter allows the phone to consume less power, or produce better audio, or have slightly faster data transmission with a compatible device. Which is handy as the new Apple Watches and AirPods Pro both support Bluetooth 5.3. In terms of GPS, the iPhone 14 Pro can receive signals from GPS satellites operating on both the legacy L1 frequency and modernized L5 frequency. L5 satellites broadcast a higher power signal that can better travel through obstacles like buildings and trees when compared to L1 signals. With a combination of the two signals iPhone 14 Pro models should have improved location accuracy in apps like Maps.

Next are two new safety features. The iPhone 14 Pro comes with crash detection which will detect if you’ve been in a car crash, and if you don’t respond it will call emergency services. I didn’t test that and I hope I never do. But this YouTuber did test it and apparently it works as designed. Second is the Emergency SOS via Satellite. Emergency SOS via Satellite can help you connect with emergency services when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need. And Apple has built an entire user interface to help you make contact via satellite along with a quiz that you need to take to allow the feature to transmit your exact needs to emergency services. This feature launches in November and will be free for two years. After that….. Who knows? Apple didn’t say. But seeing as Apple has partnered with Globalstar to deliver these services, and they charge a minimum of $20 USD a month for these services, I am going to guess that it will cost between $20 or $40 USD a month and may likely become part of an iCloud+ plan. Though I suspect that Apple really wants you to buy a new iPhone in two years time.

Pricing in Canada goes something like this:

  • 128 GB: $1399
  • 256 GB: $1549
  • 512 GB: $1819
  • 1TB: $2089

Top Tip: If you plan on using ProRES or ProRAW, skip the 128GB model. ProRES only works on a “Pro” iPhone that is 256 GB or above. And ProRAW photos take up as much as 90 MB of space per photo. Meaning that you need a lot of storage to make that work if taking 48MP photos is your thing.

So, would I recommend the iPhone 14 Pro. That depends on what you’re coming from:

  • If you have no iPhone and you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, get the iPhone 14 Pro. Apple spent more time and more effort on this phone versus the iPhone 14 making this the one to get. And if you want a bigger screen, there’s always the Pro Max model.
  • If you have an iPhone 13 Pro or 12 Pro and you want to upgrade, I am not sure that there’s enough here to justify the upgrade. Yes the new and improved features are interesting, but they aren’t groundbreaking for the most part and they may not be enough to make buyers say “I must get this phone.”
  • If you have an iPhone 11 Pro or earlier, this is worth upgrading to as there is enough of a feature set delta from your existing phone to make it worth your while to upgrade.

Here’s my bottom line. While there are improvements, and they are all solid improvements, they’re not quantum leaps forward. That makes it difficult for me to say that you should drop what you’re doing to run to the Apple Store to buy one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid phone that you will like if you buy one. What I am saying is that this is a more incremental upgrade which will make you think about whether you should upgrade to it or not.

Review: Spigen iPhone 14 Pro Case Tough Armor (MagFit)

Posted in Products with tags on September 23, 2022 by itnerd

Protecting my new iPhone 14 Pro is top of mind for me because when you spend the kind of cash that Apple wants you to spend on a phone, you want to make sure that nothing happens to it. For that reason, I went with the Spigen iPhone 14 Pro Tough Armor Case (MagFit) to protect my iPhone 14 Pro:

This is a case that offers the following features: 

  • All-new foam technology for an extra layer of shock resistance
  • Combination of TPU and Polycarbonate for dual protection from drops and scratches
  • Reinforced kickstand with raised lips to protect screen and camera
  • Certified [MIL-STD 810G-516.6] protection and Air Cushion Technology for anti-shock protection
  • This case completely covers every edge of the iPhone for complete protection including the camera bump.
  • The screen has raised edges to protect the screen.
  • The case works well with screen protectors.

Let’s dive. Starting with the first two items:

You can see it uses a combination of materials to give it the ability to fully absorb shock. Which is exactly what I want as I want to make sure that this phone will survive a drop. Before you ask, I have used these cases on other iPhones and they’ve survived drops without an issue. Your mileage may vary.

The case has a built in kickstand to allow you have the iPhone in landscape mode on a table handsfree. It’s plastic and locks into place when not in use. Another feature is the addition of MagSafe, and I had no issues with it in terms of charging. The magnets are strong as it passed my “hang from a MagSafe charger” test. And wireless charging works fine as well.

The case has duplicate buttons are very large and tactile in terms of pressing them, and cutouts for the silent switch, speakers, and Lighting port. The edge of the case around the screen is slightly raised, which means that if you put the iPhone face down, the screen isn’t going to touch the surface. It’s also wireless charging compatible and Apple Pay seems to work fine with it. The case isn’t bulky which means it doesn’t change how you hold your iPhone, but it isn’t thin either. Likely because you need it to be that way to provide meaningful drop protection. It also doesn’t add much weight. 

The only thing that I would note as a con for this case is that it attracts fingerprints. Lots of fingerprints. You might want to choose a colour that hides fingerprints better if that matters to you.

I’d recommend the Spigen iPhone 14 Pro Tough Armor Case (MagFit) for daily use or for those who have “butter fingers.” This case is $59.99 USD and as far as I am concerned it’s worth every penny. Especially if you’ve spent a lot of money on your iPhone 14 Pro.

Review: ESR iPhone 14 Pro Metal Kickstand Case

Posted in Products with tags on September 21, 2022 by itnerd

It’s iPhone season and as is typically the case, I’ve got a few cases to review. The first one is the ESR iPhone 14 Pro Metal Kickstand Case. Let’s dive in so that I can show you what this case offers.

From the front, the case has a lip to make sure that the phone’s screen doesn’t touch any hard surface. At this point, there’s nothing remarkable here. So let’s look at the back.

There’s a significant amount of protection for the camera module at the top. But at the bottom, there’s a metal kickstand. I’ll get to that in a second, but let’s look a the protection for the camera module:

This feature is called Camera Guard and it gives you some space between the lenses and any surface so that you don’t scratch the lenses.

Here the kickstand in landscape and I have to admit that this is a really cool feature. It really feels premium and locks into place, or you can adjust it to the exact angle that you need. It works in portrait or landscape and at no point did I feel that the phone was about to fall over. One added plus is that this kickstand combined with the camera module protection allow the iPhone 14 Pro to lay flat which fixes the main problem with the iPhone 14 models is that they won’t lay flat because of the camera module.

The case is made of shock-absorbing polymer. I haven’t dropped my iPhone 14 Pro yet so I cannot speak to how shock absorbing it is. But I can say that ESR has tried to make this case something that will take a few hits.

These raised sections on the corners are designed to take a hit on the corners.

The buttons are built into the case and they don’t feel any different than the actual buttons on the phone.

The case is really easy to hold. While the sides are mostly smooth, the back has ridges. I wish that the sides did have ridges to ensure that the phone would stay in your hands if they’re sweaty or have hand cream. But having said that, I didn’t have any concerns about the phone slipping out of my hands. The case is thin and doesn’t make your iPhone 14 feel bulky which is a win.

ESR advertises this as “wireless charging ready”. I tested this case with a couple wireless chargers and there were no issues. I also tested it with MagSafe and that worked as well. But it failed my “hang by a MagSafe charger” test as there are no MagSafe magnets that I can see.

The only con that I have is that the case picks up fingerprints. Lots of fingerprints. Thus you might want to opt for a colour other than black if that matters to you.

The ESR iPhone 14 Pro Metal Kickstand Case is $40.59 CAD and is available now. I really like this case and I would take a look at if you want a good quality case on your iPhone that gives you some cool option in terms of how it can be used.

Review: Synology DS920+ DiskStation 4-Bay NAS With Western Digital Red+ 4TB SATA Drives

Posted in Products with tags on September 19, 2022 by itnerd

I have a client who needed to replace a two bay NAS as a means to backup his business related files. It in turn backs up to BackBlaze. The problem was that this NAS was 10 years old and the mean time between failures for spinning hard drives is 5 years. Which means that he could be potentially facing a situation where he could have a hard drive failure. It also was over 80% full from a storage perspective. So he commissioned me to build him a new NAS. And this is what I got him:

This is the Synology DiskStation DS920+ is a four-bay network attached storage (NAS) device that is easy to expand and comes with a wealth of Synology and third-party apps. I went this route because he already had a Synology NAS and was familiar with how it worked. Plus it does not have the security issues that QNAP NAS devices have. This NAS is designed for homes with power users or small-to-midsized business (SMB) users.

Being a four bay NAS, I had to get him four hard drives so that I can do a RAID 5 setup which means that one drive can fail and his data will not be lost. The drives that I chose were the Western Digital Red+ 4TB SATA drives which are designed for NAS use. Once the RAID 5 setup was done, it would give him just under 11TB of usable storage. That is almost triple the storage of his old NAS.

Let’s have a look at the back of the NAS:

On the left side you get a reset button, Two gigabit Ethernet ports (for redundancy, bonding to get extra speed, or both), an eSATA connector and a connector for power. On the right is a USB 3.0 port as well as a security lock port. The dual fans is a nice touch as it will ensure that they whole thing stays cool. And from my setup, I really didn’t hear the fans at all. Now let’s have a look underneath the NAS:

It also has two built-in M.2 SSD slots for cache acceleration. Meaning that you can increase the performance of the NAS by going out and buying a pair of M.2 SSDs.

Included in the box are a pair of Ethernet cables, the power adapter, and four trays for 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drives (the latter requires screws which are included, the former can be mounted directly into the trays without screws).

In terms of hardware, The DS920+ is powered by a quad-core 2GHz Intel Celeron J4125 processor and has 4 gigabytes (GB) of DDR4 RAM that can be expanded to 8GB, and the NAS itself can be further expanded to 144TB using a Synology DX517 Expansion Unit. The DS920+ supports the Btrfs and ext4 file systems and offers several RAID types, including Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10. It natively supports Microsoft Windows clients via SMB, and Macs via SMB and AFS.

Setup was insanely easy:

  • I first put the drives into the trays which was a quick and tools operation. That took 5 minutes.
  • I put the trays into the NAS. That took 1 minute.
  • I powered it on and was greeted with a setup wizard that guided me through the initial setup and the creation of an administrator account. One nice touch is that it forces you to not use the words “admin”, “administrator” or “root” as the name of the account. It also forces you to create a reasonably strong password. That took 5 minutes.
  • It installed some updates then rebooted. Then I was able to set it up for RAID 5. That took just over 6 hours.
  • Finally, I had to update the version of DSM which is the operating system that the NAS uses. That took 15 minutes.

Done. Declare victory and have a beer.

One last thing that I did was to run the Security Advisor which directed me to address a number of security related issues. I like this because it ensure that your new NAS doesn’t get pwned by a threat actor. Be it an internal threat actor or an external one.

Before I handed this over to the client, I did some testing. To test NAS file transfer performance, I transferred a 5GB folder containing a mix of video, photo, music, and office document files between the NAS and a Mac and timed the read and write speeds. The DS920+ turned in a respectable score of 85 MBps on the write test which is in line with most of its competition.

So do I have any cons about this NAS? The one thing that I think Synology took a swing and a miss on is the fact that they have gigabit Ethernet ports on this NAS. That is a bit of a #fail as in 2022 as I believe that all NAS products should have multi-gigabit Ethernet such as 2.5 Gbps Ethernet. I am guessing that Synology did this to hit a price point which is unfortunate. But for this client’s use case it won’t matter.

Speaking of price, this NAS was $739.00 CDN which isn’t exactly cheap. The 4TB Western Digital Red+ drives were $104.99 CDN each. That totals $1158.96 for this setup. Again, that’s not cheap, but for this client’s use case, it’s perfect for him. And if you need a four bay NAS, I think that this will fit your needs as well.

In Depth: Mobile Klinik

Posted in Products with tags on September 8, 2022 by itnerd

Inflation is up, and wages are stagnant. That means that every dollar that you spend has to go further. Recent reports have found that 85 per cent of Canadians are concerned that their income won’t be able to keep up with inflation.

That doubly true when it comes to tech. For example, buying a new phone may no longer be an option for you and a used phone could be the way to go. But buying a phone from Craigslist may be a dodgy proposition as you don’t know if you are getting a phone that is in good shape and that will last.

That’s where Mobile Klinik comes in. This Canadian retailer offers the widest range of high-quality used devices from trusted brands – providing customers with a budget-friendly way to upgrade and trade-in mobile devices, as well as the ability to earn money on old devices. These options are not only friendlier on the environment, but are also a little lighter on the wallet.

One thing that I like about Mobile Klinik is that unlike a lot of shops that fix phones, their stores are bright and very welcoming. In fact they’ve won an award for their retail design.

Mobile Klinik also offers multiple cost-effective, sustainable mobility solutions that are convenient and affordable, including:

  • The chance to get $100 off the price of a used or repaired device when activated in-store. All used devices come risk-free with a 1-year warranty.
  • A Sustainability Credit, offering customers the chance to save $5 per month on their phone bill when they activate a used or repaired device in-store.
  • The ability to repair, sell or trade-in old devices at any of its 125+ stores coast-to-coast to extend their lifecycle and prevent them from ending up in landfills.

Thus if I were a parent who needed a new phone for my child, I would be looking at Mobile Klinik as an option as that would be a good cost containment option. Speaking of back to school, Canadians can take advantage of these Mobile Klinik Back to School promotions:

  1. A wide selection of used iPhones starting at $99, while quantities last.
  2. A free phone case and screen protector, plus get two years of free unlimited screen repairs when you buy and activate a used device.
  3. Free Skullcandy earbuds with the purchase of select devices.

Thus if you are looking for a phone upgrade, or you need your phone fixed, take a look at Mobile Klinik as I have sent a few of my clients to them, and they have been pleased with the results. Which says to me that you’ll be as well.

My Wife’s Home Office Setup For 2022

Posted in Products on September 4, 2022 by itnerd

For most of this pandemic, I’ve been working in the living room or bedroom of our condo. And my wife has been working in our den. But that changed when we both made a decision to both work from the den and making the den as comfortable as possible. That stared with yours truly creating a home office setup from scratch. But my wife wanted to take a different route as she has a desk that she really liked and wanted to adapt it to her workflow. So based on that, I worked to find the items required to make that happen. Let’s start with the desk:

Now the desk itself was something that my wife got from a government auction about 30 years ago. And she’s unwilling to give it up because they don’t make desks like these anymore. So while it’s not new and cool, it does everything she needs it to. You’ll also note that there’s a desk mat on the desk. The one I got her was this desk mat from a Toronto company called Uncrowned Kings. It’s made of vegan leather, it doesn’t move around on the desk, feels very upscale, and best of all only cost me $21 CDN on Amazon. On the left you can also see a coaster that I got from Amazon that she doesn’t always use which will become clear in some of the pictures to follow.

The chair that she uses is a ergoCentric tCentric Hybrid Task Chair. Now this isn’t a cheap chair as it cost her about $850 at the start of the pandemic, but much like the one that my wife convinced me to get, it is custom built to her needs and is the most comfortable chair that she has ever used. My advice to anyone who is wanting to get a chair for their home office setup is that it’s important that you try out a number of chairs guided by an expert who can help you find what you need. And then get ready to pay as comfort doesn’t come cheap. One other thing, you also want a substantial warranty just in case something goes wrong with your office chair. This office chair from ergoCentric has a twelve year warranty which is in line with the best office chairs on the market. The bottom line is that the cash that you put into your chair now, will help with your comfort later on.

On the desk is a Acer Nitro XV271 Z 27″ Gaming Monitor which is the same one that I have on my desk. Now my wife doesn’t game, but she got it because she liked how bright and sharp it was. It also fits her use case which, which was to have it power a Mac and a PC. More on that momentarily.

The monitor sits on a VIVO Black 39 inch Extra Long Monitor Riser. The logic in using this is to fold. The first reason was that if she wanted to put a second monitor or a bigger monitor, it would be no issue. The other reason was to put both her computers underneath it. The one on the left is a Lenovo ThinkPad T14 that’s from her employer, and the one on the right is an 16″ MacBook Pro with a M1 Pro processor. It’s been skinned with red carbon weave DBrand skin to reflect her style as red is her thing. The monitor is connected to both computers and should she need to take one out, it’s easy enough to do as I have found cables that take up very little real estate because they are right or left angled, but are quick to unplug. And switching back and forth between computers is done via controls on the monitor.

She only has one keyboard on her desk which is the Kensington Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard. She likes the feel of it when she types on it, and the fact that she can flip between both computers easily as the Mac and PC are connected via two different Bluetooth connections.

On the monitor stand is a Native Union Drop Classic Leather Wireless Charger which she uses to charge either her iPhone 13 or her AirPods Pro in her MorfCraftStudio AirPods Pro Leather Case which matches the red vibe.

To her right, we have a Kensington SureTrack Dual Wireless Mouse with a DeltaHub Carpio 2.0 wrist rest that we both swear by. The mouse can be connected to two computers. Thus it is connected to the Mac via Bluetooth and to the PC by a 2.4 Ghz wireless dongle. To the right is a Satechi R1 Aluminum Multi-Angle Foldable Tablet Stand which she uses with her iPhone 13 if she wants to do Zoom, Teams, or Slack calls as the front camera of the iPhone is way better than the camera in either of her laptops. Above both those items is a Microsoft Modern USB Headset that she also uses for Zoom, Teams, or Slack calls from her work laptop.

For reasons that she’s never explained to me, she wanted a USB hub on her desk with the most ports that she could find. After hunting around Amazon, I found the Atolla Powered USB Hub 3.0 with 10-Port USB 3.0 Ports. She’s got a bunch of things plugged into it including her Jaybird wireless headphones which she uses for her workouts when she sweats a lot. The glow in the the dark thing that this USB hub doesn’t do it for me, but she seems not to mind. Thus I’m not going to say anything.

The USB hub is connected to a Kensington UH1400P USB-C Mobile Hub, and connected to that is also the power adapter for her MacBook Pro, and a cable from the UPS on the floor that I will show you in a moment. It also has a HDMI cable that connects the MacBook Pro to her monitor. The net result is this gives her a one cable solution to charge her MacBook and connect it to her monitor.

My wife often has a notebook to make notes, and she’s used the Kensington SmartFit Easy Riser Go to hold it. While not intended for this purpose, she likes it and I’ll good with anything that she likes.

As you likely guessed, cable management isn’t a top priority for my wife. In fact when I offered to do it for her, the response was “why?” Thus I left it alone. Having said that, all the power plugs into this APC Back UPS 650 which will keep things running in the event of a power outage, as well as protecting all the gear on her desk from power spikes, power surges, and power sags.

So, that’s my wife’s home office setup. All of this according to my wife have given her a much more functional workspace that she wants to use and spend time in. Other than cleaning her desk, is there anything that you would suggest as to how she can make her setup even better? If you’ve got suggestions, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Review: Anker 323 USB-C 32W Two Port Charger

Posted in Products with tags on August 26, 2022 by itnerd

Recently I had to help a client set up an iPhone 7 that was gifted to her. But there were two issues right up front that I had to deal with. One was that the phone did not come with a charger or a Lightning cable. The second was that the phone’s battery was dead. As in completely drained. In terms of the latter, that’s where this came in:

This is the Anker 323 USB-C 32W two port charger. It’s a 32W cIharger has some neat features:

The first is that it has fold out prongs. While they aren’t removable and are clearly intended for North America, this is handy as it won’t poke through anything in your bag or your pocket. By the way, this fits in your pocket with ease and doesn’t weigh a lot.

The business end of the charger is here with one USB-C port capable of charging at 20W, and one USB-A port capable of charging at 12W. It also has smarts to make sure that nothing gets overcharged.

I used this via USB-A to charge her iPhone 7 to get it to the point that it would turn on. That took about 20 minutes as the iPhone 7 as that phone supports fast charging at 10W. So that part worked. But in the interest of going down the rabbit hole further, I drained my iPhone 12 Pro and I was able to charge it from 10% to 50% in just under 30 minutes. I also tested charging two devices at the same time and that worked as well with no issues. Build quality seems good as well which means it should last for years.

So all of that sounds great. But what cons do I have? Well, other than the fact that this is clearly designed for North American use only, none really. This really doesn’t go out of its way to do a whole lot other than to be a good charger that is easily transportable. At $35 USD, it’s at a good price point that it deserves a place in your gear bag.

Oh. In case you were wondering, I gave the client a brand new Apple 5W charger and brand new Lightning cable so that she could charge the phone and do data transfer.

Review: EnGenius ECW220S Wireless Access Point

Posted in Products with tags on August 19, 2022 by itnerd

I get a fair amount of questions about how to cover a large area with WiFi. The short answer is that if you’re a home user, a mesh WiFi system is the answer. But for businesses, that’s not the way to go as businesses go for access points as you can run either Ethernet or Power Over Ethernet (POE) to the locations that need WiFi and you install the access point in that location. So if you’re the latter, we’re going to take a look at one of these access points today. And that’s the EnGenius ECW220S:

This access point is pretty low key and doesn’t occupy a lot of space. It may even go unnoticed by most people. The only thing that you see on the outside are a set of LEDs along the top.The first is power, while the second indicates whether you’re connected to your router. The third and fourth lights indicate the status of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands respectively.

Underneath is a recessed area where there is your power connection if you’re not using POE (Please note that the power adapter is not included), and a gigabit Ethernet jack that supports POE, both on the left. And on the right is a hole to reset the access point via a paperclip. I should also note that all the brackets and screws that you need to mount this are in the box.

Setup in typical EnGenius fashion is simple. Download and install the EnGenius smartphone app available in Android and iOS versions, scan a barcode on the back of the housing and spend a few minutes getting settings that work for you configured. You might also want to check for a firmware update to make sure that you’re good to go.

The best way to test this is to use POE. So using this EnGenius POE switch, I set it up and did some performance and range testing. I should note that besides getting the power adapter from EnGenius, you can also use a POE adapter like this one that EnGenius sent me to power the access point.

The access point supports the following speeds:

  • 5Ghz: 1,200Mbps
  • 2Ghz: 574Mbps 

And it support up to WiFi6 as well. Plus it supports 2×2 Mu-MiMo. Which means that if you have a lot of devices, you should not notice any slowdowns. In my testing using WiFi 6 doing file copies, I registered an average of 110MB/sec at close range. When I move to the other end of my condo which I measured to be about 10 meters, the speed dropped to 85MB/sec. These are all respectable speeds and won’t cause complaints from anyone.

Now this access points does have a few extra party tricks up its sleeve:

  • Wireless intrusion detection system (WIDS) for threat detection
  • Wireless intrusion protection system (WIPS) for attack remediation

Those two items mean that you won’t get pwned by someone who’s trying to break into your network via WiFi.

  • Zero-wait DFS to avoid client disruption when radar is detected on DFS channels
  • Dedicated scanning radios for 24/7 wireless AP security monitoring
  • RF spectrum analysis for identifying clean channels and ensuring all SSIDs are legitimate
  • Bluetooth 5 low energy for BLE device detection and location-based extended advertising

Those three items will help you to have the best WiFi performance possible and avoid having someone spoof your WiFi to pwn you. The interesting thing about this is that using the scanning feature, I was able to find a total of 33 access points that are around me which is six more than I was previously aware of. And that included what appears to be a smart TV that seems to be advertising itself as a WiFi access point for reasons that I don’t quite understand.

All of this is under the EnGenius suite called AirGuard. All this is free. Though if you want the most security features, you’ll need to buy a “Pro” license (for example, the Network Activities under the diagnostics tool will remain available only for a minute at a time on the basic license). That’s my only negative with this access point as having this sort of security and performance feature set available to you would have made this an unbeatable deal. Though I would argue that at $489 US or $540 Canadian which is what I found it going for on Amazon, it’s still a good deal for those who need an access point or three or five with good performance and security. If that’s you, this access point should be on your list to check out.

Review: Bell Fibe 1.5 Gbps FTTH Internet

Posted in Products with tags on August 8, 2022 by itnerd

Since I made the switch to Bell Internet, I’ve received a number of requests to review it. And also to review it against Rogers Ignite. Thus I will be doing so today. But I have to put a caveat out there first: This isn’t an Apple’s to Apple’s comparison. Let me explain:

  • In the Toronto area, the majority of Rogers customers are on what Rogers calls “Hybrid Fibre” which is their term for a fibre optic backbone, but the last mile delivered by copper wire. Contrast that with Bell where the majority of their customers get FTTH or fiber to the home. Meaning it is fibre from end to end. Why does that matter? The latter is way faster than the former as I will illustrate shortly.
  • I also mention the Toronto area because the tech that telcos have available to customers can vary greatly depending on your location. Copy and paste that for the price and the speeds that are on offer as well. For example in some places, like New Brunswick for example, Rogers does actually offer FTTH. And they are rolling it out in some other places as well. Though I have yet to come across it in my travels. And in parts of Quebec, FTTH rollouts from some telcos don’t reach the speeds that Bell or Rogers is doing in Toronto.

All of that means is that I can only compare the Bell and Rogers products that are on offer in the area of Toronto that I live in. Your experience wherever you are reading this from will vary.

So with that out of the way, here’s what I will be comparing today. The Bell Fibe 1.5 Gbps down / 940 Mbps up Internet offering will go up against Rogers Ignite 1 Gbps down / 30 Mbps up Internet offering. Now some of you are going to say that this isn’t a fair fight as Bell Fibe is going to utterly destroy Rogers Ignite. And you’re right. Bell Fibe does utterly destroy Rogers Ignite because Bell’s upload speeds make this an unfair fight as Rogers Ignite isn’t capable of doing anywhere near those sorts of speeds. But there’s more to it than that. Let’s start with a speed test from Rogers Ignite via my Asus ZenWiFi XT8 mesh router which was connected to Rogers Ignite modem (click to enlarge):

Ignore the raw speeds, which by Rogers standards are impressive as I’m getting 1.2 Gbps down which is above what Rogers promises. I want you to focus on the ping times and jitter. The ping time is sub 10ms which is good for consumer Internet. But the jitter which is a measurement of the variation or inconsistency of your ping speed, or put another way how consistent your ping speed is. The lower the jitter is, the better your connection is and the better your gaming or video call experience will be. But for a point of reference, anything below 30ms is considered to be acceptable in the gaming world. Though pro gamers want jitter to be in the low single digits. In this case it seems to be pretty decent. Thus other than the laughable 29.87 Mbps upstream speed, this connection isn’t that bad.

Now let’s look at Bell. Starting with the view from the Bell HH4000 modem which you get if you sign up with Bell Fibe:

So from the modem, I am getting more than I am paying for. And their “latency” of 1ms is likely the ping time. Which is great. However due to some issue with my ASUS mesh router that I am trying to figure out with the help of ASUS, I’m not getting all that speed on the upstream side of the connection of the router.

Even with this result, I want you to focus on the ping and jitter numbers again. The ping time is almost a fifth of what I was getting with Rogers. And the jitter is almost non-existent. The net result of that you can pwn n00bz in Call Of Duty Warzone with ease, or have a nice and fluid video call on Zoom or Teams. That’s the power of having an end to end fibre connection as it gives you a stable and low latency connection that was once only the domain of companies that could afford to get fiber run to their premises. I did additional testing on a few neighbours in my condo, all of whom have Bell Fibe Internet, and all of whom have different tiers of Bell’s Internet offering (more on those tiers in a moment), and the ping and jitter results were similar to mine. Thus I can conclude that regardless of what tier you choose, you’ll get high quality Internet.

One other thing that I will touch on before I get to what those tiers are is reliability. The same neighbours that I spoke to and tested their connections are in two camps. One camp are recent converts to Bell Fibe Internet because of the Rogers nationwide outage in July. And the other camp have had the service for a while. Some of them have had it from the day it was available in our condo development. None of them claim to have had any issues with the service. Many can’t remember an outage with Bell. While I will point out that past performance is not an indicator of future performance, hearing all of those comments suggests to me that Bell Fibe is reliable. Though time will tell on that front.

Now there is one thing that Rogers is better than be Bell at, and that is the deployment of IPv6 on their network. Or put another way, Rogers has IPv6 on their Ignite Internet offering and Bell doesn’t have it on their Fibe Internet offering. And Rogers has had it for years, effectively future proofing their network in the process. Given that we live in an age of smart phones, smart TV’s, the Internet of things, etc., the growing number of internet connected devices means that IPv4 is pretty much maxed out and telcos need to move to IPv6 as soon as possible. In fact, telcos should be on the IPv6 bandwagon by now. Which means that as it’s 2022, Bell should have had IPv6 on their network long before now. I say that because most consumers may not care about IPv6 today. But in a year or two they will when their latest cool gadget doesn’t work properly because of the lack of IPv6 support on Bell Fibe. Which means that Bell really should get about fixing that. Like now.

So over to pricing. Bell has a number of tiers for their Internet offering:

  • 3Gbps up and down: $139.95 a month
  • 1.5Gbps down / 940 up: $124.95 a month
  • 1 Gbps down / 750 up: $114.95 a month
  • 500 Mbps up and down: $104.95 a month
  • 150 Mbps up and down: $94.95 a month
  • 50 Mbps down / 10 Mbps up: $59.95 a month
  • 10 Mbps down / 0.93 Mbps up: $49.95

Fun Fact: There’s a 8 Gbps up and down service coming in September in Toronto and elsewhere soon after that.

Now those are the list prices on Bell’s website for the area that I live in. Like I mentioned earlier, prices can vary depending on where you are and so can the speeds that are on offer. And on top of that, Bell’s incredibly aggressive customer service staff are all too willing to make you a deal if you get your Internet with more than one service. In my case, I was originally going to get home phone and 1Gbps Internet and the price was going to be about $50 cheaper than Rogers at $167 a month. But I got a deal that cut that to $114 or so a month via a variety of discounts that are time limited. Though they snuck in the Fibe TV app into the deal to do that. You can get the full details on my experience here. But let me get to the point. Bell’s customer service reps are insanely aggressive and walk up to the line of what I believe to be ethical behaviour in order to get you to subscribe to more services with Bell. This behaviour by these customer service reps, whom I am pretty sure are working for outsourced overseas call centres, is sure to turn some people off. For example, when my wife and I tried to switch to Bell a year ago, their behaviour was so bad that it sent us running back to Rogers. Though that was only for one more year and ended when Rogers recent troubles started. And when we did switch a couple of weeks ago, we were forced to run the gauntlet of Bell’s customer service reps upselling us to death. None of this helps Bell’s public image in any way as a lot of people have said to me that Bell’s tech is great, but Bell’s customer service sucks. If I were Mirko Bibic the CEO of Bell, I’d be figuring out how to fix that as their Internet offering is enough to win customers over by itself without having to resort to the borderline used car salesman tactics that are used by their customer service reps. And while I am at it, I’d also suggest that you avoid ordering via the website as according to a pair of Bell reps that I talked to, about 50% of the time the order doesn’t go through and customers never get their orders fulfilled leaving them angry. Which is mind blowing as that would be a great way to not have to talk to their reps and still get service from Bell. Though the cynic in me says that it’s a strategy by Bell to get you to call in and talk to their reps. Either way, this too needs to be fixed. You might want to get on that as well Mr. Bibic.

The bottom line is this, and some of this will sound familiar if you have read this article that I wrote several years ago. Bell has a top shelf Internet offering. It’s fast with low latency, and they keep pushing the pace in terms of speed and availability. If they clean up the way they sell their Internet offering, and implement IPv6, they will have an Internet offering that nobody (ahem Rogers) can stop.

Review: Bell Home Hub 4000

Posted in Products with tags on August 6, 2022 by itnerd

As part of my upgrade to Bell Fibe 1.5 Gbps Internet, I got the Bell Home Hub 4000 (HH4000) modem/router which I have at times referred to as the “Whole Home 4000” for reasons that I will get to in a bit. This is a modem that is designed to fully leverage the speed that Bell offers with their Fibre To The Home (FTTH) product. Now I’ll say right up front that you don’t have to run this as a modem/router as it has the ability to do PPPoE bypass if you want to use your own router. Instructions on how to do that can be found here. But most people who get this will run it as a modem/router. Let’s walk through the Home Hub 4000:

Here’s the Home Hub 4000 from the front. I will comment that this is not small but it looks good. It will fit into any decor. The black strip at the bottom has a panel that shows you all sorts of information. Such as the status of your Bell services. You can use the arrow keys to scroll through everything. You can even do a speed test via this panel. One bonus is that you can change the brightness level so that if you have this in your bedroom or something, the brightness doesn’t keep you awake at night.

There’s a USB-C and USB-A port on the left side. It supports the use of storage devices but not printers from what I can see. I stand to be corrected on that. Thus if anybody has this working with printers, please leave a comment below and let me know.

The back is where most of the magic is. The two green ports are for Bell’s phone service which in my case I am using. The four yellow ports are gigabit Ethernet for wired networking. And the silver port is a 10Gbps Ethernet port which I am using to connect to my ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8. The thing that caused a bit of a stir in places like was the what the fiber cable (the white cable with the green end) connects to. There’s an SFP port there and it is built into the modem. Bell’s previous modems had a removable SFP module which allowed you to pull it out of their hardware and plug it straight into your gear as long as you have gear that locks to 2.5 Gbps on the SFP port. Meaning that you didn’t have to use Bell hardware at all. But I am guessing Bell made that change in the HH4000 because they really want to force you to use their gear and try to lock you into using their services.

There’s a reset button on the right side.

From a WiFi perspective, it does WiFi 6 on the 5Ghz band and on the 2.4 Ghz band it does 802.11 b/g/n. You can serve everything up on one SSID or WiFi name so that you can let the router decide which band to connect to. Or you can split it into separate bands (which is what I typically suggest to clients). The range that I get is decent. From my testing in my 800+ square foot condo, it covers about 2/3 of the distance of my ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 covers which is okay. But if you need more coverage, Bell can rent you Whole Home WiFi Pods to extend your range. It’s also why I mistakenly referred to the HH4000 and the “Whole Home 4000” in the past. One thing that I should note is is that when you use their pods, the speeds are capped relative to the speed of the HH4000.

Let me point out one other thing, there’s a hidden third WiFi 6 band that Bell uses for their Fibe TV hardware that you cannot disable as there are no options to do so. Also, if you turn off all the WiFi on the HH4000, they will turn back on if you reboot the HH4000. That’s a total #fail as this can potentially cause issues in terms of the quality of your WiFi as it could cause interference. Bell really needs to give you to option to turn these off and leave them off.

Setup is easy as you can log into the HH4000 directly or use the Bell WiFi App which is available for iOS and Android. While the configuration options are limited, they are easy to find and set. And Bell does a good job of documenting what all the options do. In fact, they do a lot better job of documenting this stuff than companies like Netgear and ASUS.

One final thing that I should note. Bell has another version of this modem/router that has the word “Gigabit” on the front of it that they are rolling out quietly. This modem is for the 8Gbps FTTH service that Bell has announced recently and the only difference that I am aware of is that it supports WiFi 6E. Why is that important. The theoretical maximum speed of WiFi 6 is 10Gbps. But I would seriously doubt that you would ever see those speeds in the real world. The “Gigabit” version of this modem which supports WiFi 6E uses the 6Ghz band, which means that you will be more likely to see those speeds as there should be less traffic for the router and your devices to deal with. The catch is that your devices have to support WiFi 6E for this to matter to you. And there aren’t a whole lot of devices that support WiFi 6E at present. So this appears to be more future proofing on the part of Bell as the version of modem/router can support that 8Gbps service just fine.

Here’s my bottom line. If you are someone who uses the gear supplied by your ISP, the Home Hub 4400 is a pretty good piece of kit. Most of my complaints are edge cases that are only relevant to nerds like me and don’t affect the average person. There’s a ton of headroom here for what you need today and tomorrow as Bell rolls out faster and faster services, or what your household needs evolves over time. I walk away from this review impressed with what I see here for the most part.