We spend a lot of time with our tech, whether it’s for work, to stay in touch, or for entertainment. When inexpensive products come along that can have a major positive effect on how we interact with our devices—well, we think that’s worth sharing.
Our blog writers came up with 10 products under 30 USD that we find significantly enhance our lives. (Note: ExpressVPN does not have a business relationship with any brands mentioned in this article.)
- Extra-long charging cable
- Bluetooth headphones
- Password manager app
- Laptop stand (and keyboard)
- Wireless charging pad
- Portable power bank
- Protective phone case
- Good streaming service
- Multi-port adapter
- VPN app
Tech products under $30 that will upgrade your life
1. Extra-long charging cable
Ever find yourself contorting your arms and craning your neck to use your phone while it’s being charged? It’s simple logic, but longer cables give you more freedom to move around and comfortably use your phone even while it’s plugged in. There are many affordable options out there, but quality varies, so choose one with a good reputation or reviews.
2. Bluetooth headphones
Most of our writers agree that Bluetooth headphones are one of the most life-enhancing tech items you could get for cheap. They free you from tangles of wires in your bag or on your desk. And you’re no longer tethered to your device, whether on the go or at home. When you’re attending a video call while working from home, you can continue listening in on the meeting while, say, grabbing a glass of water.
Skullcandy, SonicGear, and JBL all make wireless headphones under $30.
3. Password manager app
Password managers take the hassle out of memorizing all your passwords to various accounts. All you have to do is memorize a single primary password to access all your saved logins. This allows you to use long, random, unique passwords for each account, which means improving your account security. Read more on why password managers are widely considered the best way to store your passwords.
Popular password managers include LastPass, Dashlane, and Bitwarden. Most offer a free tier but require subscriptions to store more passwords.
4. Laptop stand (and keyboard)
More individuals and companies have been opting for the versatility of laptops over desktop computers in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue. But laptop users would notice the major drawback of the screen being too low when used at a desk. Laptop stands raise your screen closer to eye level, alleviating strain on your neck and back. Brands like Moft create origami-inspired laptop stands that are ultra-slim.
And yes, when you use a laptop stand, you’ll most likely also need a separate keyboard and mouse, too (unless you only use the laptop stand when watching movies, for example). Your posture will thank you.
5. Wireless charging pad
A wireless charging pad makes charging your phone, wireless headphones, and other devices so much easier. Simply place these devices on your charging pad. Note that your device must have wireless charging functionality though. Brands like Belkin, Astrum, and Ugreen make affordable wireless charging pads.
6. Portable power bank
Power banks add weight to your bags but can alleviate anxiety when you’re out and about. No more texting your friend that your phone’s dying so you might drop off the chat. No need to look for a socket at the airport. No need to turn off your phone to conserve power while camping. Stay on that video call as your battery drains—because you’ve got a power bank in your bag. Just plug it in and recharge. Taste the freedom with affordable ones from Verbatim or Anker.
7. Protective phone case
Ever cracked a screen? It’s happened to the best of us. Phone cases vary widely in terms of protection. Getting a good one is a small investment that could save you hundreds of dollars in repairs or, just as likely, having to spring for a new phone. It will also ease your mind, as you won’t have to worry as much about dropping your device.
Otterbox makes durable yet stylish phone cases that protect phones against drops and bumps. If you’re willing to splurge a little, brands like Casetify and Spigen are some of our favorites.
8. Good streaming service
Many of you reading this are already cord-cutters—but it needs to be said anyway. There are plenty of free streaming services out there, but having just one paid one is, in our humble opinion, absolutely worth the monthly subscription fee.
Streaming services have grown their libraries a lot in the past few years, and a paid subscription usually means everything on demand, with no ads. Of course there is Netflix, while Prime Video might be a good choice for Amazon Prime members. But our writers also rave about YouTube Premium, which not only cuts out the ads of YouTube videos but also carries a huge selection of movies, TV shows, and sports—and it includes YouTube Music Premium.
If you are interested in a specific genre, we have a list for niche streaming services, too.
9. Multi-port adapter
Especially if you’re an Apple laptop user, having an adapter that allows you to plug anything into your computer—from monitors and hard drives to headphones and your phone—and can save you from a lot of frustration. Apple famously removed standard ports, including HDMI and USB, with their latest MacBooks, forcing consumers to use adapters if they wanted to plug in a variety of devices.
That said, a multi-port adapter can be handy for non-Apple users, too, simply by offering more ports for connecting and charging your devices.
10. VPN app
We’re biased, but a high-quality VPN will enhance your tech life in multiple ways for about 10 USD a month.
Not only does a VPN encrypt your internet connection, allowing you to browse the internet with increased privacy and security, but it can also help you access restricted content (at school or in the office, for example) and break through censorship.
What would you recommend as a life-enhancing tech product? Let us know in the comments!
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