Getting the Most out of Your Gadgets this Christmas: Top 10 Tips

Getting the Most out of Your Gadgets this Christmas: Top 10 Tips

The jolly season is fast approaching and no doubt gadgets, cameras, phones, tablets and computers will be top of many Christmas lists. In the UK, sales of gadgets are projected to soar in the run-up to Christmas. Whether it’s a new iPhone, iPad, Xbox, Sony PSP or laptop, here’s a few top tips for getting the most out of your gadgets this year:

1. Insure your gadgets from as low as £1.50/month
A gadget is for life, not just for Christmas. The last thing you want is to unwrap your gift on Christmas morning only to run into trouble with it a few months later. To make sure you’re protected in the case of any eventuality, it’s important to be covered. Shop around for a great deal – offers insurance for gadgets from as low as £1.50/month and includes package deals so you can insure all your devices under one cover. It’s also worth checking price comparison sites such as or to make sure you find the best deal that’s right for you.

2. Out with the old and in with the new
These devices aren’t cheap, so why not get cash for your old and unused gadgets? Check out where you can trade in anything from old phones, cameras, laptops, games and TVs and make back some money during this cash-strapped time of year.

3. Protect your cables
Over time, the cables for your new device will wear down and may start to fray. A simple trick is to use the spring of an old pen to protect your charging cables (see pictured). Just wrap the spring around the cable and slide it to the end. That way, the cable should stay straight and not bend, meaning it won’t start to detach.

4. Power to the battery
There’s nothing worse than a depleted battery at a crucial moment. You can improve the battery life on your tablet or phone by turning off the Wi-Fi when not in use and lowering your screen brightness. Another tip: You can charge your iPhone twice as fast by putting it in Airplane Mode.

5. Create a secure password
The majority of devices have the option to be password protected. Use accented letters (á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ñ) to create an un-guessable password. Check out this short video for more advice on creating a secure password:

6. Be YouTube savvy
Gadgets are great for a range of entertainment activities from social networking to gaming to watching videos. To download a video from YouTube, just add ‘ss’ between ‘www.’ And ‘youtube’ in the URL and voilà!

7. If in doubt, take it out
Batteries left in cameras that aren’t in use still drain power, so if you want to make it last, remove them. For mobile phones, make sure to close any programmes running in the background and at nighttime try clearing your RAM memory, which will close inactive and background processes and make your battery last longer.

8. Build your own
Looking to buy a PC? How about building one instead? There are loads of online retailers which sell cheap computer components and give you a step-by-step guide to building your own.

9. Be prepared on-the-go
Do your gadgets run out of battery quickly? It’s worth investing in and carrying a portable charger so you can charge your gadgets on the go. There are even mobile phone covers available today with a built in battery pack which you can charge up and switch on when out and about.

10.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help
For some, this might be the first gadget you own. If you are unsure about anything, check for advice, tips and solutions on Google. Alternatively, check out to get expert help from an IT student in the comfort of your own home.

By Kelly Klein, founder and CEO, Student@Home.

Written by Editor.
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