By Marie Flanagan November 18, 2021
Summary: Whether you’re shopping for a student, pet owner, or tech-lover, we’ve got something for everyone on your list. We’ve even got the best protection and support options if your loved ones have all the devices they need. Make your list, check it twice, and then cross it off your to-do list.
Looking for gift ideas as the holidays draw closer? We know how important it is to find something your loved ones can actually use instead of something that will collect dust in the back of the closet. We’ve rounded up the seven top tech gifts for 2021. It’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.
As 5G speeds continue to become widely available, more and more of us will be looking for cell phones that can keep up. This includes the hottest phones on the market, like the iPhone 13, the Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3 5G, and the Google Pixel 6.
Not in need of a new phone? What about a new mobile plan? EarthLink Mobile has five different mobile plans to choose from, so no matter your data or budget needs, you can find the right fit. A cell phone plan with great nationwide coverage? Now that’s a gift everyone can get behind.
If you’re shopping for students, consider looking for a new laptop — a great way to start the new semester and year in January. With more classes, assignments, and meetings having online components, a laptop that can keep up with demands and has a long battery life is the ideal solution. Before you go grabbing the latest model off the shelf, though, make sure you understand their needs. Some programs or work environments call for a specific brand or specs.
If you’re into surprises but don’t want to purchase a device with the wrong specs, gift a card that explains their new computer is paid for — they just have to pick it out. They’ll still have something to open, and you won’t be worried about any disappointment or frustration.
Are you shopping for one of the 23 million households that adopted a pet since March 2020? With more offices returning to in-person work, humans and pets alike might be experiencing some separation anxiety. A pet camera can help ease any worries — and some even come with the ability to remotely play with your pet (thinking tossing dog treats or turning on lasers for cats).
Simply make sure it’s connected to your home internet network and never be more than a click away from checking in on Fido.
The Nintendo Switch made headlines last year as it was nearly impossible to find on store shelves. The good news is, the most popular consoles — like the Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X — are not quite so elusive this holiday season. That said, don’t wait too long to shop. These are hot-ticket items, and we have a feeling that between making up for lost time and the looming supply chain issues, they might fly off of shelves.
Or, if a new gaming system is out of budget (or stock), consider gifting a game for the console they have. Games can be bought new or used, and promise hours of entertainment.
With so many streaming platforms available, it’s nice to have one access point to everything. A dedicated streaming device does just that! You can check out our detailed guide to the best streaming devices, or just stick with the basics: for maximum versatility, opt for a device that’s not branded (for example, Roku and Firesticks are more flexible than Chromecast or Apple TV). That said, if you’re gifting to a household that loves Google or Apple, you might be safe to go with a branded option.
Shopping for yourself, too? Make sure your high-speed internet connection can keep up with your streaming so you don’t have to worry about waiting for the newest episodes to buffer.
Although this may sound less exciting, hear us out. Antivirus software and identity theft protection is something most people don’t think about — until it’s too late. Being hacked can mean losing school assignments, work projects, or even hits to your savings and credit scores.
Be sure to check for dark web monitoring, protection across multiple devices, and a protection package that helps navigate repercussions (such as unauthorized bank charges).
Shopping for someone who could use some help getting all their new gadgets set up? (Or are you over being on-call support for loved ones?) We’ve got the solution! EarthLink EasyTech is remote technical support for all your devices. Whether your smart TV has forgotten its settings or your new vide doorbell won’t connect to the network, our EasyTech product experts are here to help. And because it’s remote, it doesn’t matter where you are, and you don’t have to wait at home for someone to get there.
Pro tip: If you’re purchasing for someone else, follow the same recommendation as our laptop suggestion. Have the gift recipient set it up, but let them know you’ll foot the bill. That way, they can use the email address, phone number, and other login credentials that work best for them, and you can rest easy knowing all their tech questions will be handled by an expert.
Once you’ve got the perfect gift, be sure your own home internet connection can keep up. Choose a high-speed internet provider who knows the importance of staying connected to what matters. Or, better yet, opt for speeds up to 1 Gig and stay connected to everything — big and small. Happy wrapping!
Marie Flanagan is a contributing writer for EarthLink. She’s a life-long Atlantan with a passion for SaaS, IoT, AI, fintech, and everything technology. Her ideal offline situation is volunteering in STEM education for girls or on her front porch with a book.
See all posts from Marie Flanagan.