Google adds a VPN and enhanced network features to Project Fi

In an effort to further improve the browsing experience of its Project Fi customers, Google is introducing its new enhanced network feature which allows devices to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile networks faster as well as its new optional always-on VPN service.

In an effort to further improve the browsing experience of its Project Fi customers, Google is introducing its new enhanced network feature which allows devices to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile networks faster as well as its new optional always-on VPN service.

Fi already uses a VPN service by default to protect users when they’re connected to any of the almost two million supported Wi-Fi hotspots. Now Google is extended this feature to cellular connections to further protect its users privacy.

In a blog post announcing the new feature, Google explained how its VPN will even prevent it from seeing what its users do online, saying:

When you enable our enhanced network, all of your mobile and Wi-Fi traffic will be encrypted and securely sent through our virtual private network (VPN) on every network you connect to, so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that others can’t see your online activity. That includes Google—our VPN is designed so that your traffic isn’t tied to your Google account or phone number (just like mobile traffic that isn’t sent through the VPN).

Enhanced network features

In addition to providing users with a VPN, Fi is also making it faster for devices to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile networks.

Once this feature is enabled, a user’s device will automatically detect when a Wi-Fi connection becomes weak and the service will fill in those gaps with cellular data. Although the new system is still in the testing phase, Google says that it already reduces a user’s time without a working internet connection by up to 40 per cent.

Both the VPN and the enhanced network will begin rolling out to Fi users later this week. These new features are turned off by default so users will have to go to the Fi Network Tools in the Project Fi app to enable them.

One thing to note is the fact that Google says your data usage will likely increase by around 10 per cent with its VPN feature turned on.

Via TechCrunch

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VENIAM to collaborate with DENSO on intelligent networking solutions for global automakers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Veniam, the leading provider of intelligent networking software for connected cars and future mobility, will explore joint solutions for the connected vehicle market with DENSO, the leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for major automakers, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Veniam, the leading provider of intelligent networking software for connected cars and future mobility, will explore joint solutions for the connected vehicle market with DENSO, the leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for major automakers, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“By 2021 there will be more than 90 Million new connected vehicles coming out of the factory every single year. This represents billions of dollars in data costs for automakers worldwide,” said João Barros, founder and CEO of Veniam. “Together, DENSO and Veniam will enable carmakers to go beyond 4G LTE to make the most out of all the wireless interfaces in the car, including Wi-Fi and V2X. This will materially reduce data costs and will also jump start the next generation of cloud-based services for connected cars and autonomous vehicles,” continued Barros.

As part of their collaboration, Veniam and DENSO will explore the integration of Veniam’s intelligent data networking features in DENSO’s Communication Management (DN-CM) systems. This combination will significantly improve the ability of vehicles to move large amounts of data by leveraging multiple different networks securely. Veniam’s patented and award-winning technology further enables automakers to set global policies in the cloud that are automatically translated to local configurations in each vehicle communication unit.

About Veniam

Veniam is accelerating future mobility by delivering intelligent networking software for connected cars and autonomous vehicles. With an IP portfolio of more than 160 patents, Veniam’s data networking platform makes the most out of all available networks to improve quality of service and reduce the costs of moving massive amounts of data between vehicles and the cloud. Working closely with the world’s largest Auto OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, Veniam aims to improve the lives of millions of people by securely managing the data flows of a new and emerging mobility ecosystem – the Internet of Moving Things – where vehicles move people and goods efficiently but also expand Internet coverage, deliver new human experiences and gather valuable data for smart city applications.

Named by CNBC and NASDAQ as one of the 50 most disruptive companies in the world, Veniam is a global company with its headquarters in Mountain View, California, Engineering Center in Porto, Portugal and sales offices in Detroit, Munich and Tokyo.

About DENSO

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has approximately 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, totaled US$48.1 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges. For more information, go to www.denso.com, or visit our media website at www.denso.com/global/en/news/media-center/.

SOURCE Veniam

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Google’s Project Fi automatically puts you on a VPN for every connection – CNET

On Tuesday, Google announced its new “enhanced network” for Project Fi.

For those who don’t know, Project Fi is Google’s very own wireless phone service. You pay $20 for unlimited calls and texts, and then $10 extra for every gigabyte of data you use (until you hit 6GB, then extra data is free).

On Tuesday, Google announced its new “enhanced network” for Project Fi.

For those who don’t know, Project Fi is Google’s very own wireless phone service. You pay $20 for unlimited calls and texts, and then $10 extra for every gigabyte of data you use (until you hit 6GB, then extra data is free). In the US it switches you between Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular coverage depending on what’s available, but it also works in 170+ countries — making it a good option for people who travel a lot.

Now, with its new “enhanced network,” Project Fi automatically puts you on a virtual private network (VPN) for every connection. That means you’re using a VPN whenever you connect to Wi-Fi or mobile data. This gives you an extra layer of security when you’re online and keeps your browsing information private. Google says VPN traffic isn’t tied to your Google account.

Project Fi also announced a feature that automatically detects when your Wi-Fi connection is shoddy and switches you over to mobile data so you don’t lose connection — similar to Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist. You can turn this feature on or off in your phone’s settings, which is a good way to ensure you don’t use too much data.

Google says it’s rolling out these features over the next week to Project Fi-compatible phones running Android Pie.


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Windows 10 S Mode release date, news and features

Windows 10 in S Mode was first unveiled as a standalone operating system by Microsoft back in May 2017. Ever since then, the thin client version of Windows 10 has been met with mixed reception.

Windows 10 in S Mode was first unveiled as a standalone operating system by Microsoft back in May 2017. Ever since then, the thin client version of Windows 10 has been met with mixed reception. This is mostly due to the restrictions it places on anyone trying to install any programs not found on the Windows Store.

Instead of letting you just install what you feel like, Windows 10 S Mode will limit you to apps found on the Microsoft Store. Now, traditional PC users and enthusiasts will probably never want to use this, but it makes sense for the right device and user. Just look at the Microsoft Surface Go, a tablet designed almost exclusively for students. It’s a perfect fit for the lightweight OS, especially when you take all the security benefits that Windows 10 S offers into consideration.

Luckily, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is out now, kind of, and with it Windows 10 S Mode has access to basically everything the new OS build has to offer. Along with a handy new ‘Your PHone’ app, which lets you sync your smartphone and PC – as long as you have an Android device – you’re also getting a cloud clipboard, which is awesome for anyone that works on multiple Windows 10 S devices.

For more information on everything that Windows 10 S is capable of, keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update it with any new information that comes our way.

Cut to the chaseWhat is it? Windows 10 without x86 and x64 appsWhen is it out? Available nowWhat will it cost? Free to all schools using Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 S release date

Windows 10 S first launched on May 2, 2017, with devices using the OS trickling out over the following months. And, now, Windows 10 S is bigger than ever, a fact that we expect Microsoft to celebrate with new Surface devices at Tuesday’s press event – these lower-spec Windows 10 devices are more versatile than ever before.2

Microsoft has plans to allow users to switch out of S Mode through a simple UI switch, but that’s not quite ready yet. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way out of S Mode, just head to the Windows Store on your device and search for ‘switch out of S Mode’. As for when the switch will get implemented, no one knows, but Microsoft may sneak it in at a later date – we don’t think it’ll be in the October 2018 Update, though.

Now, as for the reveal of Windows 10 S itself – Microsoft’s event invitation was titled ‘#MicrosoftEDU’, making no misgivings about its aims with the new OS. While Windows 10 S is not for individual sale, it is issued to IT administrators in education as well as laptops found in stores and online.

It’s no coincidence that Windows 10 S is focused on the education sector, where Google’s Chromebooks are experiencing outlandish success.

Windows 10 S price

Windows 10 S doesn’t cost a dime. Well, not to schools sporting Windows 10 Pro already, that is. The cost of the OS is, more than likely, being subsidized by hardware makers in its pricing albeit for far less than Windows 10 proper, if not for free.

In short, you won’t be paying for Windows 10 S so as much as you’ll pay for the hardware running it (with, again, whatever Microsoft’s charging its partners, if anything, to license the software baked in that price somehow, too).

Save for premium devices like the original Surface Laptop, you can find devices running Windows 10 S Mode starting at just $189 (about £146, AU$251) and cap out around $299 (about £239, AU$396), with these already cheap devices getting cheaper during seasonal sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. PC makers across the board, including Dell, HP, Asus, Acer and Lenovo all have Windows 10 S Mode-powered devices in their stables.

Premium category laptops were said to be joining the Windows 10 S family as well, but aside from Microsoft’s own Surface Laptop, they’ve been few and far between up to this point – save for Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 laptops, like the Asus NovaGo and HP Envy x2.

Now that Microsoft is aiming to make Windows 10 S Mode a thing within Windows 10 proper, though, we could start seeing additional software costs – but we haven’t seen much evidence of this happening yet. We’ll know when the switch goes live in 2019.

Though Windows 10 Home users will be exempt from this fee, Pro users will allegedly have to shell out $49 to exit Windows 10 S Mode. That said, now that Windows 10 S Mode is live, we haven’t actually seen Microsoft actually charging to exit out of it. Just note that right now it’s only one-way. You’ll have to reinstall the OS to go back to S Mode.

What is Windows 10 S?

Microsoft intends Windows 10 S to serve as a lightweight, more secure version of Windows 10 for lower-end devices. While in “S Mode,” Windows 10 will only support apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store.

This talk of a version of Windows that can only download Microsoft-approved apps is familiar, isn’t it? Microsoft believes it has mastered this approach since the turbulent days of Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 with Bing – both of which tried to position Microsoft as the sole provider of apps through curation.

The good news is that this allows for a startup time of under 5 seconds as opposed to the 30 – 40 second startup time of Windows 10 Pro. Not only that, but configuring settings (such as Wi-Fi, webcam, etc.) across an entire classroom of students is as easy as inserting a USB stick in each of their laptops.

Being in competition with Google’s Chrome OS, Microsoft has, of course, also positioned Windows 10 S as a more secure PC operating system. However, its resilience to viruses is mostly a side-effect of the inability to install apps not approved by Microsoft. Historically, Windows viruses have tended to erupt from untrustworthy internet downloads.

Should you find a must-have app that isn’t available in the Microsoft Store in Windows 10 S you can switch from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Home or Pro by just going to the Windows Store and searching for “switch out of S Mode”. Microsoft used to charge a fee for this service, but now it’s free for everyone.

Microsoft will also allow users that upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to move back down to Windows 10 S. And, now that Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Windows 10 Lean Mode, which will be even more lightweight and locked down.

Oddly enough, the shiny new Surface Laptop 2 now ships with Windows 10 Home, not in S Mode like the previous.

That said, what can you expect to see included in devices running Windows 10 S? Well, the Edge browser, OneNote and Windows Ink are all givens. The standard Movies and Groove Music apps, as well as Maps and Mail and Calendar are shoo-ins, too.

Of course, we won’t see x86/x64 program support on a Windows 10 cloud operating system until 2019 when the aforementioned Polaris is expected to touch down and implement a ‘virtualization container’ for each of your favorite legacy applications. That means that, yes, should everything work out perfectly, there will be a Windows 10 cloud OS that can emulate the .exe’s of the past.

Despite its constraints, Windows 10 S still features File Explorer, and although many of the laptops that come with the lightweight OS pre-installed may ship with smaller capacity SSDs, Microsoft’s forthcoming introduction of OneDrive Files On-Demand will make it so files can be stored in the cloud, but still viewed the same way as locally stored content.

All things considered, there are still questions looming around in regard to the viability of Windows 10 S. Fortunately, as new developments emerge to (hopefully) address those criticisms, you can count on us to cover them right here on this page.

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Cisco fuses SD-WAN, security and cloud services

Looking to help customers batten down the edge, Cisco is marrying its software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) software with security features while boosting support for cloud services.

Many times SD-WAN customers have been forced to choose between adding more security to their SD-WAN at the expense of application performance or vice-versa, said Ramesh Prabagaran senior director of product management at Cisco.

Looking to help customers batten down the edge, Cisco is marrying its software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) software with security features while boosting support for cloud services.

Many times SD-WAN customers have been forced to choose between adding more security to their SD-WAN at the expense of application performance or vice-versa, said Ramesh Prabagaran senior director of product management at Cisco.

“We are looking to help customers solve the security and complexity problems at the cloud edge where networking, security and multicloud environments meet,” he said.

[ Check out 10 hot SD-WAN startups to watch. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ]

What Cisco is doing is adding support for its Umbrella security system to its SD-WAN software which runs on top of the IOS XE operating system that powers its core branch, campus and enterprise routers and switches.

Cisco describes Umbrella as a cloud-delivered secure internet gateway, that stops current and emergent threats over all ports and protocols. It blocks access to malicious domains, URLs, IPs, and files before a connection is ever established or a file downloaded. It basically protects customers and communications at the Domain Name Server (DNS) layer.

Umbrella’s key features come from OpenDNS which Cisco bought for $635 million in 2015. OpenDNS offers a cloud service that prevents customers from connecting to dangerous internet IP addresses such as those known to be associated with criminal activity, botnets, and malicious downloads.

“Umbrella blocks access to malicious destinations before a connection is ever established, and it is backed by the threat intelligence of Cisco Talos,” Prabagaran said. Advanced security is now integrated into Cisco SD-WAN devices and can be managed through a single pane of glass, greatly simplifying the management and control of the SD-WAN and cloud edge, he said.

Pumping up the security of SD-WAN packages is a key feature for Cisco and other SD-WAN players because of the increasing use of the Internet as a primary transport mechanism, said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research.

“With WAN traffic going here, there and everywhere it can be tough for enterprises to establish a secure perimeter. Cisco is looking to solve that challenge,” he said.

Cisco partners with Microsoft to optimize Office 365

In addition to the security enhancements, Cisco said it has partnered with Microsoft to optimize cloud-based Office 365 application access through Cisco SD-WAN. Prabagaran said the SD-WAN package monitors in real time all available paths to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud and is also able to determine the closest cloud, resulting in up to 40 percent faster performance for users.

Linking to cloud offerings such as Office 365 makes great sense as a feature for Cisco to offer customers, Doyle said.

“Linking up with many different [software as a service] platforms is something you’ll see from other SD-WAN players too. It will be a key part of SD-WAN players’ – not just Cisco – feature sets going forward,” he said.

IDC earlier this year stated that as enterprise customers add SaaS and IaaS services they will increasingly look to SD-WAN as a way of “intelligently automating how application traffic is delivered to branch sites, moving away from traditional hub-and-spoke WAN architectures and the backhauling of internet- and cloud-bound traffic to on-premises datacenters toward the increasing use of broadband internet breakout and other network transports – 4G/LTE and 5G – at the branch for cost-effective application delivery.”

In its “Worldwide SD-WAN Infrastructure Forecast, 2018–2022,” IDC stated that the SD-WAN segment of the networking market will hit $4.5 billion and grow at a 40.4 percent compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2022. In 2017 alone, SD-WAN infrastructure revenues increased 83.3 percdent in 2017 to reach $833 million.

In addition to SD-WAN security and Office 365 announcements, Cisco said it opened a new segment of its DevNet software development program designed specifically for the SD-WAN community. The DevNet SD-WAN center includes new SD-WAN open-developer APIs, learning labs, and sandboxes.

Cisco also added a couple of new appliances aimed at branch offices. The ISR 1111X-8P and the ISR 4461 include integrated SD-WAN support. The ISR 1111X-8P includes Wi-Fi and LTE support, while the ISR 4661 targets larger branches and integrates storage and compute features.

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How to watch I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 2018 online for free in the UK or abroad

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is set for another round of jungle based brilliance for 2018 and there’s lots to get excited about. For one thing this is the start of a new presenting team as Declan Donnelly is joined by new co-host Holly Willoughby.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is set for another round of jungle based brilliance for 2018 and there’s lots to get excited about. For one thing this is the start of a new presenting team as Declan Donnelly is joined by new co-host Holly Willoughby. The celebs will soon be whisked to the outback and we’ll tell you how to watch I’m a Celebrity online for free – regardless of where on Earth you are.

So the rumours were true! It has now been confirmed that football manager Harry Redknapp, The Chase’s Anne Hegerty and Coronation Street’s Sair Khan will all be at the camp this year. Joining them are the likes of John Barrowman, ex-X Factor star Fleur East and TV presenter Nick Knowles.

The team of celebrities will be shipped out to the jungle this weekend to take on the usual array of challenging tasks, which earn them food for their group. Insects will be eaten, bugs will be bathed, general unpleasantness will ensue.

Who will be crowned king or queen of the jungle this year? Find out by following the instructions below for streaming I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here online – both to watch in the UK and if you’re out of the country but still want to tune in.

We’ll also show you how to watch the X Factor online

Watch I’m A Celebrity 2018 online for free in the UK:

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here will continue to run on ITV for UK viewers. That means you’ll be able to watch the show live via your TV aerial connection or online using the ITV Hub. The hub is also the destination you need for catching up after and for streaming the show on another device.

A further live streaming option for your mobile, tablet or computer is the free-to-use TVPlayer.com which has good quality streaming and all the rest of the Freeview channels on one easy platform.

Streaming I’m A Celebrity anywhere else in the world for free:

For those outside of the UK that still want to follow this year’s celeb action, the best bet is a VPN service. This means those travelling, on holiday, or living abroad can still get their fix of the show with an internet connection.

Once you get the right VPN you can enjoy a secure and speedy connection, even on open Wi-Fi networks like hotels, enabling you to tune in via TVPlayer.com.

And even if you’re not that tech friendly, don’t worry. Getting a VPN is super simple. We’ve listed how to do it in three easy steps below….

Image courtesy of itv.com

The 5G revolution is upon us. Here’s everything you need to know – CNET

The next generation of wireless technology, fittingly known as 5G, is just around the corner. If you ask Verizon, it’s already here.

One thing the entire industry can agree on is it’s going to change our lives.

The next generation of wireless technology, fittingly known as 5G, is just around the corner. If you ask Verizon, it’s already here.

One thing the entire industry can agree on is it’s going to change our lives. The industry, of course, really wants 5G to be a thing.

Ever since Verizon said it’d be the first major telecom company to deploy 5G field tests three years ago, the hype for the technology has been building. It’s been referred to as a foundational tech that will supercharge areas like self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality, and telemedicine like remote surgery.

Now playing:Watch this: Explaining 5G with a game of pool
4:21

But what exactly is 5G? Why are people so excited? The following is a breakdown of why the next generation of wireless technology is more than just a boost in speed, and why you should be excited yourself.

What is 5G?

It’s the next (fifth) generation of cellular technology, which promises to greatly enhance the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. How fast are we talking? Think 10 to 100 times speedier than your typical cellular connection, and even faster than anything you can get with a physical fiber-optic cable going into your house. (You’ll be able to download a season’s worth of “Stranger Things” in seconds.)

Is it just about speed?

No! One of the key benefits is something called low latency. You’ll hear this word mentioned A LOT. Latency is the response time between when you click on a link or start streaming a video on your phone, sending the request up to the network, and when the network responds and gives you your website or starts playing your video.

That lag time can last around 20 milliseconds with current networks. It doesn’t seem like much, but with 5G, that latency gets reduced to as little as 1 millisecond, or about the time it takes for a flash in a normal camera to finish.

That responsiveness is critical for things like playing an intense video game in virtual reality or for a surgeon in New York to control a pair of robotic arms performing a procedure in San Francisco, though latency will still be affected by the ultimate range of the connection. The virtually lag-free connection means self-driving cars have a way to communicate with each other in real time.

How does it work?

5G initially used super high-frequency spectrum, which has shorter range but higher capacity, to deliver a massive pipe for online access. But given the range and interference issues, the carriers are starting to explore lower frequency spectrum — the type used in today’s networks, to help ferry 5G across greater distances and through walls and other obstructions.

The result is the insane speeds that companies first promise won’t be there, but it will still represent a big boost to what we get today with 4G LTE.

Where do these carriers get the spectrum?

Some of these carriers already control small swathes of high-frequency radio airwaves, but many will have to purchase more from the government. The Federal Communications Commission is holding an auction for so-called millimeter wave spectrum, which all of the carriers are participating in.

Are there other benefits?

Yes! The 5G network is designed to connect a far greater number of devices than a traditional cellular network. That internet of things trend you keep hearing about? 5G can power multiple devices around you, whether it’s a dog collar or a refrigerator.

The 5G network was also specifically built to handle equipment used by businesses, such as farm equipment or ATMs. Beyond speed, it’s also designed to work differently on connected products that don’t need a constant connection, like a sensor for fertilizer. Those kinds of low-power scanners are designed to work on the same battery for 10 years and still be able to periodically send over data.

Sounds great, but when does 5G get here?

Verizon launched the first “5G” service in the world in October, but it’s a bit of a technicality.

The service isn’t mobile service, but a fixed broadband replacement. An installer will need to put in special equipment that can pick up the 5G signals and turn it into a Wi-Fi connection in the home so your other devices can access it.

There’s also some debate about whether the service even qualifies for 5G because it doesn’t use the standards that the industry has agreed upon. The company wanted to jump out ahead, and used its own proprietary technology. Verizon argues that the speeds, which range from 300 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second, qualify the service for 5G designation. Its rivals and even experts from chipmaker Qualcomm dispute the claim.

The launch is extremely limited in select neighborhoods in Los Angeles; Sacramento, California; Indianapolis; and Dallas. (Let us know if you’re one of the lucky few who get it.)

OK, but what about mobile 5G?

Verizon says it’ll launch its mobile 5G next year. AT&T is looking like the first company to launch a true mobile 5G service. It plans to launch 5G this year in 12 markets. Last month, it successfully tested a mobile 5G connection in Waco, Texas, using what should be the first consumer 5G device, a wireless hotspot built by Netgear.

Like the Verizon deployment, expect the rollout of 5G in these cities to be extremely limited.

AT&T said it plans to launch in 19 cities next year, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

No 5G phones? Can’t I just pick up 5G with my existing smartphone?

Sorry, no. 5G technology requires a specific set of antennas that aren’t available yet. Sprint says it plans to release the first US 5G smartphone next year, which will be built by LG.

5G smartphones are expected to come out in the first half of next year. Rumors point to Samsung being among the first to build a 5G smartphone. The company is reportedly to put 5G in a version of its Galaxy S10.

OnePlus has also claimed that it’ll be among the first to have 5G in a phone as well.

Anything I should worry about?

High-frequency spectrum is the key to that massive pickup in capacity and speed, but there are drawbacks. The range isn’t great, especially when you have obstructions like trees or buildings. As a result, carriers will have to deploy a lot more small cellular radios, creatively named small cells, around any areas that get a 5G signal.

That’s going to annoy anyone who doesn’t want cellular radios near them. With concerns over potential health risks, as well as the fact that they may end up looking like neighborhood eyesores, there may be some objections to these things.

Carriers using low frequency bands may get away with fewer cellular radios, but 5G will almost certainly require companies to further build out their networks.

How broadly will 5G be available next year?

Here’s the other concern — 5G might still be a theoretical possibility for a lot of people.

T-Mobile says it’s launching in 30 cities next year, while Sprint will launch in nine cities. AT&T is launching in a dozen markets this year and 19 next year, and Verizon aims to launch next year too, but it’s unclear how wide the coverage will be. Globally, China, Japan and South Korea are racing to build out their 5G networks, with Europe behind as it takes the slow and steady approach.

So don’t feel like you need to rush out to buy that first 5G smartphone. Chances are, service won’t be widely available until 2020 or beyond.

Also, while some see 5G helping to improve coverage everyone, rural areas will likely miss out for a while since it lacks the infrastructure to support all of those cell radios.

Will it cost more?

That’s unclear. Indications are the carriers won’t likely charge anymore, although then-Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in March that he saw 5G as a premium service. New CEO Michel Combes declined to comment on pricing.

You’ll remember that LTE didn’t cost anymore when it first came out — you just needed to buy a new phone. But pricing models could change over time. Since 4G launched, the carriers both took away unlimited plans and brought them back.

Verizon’s home broadband service costs $50 for wireless subscribers, and $70 for everyone else. Those are inline with other broadband costs. (You can find out if you’re eligible for the service here.)

Our 5G glossary

Do you want to show off your 5G knowledge to your friends? Or seem like the smartest person at a party? Check out our 5G glossary below.

5G NR

The 5G bit is pretty obvious, but the NR stands for New Radio. You don’t have to know a lot about this beyond the fact that it’s the name of the standard that the entire wireless industry is rallying behind, and it just came out in December.

That’s important because it means everyone is on the same page when it comes to their mobile 5G networks. Carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile are following 5G NR as they build their networks. But Verizon, which began testing 5G as a broadband replacement service before the standard was approved, isn’t using the standard — yet. The company says it’ll eventually adopt 5G NR for its broadband service, and intends to use NR for its 5G mobile network.

Millimeter wave

All cellular networks use airwaves to ferry data over the air, with standard networks using spectrum in lower frequency bands like 700 megahertz. Generally, the higher the band or frequency, the higher the speed you can achieve. The consequence of higher frequency, however, is shorter range.

To achieve those crazy-high 5G speeds, you need really, really high frequency spectrum. The millimeter wave range falls between 24 gigahertz and 100 gigahertz.

The problem with super-high frequency spectrum, besides the short range, is it’s pretty finicky — a leaf blows the wrong way and you get interference. Forget about obstacles like walls. Companies like Verizon are working on using software and broadcasting tricks to get around these problems and ensure stable connections.

Small cell

Traditional cellular coverage typically stems from gigantic towers littered with different radios and antennas. Those antennas are able to broadcast signals at a great distance, so you don’t need a lot of them. Small cells are the opposite — backpack-size radios can be hung up on street lamps, poles rooftops or other areas. They can only broadcast a 5G signal at a short range, so the idea is to have a large number of them in a densely packed network.

Some cities have this kind of dense network in place, but if you go outside of the metro area, that’s where small cells become more of a challenge.

Sub-6GHz

Given how troublesome really high-band spectrum can be (see the “millimeter wave” section above), there’s a movement to embrace spectrum at a much lower frequency, or anything lower than 6GHz. The additional benefit is that carriers can use spectrum they already own to get going on 5G networks. T-Mobile, for instance, has a swath of 600MHz spectrum it plans to use to power its 5G deployment. Prior to sub-6GHz, that would’ve been impossible.

That’s why you’re seeing more carriers embrace lower frequency spectrum.

But lower frequency spectrum has the opposite problem: While it reaches great distances, it doesn’t have the same speed and capacity as millimeter wave spectrum.

The ideal down the line will be for carriers to use a blend of the two.

Gigabit LTE

You’re hearing more about Gigabit LTE as a precursor to 5G. Ultimately it’s about much higher speeds on the existing LTE network. But the work going toward building a Gigabit LTE network provides the foundation for 5G.

For more on Gigabit LTE, read our explainer here.

MIMO

An acronym for multiple input, multiple output. Basically, it’s the idea of shoving more antennas into our phones and on cellular towers. And you can always have more antennas. They feed into the faster Gigabit LTE network, and companies are deploying what’s known as 4×4 MIMO, in which four antennas are installed in a phone.

Carrier aggregation

Wireless carriers can take different bands of radio frequencies and bind them together so phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 can pick and choose the speediest and least congested one available. Think of it as a three-lane highway so cars can weave in and out depending on which lane has less traffic.

QAM

This is a term that’s so highly technical, I don’t even bother to explain the nuance. It stands for quadrature amplitude modulation. See? Don’t even worry about it.

What you need to know is that it allows traffic to move quickly in a different way than carrier aggregation or MIMO. Remember that highway analogy? Well, with 256 QAM, you’ll have big tractor trailers carrying data instead of tiny cars. MIMO, carrier aggregation and QAM are already going into 4G networks, but play an important role in 5G too.

Beam forming

This is a way to direct 5G signals in a specific direction, potentially giving you your own specific connection. Verizon has been using beam forming for millimeter wave spectrum, getting around obstructions like walls or trees.

Unlicensed spectrum

Cellular networks all rely on what’s known as licensed spectrum, which they own and purchased from the government.

But the move to 5G comes with the recognition that there just isn’t enough spectrum when it comes to maintaining wide coverage. So the carriers are moving to unlicensed spectrum, similar to the kind of free airwaves that our Wi-Fi networks ride on.

Network slicing

This is the ability to carve out individual slivers of spectrum to offer specific devices the kind of connection they need. For instance, the same cellular tower can offer a lower-power, slower connection to a sensor for a connected water meter in your home, while at the same time offering a faster, lower-latency connection to a self-driving car that’s navigating in real time.

Are you hearing more 5G-related terms that confuse you? Contact us and we’ll update this story with additional terms.

First published, Feb. 8, 5 a.m PT.
Update, Sept. 27 and Oct. 17: Adds details and background.
Update, Nov. 13, 5 a.m. PT: Adds new details.

5G: Your Next Big Upgrade: CNET’s series on the next generation of cellular technology.

Not just speed: Check out 7 incredible things you can do with 5G.

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Hellboy’s David Harbour keeps it real – CNET

When David Harbour talks about Moby Dick, lists the parallels between Hamlet and Hellboy, and explains why his “magical” journey to Antarctica helped him appreciate climate change, he seems a long way from the down-to-earth, grumpy, chain-smoking Sheriff Jim Hopper on Netflix’s Stranger Things.

When David Harbour talks about Moby Dick, lists the parallels between Hamlet and Hellboy, and explains why his “magical” journey to Antarctica helped him appreciate climate change, he seems a long way from the down-to-earth, grumpy, chain-smoking Sheriff Jim Hopper on Netflix’s Stranger Things.

But then he tells me about his life and adventures, and I understand why Hopper is so likable and relatable. It’s because Harbour is, too.

Harbour says he was one of the nerdy kids growing up in White Plains, New York, who liked playing video games and Dungeon & Dragons. He admits to imagining himself as Captain Ahab in Herman Melville’s classic, then has me laughing when he owns up to getting seasick on the Greenpeace boat trip he took to Antarctica. And he reveals that his perfect dinner party would include Shakespeare, RuPaul, Barack Obama and comedian Hannah Gadsby enjoying sushi, followed by a Duncan Hines yellow cake smothered in chocolate frosting.

“I love strip malls. I love shitty food. I love this country for its good and its bad,” the 43-year-old Harbour says during our cover shoot in Atlanta. “I try to stay ordinary. Staying ordinary is good for me. I try to reveal the extraordinary through my art.”

That art includes playing Hopper in season 3 of Stranger Things due out next year. And it includes his starring role in the 2019 reboot of the Hellboy film series about a half-demon, red-skinned superhero who works to save humanity even though people are afraid of him.

Harbour talked with me about the iconic hat he wears on Stranger Things, his thoughts on being the inspiration for some notable internet memes and why he’s having fun on social media. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversations.

Is it true you don’t know what a meme is? You’ve been the subject of a lot of them, including your dance shuffle in Stranger Things.
I still don’t really know what a meme is. Do they have a strict definition of what a meme is? The one I like was my hair person on Stranger Things took a lovely photo of me in a Christmas sweater and my Hopper uniform that was too tight for me, and I looked ridiculous. I was holding my hat a certain way. That got Photoshopped onto covers of Vogue, in a Michael Jackson video — just lots of different places.

Then, of course, the dancing thing. There was me dancing to all sorts of different music, which I really liked. You know, as a serious actor, which I feel like I am, I take my work very seriously, I feel like I should be against this in some way. But I just think it’s hilarious and I love every minute of it.

Was that you dancing or is that Hopper dancing to Jim Croce?
That is definitely Hopper dancing. [Laughs] I am playing a character. It’s not difficult for me to do. It’s not like I had to study many different forms. It comes intuitively from a certain place, but I can dance better than that.

Can you?
It is an acting moment. [Laughs] It is meant, the actual scene, to embarrass [the character] Eleven in a certain way, like your dad does when he does something ridiculous. I’m a terrible dancer in my own way.

Merriam-Webster turned the clip of you dancing into the definition of dad bod. Do you consider that an honor?
Oh my God, my God, my life. [Laughs] It was an honor. I have a funny relationship with this dad bod thing. I sort of love it and the reason why I love it is actually very serious. I do think that in a certain way, I’ve become a bit of a sex symbol for our time — there are articles about people digging Hopper. But I’m also like a little big and a little chubby. I love the idea of real bodies on television. And I love the idea of making real people beautiful and loved.

I think Hopper is so loved and he’s got a real body like I have a real body. I’m sick of these bodies on television that are impossibly thin — and the guys train for months and months and then they even stop eating a couple of days before and dehydrate to look a certain way. I want people to feel good in their bodies, like I’m sick of twigs on both ends of the spectrum, men and women. I’m totally tired of twigs.

I like to take risks in all sorts of ways, many of which do not pay off.

I want people to love their bodies. Look, I don’t want you to be unhealthy. I want you to take care of yourself, take care of your heart. We don’t want you to be obese. But these impossible standards that Hollywood sets — I don’t find those people sexy anymore. I find them narcissistic and I find them cruel to culture because I think that art is meant to lead people. I don’t want that cruelty in our bodies anymore.

I want more big girls in leading roles. I want big guys in leading-man roles. I want them to be the hero.

You’ve told me that Stranger Things may go to season 4 or 5 — but that you already know how it all ends. What can you say?
We’re either going to season 4 or season 5. It’s still being debated. I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with [show creators] the Duffer brothers right from day one.

I know somewhat a lot of Hopper’s place in that story because the more you can know about the end of your story, the more you can set up. I feel with acting you can sort of see a character make certain choices and you can feel what is behind it. As you see the end of the story, you’ll start to feel why certain characters behaved certain ways. I think that stuff’s really important, like knowing where your character’s going.

A lot of times you don’t get that in TV. But the great thing about this is that we knew what season 1 was, and we had ideas about if it extended — because we didn’t know we’d get picked up — but if it extended, what the end of the actual thing would be. Like Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi have an arc to them. I think Stranger Things, be it season 4 or season 5, has an arc to it that I understand.

I feel very proud of that because we’re not going to get lost in our story and leave these strands. We’re going to tie things up.

Two things you took credit for bringing to Stranger Things are your sheriff’s hat and the Jim Croce song. Is there something they didn’t use?
Oh yeah. I have lots of ideas they don’t use. I like to take risks in all sorts of ways, many of which do not pay off.

I remember I saw Raul Julia and Christopher Walken do Othello. Chris Walken was Iago, and Raul was Othello. Chris was great, and Raul was just terrible. I used to remember being like, “My God! This guy’s such a good actor and he’s terrible.” That’s why he was a good actor — because he could just swing for the fences and just be so bold. I love that.

I emulate that. I want to stretch those limits — and when you stretch and take risks, the risks don’t always pay off. It’s why they’re risks. So yeah, there’s been lots of bad ideas that they hate.

Did they hate Hopper’s hat at first?
They were very against it. They just didn’t think it fit. They didn’t think it looked good. I was inspired somewhat by Gene Hackman. I had heard he works a lot with hats. He’s always finding a hat for a character — that pork pie in French Connection. I love that.

So we found this hat. I had to go, “Just trust me on it.” And then, once we started shooting with it, they really got into it.

Let me ask you about risk-taking and Hellboy. Were you a comic book fan when you were a kid?
I liked comic books when I was a kid, but I was much more of a video game guy. But I got into the Hellboy graphic novels in my 20s because they were recommended to me by a friend who was really into graphic novels.

I thought they were gorgeous and really interesting — this world of demons and devils, weird old folktales like Baba Yaga, and characters that just emerge from these weird disparate mythologies that come together in this Hellboy universe.

I like that because it has an alphabet that we understand, but it’s put together in new ways, like new words and new sentences.

You’ve said you’re going to bring a little bit of Hamlet to the Hellboy reboot next year. What’s the Hamlet connection?
He’s spawned into the universe by Nazi occultists to bring about the end of the world. And he is captured by Broom, who decides to raise him. So he’s an orphan who was adopted. English isn’t his first language, to say the least. He’s destined to bring about the apocalypse and he, in his heart, just really wants to be a good guy. He idolizes people he grew up with in comic books, like Lobster Johnson, and he wants to be like a paranormal detective.

So he’s kind of a silly, sweet creature but also a demon. And he lives in a world where human beings don’t accept him for who he is. So even when he winds up saving people, they still show up with pitchforks and torches to try to kill him. I think the biggest struggle for him is he’s hunting down monsters, and yet he is one. So what is he doing, exactly? That’s a big conflict in him.

What I think I meant by the Hamlet comment is that he’s sort of a tortured guy. And he deals with it in certain ways that certainly Hamlet doesn’t. He’s just very witty. He’s got this dry, sort of put-upon humor, but underneath all of that is this desperate conundrum of like, “Where is this going to end? What’s the end game for this?” I think that when I compared it to Hamlet, I was saying it’s a mature movie with adult themes.

He’s an adult struggling with adult things. It’s not like whether or not I should kill the bad guy by punching him. It’s more like, Who’s the bad guy?

And humor?
Of course. You can’t do Hellboy without humor.

He’s the guy who the bad guy will give a huge monologue about — I’m destroying the universe — and Hellboy’s like, “You talk pretty tough for a guy with no pants.” He’s always undercutting the situation and he has these one-liners. The script’s really funny. One of the ways he deals with the world is to have this dry humor about it because it’s so painful.

And how is it different from Guillermo del Toro’s 2004 and 2008 Hellboy movies?
In the Guillermo del Toro ones, it was sort of a brighter world. Our color palette is a little darker. Hellboy has a lot more issues. He’s a little more lost, a little more confused and conflicted. I think that makes for a darker tone in terms of what he’s willing to do. It’s more of a character piece, I think, than the Guillermo del Toro ones, which are a bit more spectacle and team-based and fun. Ours is a little more of a character study.

What were you into when you were a kid?
I was not one of the popular kids. There was the popular kids table and there was the super nerdy table. And I was the middle table. I developed my cadre of nerds. I was big into art, D&D and video games, and that is not what the popular kids were into. That doesn’t make you very popular with the football players and the cheerleading squad.

What’s your favorite piece of tech?
I’m so into those little earbuds now. The AirPods from Apple. I mean, I’m addicted to Apple products. Those jerks, they’re the worst. They are, because they’re making stuff crappy now and I know they’re doing it on purpose and they ask me to update my crap every five seconds, but I’m wildly addicted because I went to college and it required you to have an Apple computer. So good job, Apple.

And I’m very into the new industries that are being created through things like Twitch TV and livestreaming of esports. I’m into the esports community with these games like Hearthstone and Fortnite. The livestream personality thing is very interesting to me.

Many people think social media is a toxic place, but you seem to be having a lot of fun on Twitter. What’s your deal?
I knew the medium might be the message here, in the sense that social media might be best used to provide some fun for the world — maybe do some good. Because I do think it has power when you have millions of followers. It’s a sort of currency that you can use.

I was like, I can do things maybe that help people, kind of brighten their day — things that are strange and weird and specific to me, but they aren’t yelling about things. People would ask me all these silly things on Twitter. They asked me to go to the prom with them or do this or do that. This one girl asked me to take her senior photos with her for high school. And I said if she got 25,000 retweets I would do it, but I wanted to hold a trombone and wear the school sweatshirt. She got it in hours because all my castmates retweeted and wanted to humiliate me in this way. So we did it.

We set up a shoot that looked like a high school shoot. And we had a trombone, some pompoms, some school sweatshirts and we took senior photos, and she used them in her high school yearbook.

Somebody wants me to officiate their wedding. So that’s happening. I’m getting ordained and I’m going to officiate this person’s wedding. We’ll see how that goes, but I like ones that are kind of silly and unique, and things that cause me some stress and some pain — as opposed to just sign something or take a selfie. This is annoying. I have to get ordained, and I have to figure out — in the state of Illinois — what the requirements are. I have to figure out all of this nonsense. Then I’ve got to get there and I stand up in front of people.

So if you have something that’s kind of annoying that I could do but kind of like not crazy annoying, but like slightly annoying — and you get an enough retweets — I’m generally down to do that.

Is that how you ended up dancing with penguins in Antarctica?
I asked Greenpeace how many retweets it would take to take me down to Antarctica and dance with some penguins. And they were like, astronomical — like 200,000 or something. I ultimately got 400,000 retweets. It was insane the amount of love that people had for this endeavor. Greenpeace took me down to Antarctica on a ship and I threw up constantly for four days. I thought I was going to die. And then wound up having this epic experience of seeing all the wildlife down there, feeling this magical place and learning a lot more about climate change.

It started out as a very silly thing and it became very serious and a passion of mine. We have a lot of work to do on this planet, especially with these beautiful preserved places like Antarctica that are sort of untouched — I want to keep them that way.

I watched the video and saw you dance among the penguins, but they didn’t seem particularly impressed.
I know, I was surprised. [Laughs.] They apparently don’t have Netflix down there. Their Wi-Fi is terrible.

I also read your description of how an enormous leopard seal crawled out in front of you, and then puked out two penguin skeletons. That kind of ruins the magic, doesn’t it?
Yeah, it was a vision of hell. I’m happy for the ecosystem that a thing like that exists. There are things in this universe I don’t like or understand, but are very important for our ecosystem. But I don’t want to see them anymore. They’re horrible, crazy-looking beasts, so let’s leave them alone.

Fur seals, which are the adorable ones you see, are actually more dangerous. The leopard seals kind of leave you alone. The fur seals don’t like human beings. They apparently are faster on land than the fastest human runner, so they can outrun you. And their bite is so infectious that it’s an evac situation if you get bit, because there’s tons of bacteria in there. And if you’re in between them and the water, they are truly upset. You could be 20 feet away, and if you are between them and the water, they just start honking at you like MOOOOOOO, MOOOOO all the way across the beach.

One started howling at me and this reporter from The Guardian. We walked all the way around the beach — hundreds of feet away — and he was still screaming at us the whole time. It’s like that thing when you’re in the prison yard. He was going to humiliate us the entire length of the beach as we walked along, and all his buddies were like, Look at those chumps.

They’re terrifying creatures. So let’s leave them alone and have them live in the Antarctic — away from us.

This story appears in the fall 2018 edition of CNET Magazine. Click here for more magazine stories.

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Black Friday 2018 Google Assistant deals: $25 Google Home Mini, $99 Nest Thermostat E, $170 SimpliSafe security system and more – CNET

The holiday shopping season is here and, like us, you’re probably holding out for the best Black Friday deals before you empty your wallet. Fortunately, we’re on top of it, regularly adding new smart home and appliance deals right here so you can search through them easily.

The holiday shopping season is here and, like us, you’re probably holding out for the best Black Friday deals before you empty your wallet. Fortunately, we’re on top of it, regularly adding new smart home and appliance deals right here so you can search through them easily.


Best smart home gifts for 2018
24 Photos

This time around, we’re talking all about discounts on Google Assistant gadgets. That includes everything from a $25 Google Home Mini to a $99 Nest Thermostat E — and even discounts on SimpliSafe security systems, Philips Hue LEDs and so much more. Scroll down for a comprehensive and continuously updated list of the deals that caught our eye on Google-Assistant-enabled products.

Just bear in mind:

CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
We linked to the current listing at the retailer’s website when one was available, but of course sale pricing won’t be available until the sale begins.

Anova Wi-Fi Sous-Vide Circulator for $100 (save $60)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Sous vide machines cook meat and other foods more precisely than other kitchen appliances. This Anova device typically costs $160, but will be reduced to $100 at Best Buy starting Thanksgiving Day. Not only does this Wi-Fi-enabled gadget have a related app in which you can track the cooking process, it also works with Google Assistant.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Chamberlain MyQ Garage Hub for $60 (save $20)

Open and close your garage door from your phone with a MyQ Garage Hub by Chamberlain — or use a Google Assistant command. This smart garage controller usually costs $80, but it will drop down to $60 at Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Ecobee Smart Thermostats for up to $50 offChris Monroe/CNET

Starting Thanksgiving Day, Ecobee’s excellent Google-Assistant-enabled smart thermostats will be discounted by $50. That includes the $169 Ecobee3 Lite and the $249 Ecobee4, reduced to $119 and $199 respectively.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Emerson Sensi Smart Thermostat for $89 (save $40)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Emerson Sensi Smart Thermostat is also getting a price reduction this holiday season. Starting Nov. 22, you can get your Google-Assistant-enabled Sensi for $89.

See at NeweggRead the CNET Review

Garadget Smart Garage Door Controller for $65 (save $34)Chris Monroe/CNET

The Garadget Smart Garage Door Controller will cost just $65 on Black Friday. And, bonus — it works with Google Assistant (as well as Alexa and IFTTT).

See at NeweggRead the CNET Review

Google Home Hub for $99 (save $50)Chris Monroe/CNET

Get the Google Home Hub, a 7-inch smart display with a built-in Google Assistant speaker, for $50 off this holiday season. This deal will be available through Jet at 10 p.m. ET the day before Thanksgiving, at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Lowe’s and Walmart on Thanksgiving Day and at Target on Black Friday.

See at TargetRead the CNET Review

Google Home Mini and C by GE Bluetooth Smart Bulb for $25 (save $30)Chris Monroe/CNET

Snag a Google Home Mini smart speaker for half off ($25) bundled with a free C by GE Bluetooth smart bulb. Use Google Assistant voice commands to control your new GE LED and any other Google-Assistant-enabled smart home devices you might have.

See at Lowe’sSee it on CNET

Google Home Mini smart speaker for $25 (save $25)James Martin/CNET

The pint-sized Google Home Mini is already priced well at $50. Starting Thanksgiving Day, it will drop down to just $25. Get it in aqua, a color finish that’s exclusively available at Walmart.

See at WalmartSee it on CNET

Google Home Mini and Chromecast Bundle for $45 (save $29)Walmart

You can score the Google Home Mini bundled with a Chromecast streamer for just $45. With both devices, you can ask Google Assistant to turn on your favorite Netflix show. This deal will also be available from Jet.

See at WalmartSee it on CNET

Google Home Mini and 30-piece Tasty Cookware Set for $99 (save $131)

If you’re interested in a Google Home Mini and some new cookware, this might be the right fit for you. For $99, you can snag a Google Home Mini and a 30-piece Tasty cookware set.

See at WalmartSee more on CNET

Google Home for $79 (save $50)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Google Home smart speaker gets a $50 discount starting Thanksgiving Day at Best Buy, Dell, Kohl’s and Target. This is a solid option if you want a Google Assistant smart speaker with a little more power than the Mini.

See at TargetRead the CNET Review

iRobot Roomba 675 for $200 (save $100)

The Roomba 675 by iRobot retails for $300. Get your own app-enabled Roomba robot vacuum for $100 off starting Thanksgiving Day. It also works with Google Assistant.

See at Best BuySee it on CNET

JBL Link View Smart Display with the Google Assistant for $200 (save $50)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The $250 JBL Link View is a Google-Assistant-enabled smart display discounted to $200 at Newegg for Black Friday.

See at NeweggRead the CNET Review

Lenovo 8-inch Smart Display for $99 (save $100)Chris Monroe/CNET

The 8-inch Smart Display by Lenovo will drop to just $99 on Black Friday. This device is equipped with a Google Assistant speaker.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Lifx Multicolor Wi-Fi Smart Bulb for $40 (save $20)Chris Monroe/CNET

Lifx LEDs cost $60, but that won’t be the case at Best Buy starting Thanksgiving Day. You’ll be able to get ’em for $40 each. These Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs are also compatible with Google Assistant.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Nest Cam Indoor for $129 (save $70)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Nest Cam Indoor is an excellent entry point if you want an indoor home security camera. And, fortunately, you can get one for just $129 (it’s usually $199) starting Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. ET on Jet. Best Buy, Lowe’s and Target will also offer this discount.

See at TargetRead the CNET Review

Nest Cam Outdoor for $149 (save $50)Nest

The Nest Cam Outdoor will also be discounted, although not quite as much as the Indoor model. This device will drop down to $149 at Kohl’s and Lowe’s starting Nov. 22.

See at Lowe’sRead the CNET Review

Nest Learning Thermostat (third-gen) for $179 (save $70)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Get a Nest Learning Thermostat for $179, which is $70 off its $249 price at Lowe’s, Newegg, Kohl’s and Target. This thermostat works with Google Assistant, too, so you can control it with a Google smart speaker.

See at TargetRead the CNET Review

Nest Thermostat E for $99 (save $70)Chris Monroe/CNET

The Thermostat E is Nest’s more affordable smart thermostat. Get it for $30 off at Target starting Black Friday and for $70 off at Dell starting Nov. 21.

See at DellRead the CNET Review

Nest Hello Video Doorbell for $179 (save $70)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You’ll be able to find the Nest Hello Video Doorbell for $70 off at Dell, Kohl’s and Lowe’s starting Thanksgiving Day.

See at Lowe’sRead the CNET Review

Nest Protect Smoke Detector for $99 (save $20)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The $99 Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide will be offered for $20 off beginning Nov. 21 at Dell and Target.

See at TargetRead the CNET Review

Netgear Arlo 3-Camera Starter Kit for $189 (save $110)Joshua Goldman/CNET

The rechargeable battery-powered Arlo cameras are great, but expensive. Fortunately, the three-camera kit will be on sale for just $189 starting Nov. 21 at Walmart and Newegg.

See at NeweggRead the CNET Review

Netgear Arlo Pro 2 4-Camera Starter Kit for $580 (save $220)Chris Monroe/CNET

The newer Arlo Pro 2 will also be on sale this holiday shopping season. Snag a four-camera kit for $580; it typically costs $800.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Smart Bulb for $40 (save $10)Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Save $10 on each Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Smart Bulb you get at Best Buy starting Black Friday.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review

Ring Floodlight Cam for $199 (save $50)Ring Floodlight Cam

The $199 Ring Floodlight Cam replaces your traditional wired outdoor lighting with an app-enabled smart security camera-light hybrid. Find it at Lowe’s for $50 off.

See at Lowe’sRead the CNET Review

SimpliSafe Home Security Systems with free SimpliCam for $170 (save $100)Chris Monroe/CNET

Score a SimpliSafe home security system for $100 off starting Thanksgiving Day. Along with your purchase, you’ll get a SimpliCam for free.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET Review


Top 10 Black Friday smart home deals: Our favorite bargains of 2018
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Black Friday 2018 deals at Best Buy: Roku and OLED TVs, Sonos, Apple and Google – CNET

Best Buy’s Black Friday deals have been revealed and there are some good ones available both online and in-store.

The big electronics retailer’s official Black Friday sale begins in stores at 5 p.m.

Best Buy’s Black Friday deals have been revealed and there are some good ones available both online and in-store.

The big electronics retailer’s official Black Friday sale begins in stores at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and runs through Black Friday. Its circular highlights a bunch of the deep discounts on tech like TVs, phones, laptops and smart home gear, and while some are marked “in-store only,” some will also be available online.


Best Black Friday deals 2018
53 Photos

We’ll be highlighting our favorite deals below. Keep in mind:

When the product exists on BestBuy.com we’ll link to it below, even if the Black Friday sale price isn’t yet available.While most of these products are from 2018, be aware that some of the discounted products are older models.Many of the deals are available in other stores; we’ll note those below.
CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured below.

To the deals!

43-inch Toshiba 4K Amazon Fire Edition TV: $130 (save $150)Best Buy

Doorbuster (in-store only starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

Going by pure savings, this is arguably the best TV deal at Best Buy for Black Friday 2018. Fire TV isn’t not our favorite smart TV system — that honor goes to Roku — but it’s still very good, and this price is pure insanity. The cheapest 43-inch Roku TV, the 43S305, costs $220, and it’s 1080p, not 4K.

See at Best Buy

55-inch Sharp 4K Roku TV: $250 (save $200)Best Buy

Doorbuster (in-store only on Black Friday, Nov. 23, limited quantities)

Did we mention Roku TV? A bit bigger in size and just as huge in savings, this Sharp features the best smart TV system for as low as we’ve ever seen at this price. We haven’t seen the Sharp directly, but the specifications look similar to the 55-inch 55S405 we reviewed in 2017, so expect similar picture quality.

If you don’t want to deal with a doorbuster, BestBuy.com has the set listed for $300 right now, which is still a great price.

See at Best Buy

65-inch TCL 4K Roku TV: $899 (save $70)Sarah Tew/CNET

Moving on to TVs we have reviewed, this is most likely the best price you’ll get for TCL’s superb 65R615. This model is exclusive to Best Buy but basically identical to the one we named our favorite TV for the money in 2018. You simply can’t get a picture this good for any less.

This price is available now at Best Buy.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET review

65-inch LG OLED65C8P OLED TV: $2,600 (save $100)Sarah Tew/CNET

This year the discounts on LG’s OLED models aren’t spectacular. Best Buy’s price on the 65-inch C8, the best TV we’ve ever tested, is $100 lower than everyone else’s however. We still recommend the B8 for $100 less, but if you demand the best picture, period, here you go.

This deal will be available in-store on Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. but this price isn’t marked “in-store only,” so it could appear at BestBuy.com as well.

See at Best BuyRead the CNET review

Ring Doorbell 2 + Echo Dot 3rd gen for $140 (save $110)Best Buy

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

Normally $250 for both the Ring 2 and the new Echo Dot, this bundle lets you live the dream of voice-controlled door security — perfect for when that Amazon guy comes knocking.

If you want one now, Best Buy has this deal for $200 including the free Dot, a $50 savings.

See at Best BuyRead the Ring Video Doorbell 2 review

Sony WH-1000XM2 noise-cancelling headphone: $200 (save $150)Sarah Tew/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

These headphones came out in 2017 but they still remain one of CNET’s favorite wireless noise-canceling headphones. While the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is lighter and more comfortable to wear, the Sony WH-1000XM2 arguably sounds a tad better and offers more features. And this price is insane.

See at Best BuySony WH-1000XM2 review

Google Home Hub: $99 (save $50)Chris Monroe/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

This is Google’s version of Amazon’s Echo Show: a smart speaker with a built-in screen that responds to “OK Google” and shows all kinds of useful stuff, from recipes to smart home controls.

This deal is also available at Target, Walmart and elsewhere.

See at Best BuyRead the Google Home Hub review

Google Home Mini: $25 (half price)Chris Monroe/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa is a tiny, always-listening speaker that responds to “OK, Google” with everything Google Assistant has to offer. At this price it’s easy to put one in a secondary room.

This deal is also available at Target, Walmart and elsewhere.

See at Best BuyRead the Google Home Mini review

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR: Save $150Sarah Tew/CNET

In-store only starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22)

If you’re looking for the best value of the trio, the iPhone XR is our call. Getting this deal requires qualified activation with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.

See at Best BuyRead the iPhone XR review

iPad Mini 4: $250 (save $150)Sarah Tew/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

This iPad is from 2016, and this 128GB version with Wi-Fi is the cheapest available on Apple’s site, but it costs $400 there — making this a pretty sweet deal. We still prefer the new, larger 32GB iPad at Target for the same price, but maybe you want your screen smaller and your storage bigger.

See at Best BuyRead the iPad Mini 4 review

MacBook Air (2017 model): $800 (save $200)Sarah Tew/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

The new MacBook Air starts at $1,200 and this older version sells for $1,000 at Apple’s website, so the savings is substantial. This is the base configuration with 128GB storage, 8GB RAM and a Core i5 processor. It goes on sale pretty frequently, but this is still the lowest price we’ve seen.

See at Best BuyApple MacBook Air (2017) review

Xbox One X 1TB + Battlefield V bundle: $430 (save $70)Best Buy

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

Microsoft’s most powerful console normally sells for $500, and this bundle includes with full-game downloads of Battlefield V Deluxe Edition as well as Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield 1 Revolution.

See at Best BuyRead the Microsoft Xbox One X review

Microsoft Xbox One S 1TB with Minecraft bundle, $200 (save $100)Sarah Tew/CNET

Available online and in-store starting Nov. 18.

If the slower, less-powerful Xbox is more your speed, this deal can save you a bundle (ha ha, get it).

This deal is also available at Target, Walmart and elsewhere.

See at Best BuyRead the Microsoft Xbox One S review

PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) + Spider-Man bundle: $200 (save $100)Aloysius Low/CNET

Available online and in-store starting Nov. 18.

If you haven’t bought a next-generation console yet, here’s one of the best prices yet to convince you to pony up. This is the 1TB PS4 Slim version with the excellent Spider-Man, all for $200.

See at Best BuyRead the Sony PlayStation 4 Slim review

Nintendo Switch bundle with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, $300 (save $70)Mark Licea/CNET

Available online and in-store starting Thanksgiving, Nov. 22.

The hottest game console on the planet, the Nintendo Switch is normally $299 by itself. This bundle includes the system’s best party game, a $70 value.

This deal is also available at Target, Walmart and elsewhere.

See at Best BuyRead the Nintendo Switch review

Amazon Fire HD 8: $50 (save $30)

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

It’s not Amazon’s biggest or most powerful tablet, but for this price this 8-incher hits the sweet spot. The special kids’ edition is built tougher, but it’s a lot more expensive.

This deal will also be available at Amazon starting Nov. 22.

See at Best BuyRead the Amazon Fire HD 8 review

Sonos One smart speaker with Alexa: $175 (save $25)Sarah Tew/CNET

Doorbuster (Online and in-store starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)

One of our favorite smart speakers is perfect for people unsatisfied with the sound quality of Amazon’s Echo speakers, and this price is great for Sonos fans who want to add to their collections.

See at Best BuyRead the Sonos One review

For even more Black Friday deals at Best Buy, check out the gallery below.


Black Friday 2018 deals at Best Buy: TVs, Nintendo Switch, headphones and more
22 Photos

Black Friday 2018 deals in each categoryTV deals for Black Friday 2018: The best and cheapest TVs of the year
Streamer deals for Black Friday 2018: Roku, Chromecast and Fire TV, starting at $25
Headphone deals for Black Friday 2018 (early edition)
Smart home Black Friday 2018 deals: Half-priced Echo Dot, $99 Google Home Hub and more
Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday 2018 deals by storeAmazon’s Black Friday 2018: Deals on Kindles, Fire TVs, Alexa speakers and moreWalmart’s Black Friday 2018 deals: $250 55-inch Roku TV, $99 Google Home Hub and moreBest Buy’s top Black Friday deals 2018, including deals you can get right now
Target’s Black Friday 2018 deals: $200 PS4 and Xbox bundles, $150 Fitbit Versa and moreCostco Black Friday 2018 deals arrive: $250 iPad, $300 Dyson and more

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