You have brought your new computer home, set it up and used it for a week. It’s working well, but if you’re a fellow tinkerer/optimizer like myself, you may begin to wonder how you can improve your computer room or home office even more. You have so many options when deciding what computer accessories to add, so this article aims to give you a few ideas on places to start. Throughout this guide, we talk about must-have computer accessories like UPS surge protectors, mouse pads and webcams.
Must-have computer accessories: UPS surge protector
The first item that you may opt to add to your upgraded computer room is a surge protector with UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
This device is much more than just a power bar, however! This gadget serves multiple purposes: it protects your devices against power surges/drops and provides a back-up power source for your electronics in the case of a power outage. The CyberPower 8-Outlet 375W UPS Surge Protector, for instance, provides two minutes of battery backup when four devices are plugged in. This gives you enough time to safely power down your gear during a power outage. If a UPS-equipped device is outside your price range for the time being, you should at least opt for a surge protector like the Monster PowerCenter 800 8-Outlet Surge Protector instead of an inexpensive power bar/power strip.
Must-have computer accessories: cloth or hard polymer mouse pad
Beyond surge protection, you can improve your mousing with a mouse pad for your PC/Mac. There are two major categories of mouse pads: cloth and hard polymer. Personally, I prefer the frictionless feel of a hard polymer mouse pad like the Logitech G440 Hard Polymer Gaming Mouse Pad. However, mouse pads usually come down to preference. If you want a little bit more resistance from your mouse pad, you might opt for a cloth mouse pad such as the Logitech G240 Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad.
In my personal experience, these products have a long life. Buy one, set it and forget about it.
Must-have computer accessories: external hard drive
If you’re working on podcasts, video editing or even gaming with your home computer, your hard drive space may slowly fill up. To add more space without taking your computer apart, you could add an external hard drive. USB 3.0 external hard drives are fast, let you free up your internal hard drive space and easily allow you to back up your files in case of a hardware catastrophe.
Personally, I edit a lot of audio and some video, so all of my media files are stored and backed-up to physical drives. I have been using Seagate Backup Plus drives for over two years now with no complaints. They come in different sizes and colours and can inexpensively add up to 5TB of storage to your home machine.
Must-have computer accessories: webcam
These days, most laptops have webcams built-in, but if you need to add a webcam to your desktop computer, I would opt for the Logitech C920. I’ve used webcams from Microsoft and HP in the past, but the Logitech C920 is easily the best webcam that I have ever owned. It is well-built (the stand works with different monitor profiles), supports 1080p video and I have had no technical issues with the webcam since I purchased it last year. Whether you stream on Twitch a few times a week or just want to have the ability to have a Skype video call, this webcam is the ticket.
If you have a little bit more to spend on your webcam, you may want to opt for the Logitech C922. It’s largely the same webcam except that it supports 720p60 video, offers background removal software and improves the webcam’s contrast and color profile.
This is simply a starting point
Check out these options and more in the computer accessories section at Best Buy Canada!