Whether you hold a remote job or you were recently advised to work from home, you'll want to make sure that you have all the things you need to be productive.
A router is necessary for your computer to connect to the internet wirelessly.
There are two options when it comes to a router: a traditional router and a mesh router. A traditional router may work fine if there aren't a variety of devices being used in a space at once. A mesh wifi system contains multiple units around your home that improve the overall signal, which is better if you have roommates or a family with multiple devices. This system also improves "dead spots" — areas in the home with no WiFi connection — and will give you seamless connectivity.
Check out the routers recommended by Consumer Reports below.
Save $20 on this dual-band router that quickly processes connectivity speeds available at Amazon. It also pairs with an app so that you can manage and control your wifi system from the palm of your hand.
A mesh wifi router uses a base station and additional satellites that work throughout your home. If you have a larger home or one with lots of stone or concrete construction, you may want to consider a mesh system to improve connectivity.
If you'd rather work on paper than use a screen, you'll need a printer on hand. And to make sure you get the most out of your printer, you need to decide which type best suits your needs.
An inkjet printer can print almost anything from text to graphics, photos and more. (They perform particularly well with photos.)
A laserjet printer is often bigger than an inkjet printer, but it can work at a faster pace. You'll often find these in classrooms or work environments because they don't jam up easily and don't waste toner, according to Consumer Reports. Though they're great at printing text, they don't always print high-quality photos.
See the top inkjet and laserjet printers below.
If most of the pages you're printing are filled with text, this all-in-one printer from Brother is a good option. It's affordable and the toner replacements are estimated to be around $44 a year according to Consumer Reports.
Print photos, graphics and colorful pages with ease with the Canon Pixma printer. Though more expensive than some other inkjet printers, it uses ink reservoirs instead of cartridges, which save you money in the long run.
If you have kids, a partner or roommates, you'll want to establish boundaries when working from home. One of the best ways to do this is by finding a pair of headphones to cancel out excess noise.
Consumer Reports recommends looking at two types of headphones, including over-ear noise-canceling headphones and in-ear noise-canceling headphones.
Both options have integrated microphones so that you can talk during meetings or conferences, and both provide features to eliminate surrounding sound, making them optimal for concentrating.
See the Consumer Reports picks below.
Block out your noisy household with these sleek JBL headphones. They deliver excellent active noise reduction and include features like a detachable audio cable, a quick charge function, a 20-hour battery life and the ability to pair with multiple devices.
The Plantronics BackBeat headphones contain "smart sensors" that automatically trigger the noise-canceling function when you clip them on. Plus, they're easy to store and easy to take on-the-go.
For more stories like this, check out:
- These noise-canceling headphones are my secret to being productive at home
- Working from home? Trade your tired pajamas for stylish loungewear
- This device is designed to sanitize your phone, keys, wallet and more in 10 minutes