Trending November 2023 # Zac’s Holiday Gift Guide – The Best Gadgets And Accessories For Apple Lovers # Suggested December 2023 # Top 13 Popular

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13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display

Apple’s MacBook line ranges in size from 11″ to 15″ and offers Retina and non-Retina displays as well as significant weight and thickness differences, but the 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display seems to best represent the lineup. It starts at $1299 compared to its 15″ alternative at $1999 and still offers the super high-resolution display which remains absent from the MacBook Air models…

Weight-wise its a good citizen as well. The non-Retina MacBook Pro is a hefty 4.5 lbs while the 13″ MacBook Pro weighs just 3.46 lbs. The MacBook Air is still the lightest at 2.96 lbs, but for something which you use primarily on a surface, I recommend the eye candy of the Retina display over the appeal of the half-pound weight difference.

Of course edge cases will exist that make one alternative better than another, but for now I believe the 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display serves the masses exceptionally well.


MagSafe adapter

There are few things less exciting then spending $80 on a spare or replacement MagSafe charger for your MacBook, but it’s almost guaranteed to make for an appreciated gift.

I’ve lost a couple this year due to hungry cats, and from my experience they typically don’t last as long as the MacBook it charges, so having one for home and one for the backpack can be really convenient and safe.

These come in a few variants so I’ll try to offer a few tips for buying the right one. MacBook Air models use the smaller 45 watt adapter, while Retina display MacBooks rely on 85 watts to be powered properly. The non-Retina 13″ MacBook Pro works off the 65 watt adapter. (MagSafe 2, which is a thinner, wider adapter, shipped in 2012 and is probably what you need unless your MacBook is older than that.)

[$79, currently on sale]

Backup drive

Talk about the least sexy gift idea… I know… but hear me out: It’s seriously important to back up your data. It’s one of the most sinking feelings to have when something happens and your iPhoto library is zapped. It’s even less fun trying to find out what your options are to recover lost files. In most cases, you’re options are slim, expensive, or really inconvenient.

OS X has an intelligent backup system called Time Machine included; all you need is a spare hard drive big enough for your files and some repetition. Not only does it mirror your file system, it intelligently remembers versions and time stamps each snapshot so it’s really easy to jump back in time and recover a file.

Alternative solutions like Dropbox and Backblaze exist, but such services should be approached as complimentary to regular local storage backups. You can pick up a 1TB external hard drive for a reasonable price; the one I have listed has a very attractive price tag today.

[$119, on sale $69]

Lightning cables

Just like the MagSafe adapter, Lightning cables make for one appreciated gift. You can almost never have too many, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Lightning cables charge and sync iPhone 5’s and new, iPad 4’s and newer, iPod touch 5th-gen’s, and iPad minis.

Apple’s Lightning cables run $19, but you can find them on sale for $17.99 on Amazon for now.

Amazon also sells certified Lightning cables (meaning iOS 7 won’t warn you that they’re dangerous every time you plug up), and they’re always cheaper at $13.99, but the connection that plugs into your device is a bit wider than Apple’s cable so it may not be compatible with certain cases.

On the other hand, Amazon does offer a 6 foot version of its Lightning cable for $14.99 (standard length is typically half that) which is perfect for use with an iPad especially (think gaming or reading in bed).

You can pick up an Amazon-branded Lightning cable for $12.99, but those are only 4 inches and typically not practical in most uses.

Amazon’s Lightning cables also come in color choices of black or white, while Apple only offers its accessories in white.


Apple TV

Apple TV is constantly picking up new channels like Bloomberg, ABC, ESPN, Disney, iTunes Radio, and more so expect this gift to keep on giving.

[$99, current on sale $89]

HDMI cable

What Apple doesn’t include in the box but is required is an HDMI cable.

This connects the device to your TV and also comes in handy for Xbox and PlayStation as well as Blu-Ray players.

Brick-and-morter retailers typically mark these up for increasing profit margins, but Amazon has various lengths for reasonable prices and Prime eligible.

[From $5.09]


Google’s Chromecast is an HDMI media streaming stick that plugs directly into your HDTV and offers similar functionality to an Apple TV but without the Apple TV price tag.

Chromecasts usually cost $35, a fraction of the Apple TV cost, so they’re especially useful on HDTVs that you don’t watch all the time but still want to use for Netflix or YouTube or similar services.

Chromecast recently picked up support for Plex’s media library and works with a number of iPhone and iPad apps as well as with the Google Chrome web browser on Mac.

[$35, on sale $29.99]

HDMI switcher

It’s easier than it should be to run out of room for devices on your TV with even high end HDTVs shipping just 2-3 HDMI ports at most these days.

Managing whether the Apple TV or XBOX or PlayStation or cable box or Blu-Ray player or whatever you have is connected is as much of a nightmare as reading this sentence must have been, so earlier this year I purchased a cheap HDMI switcher.

The one I purchased turns one HDMI port into two and includes a remote for easy switching. The trick to this is to connect it to your least used device so switching doesn’t become a hassle, but it’s a really fast experience that can solve the problem.

For me, it came down to my cable box, Apple TV, and the XBOX that I use once in a blue moon. My HDTV only has 2 HDMI ports, so using the XBOX meant shuffling the connections.

It’s not an obvious gift but in most cases a useful one, especially for someone with a gaming console or two.

[$17, on sale $9.59]

Pebble smartwatch

The Pebble smartwatch has had mixed reviews since its debut: some people really love it and for others it makes no sense. I fall into the former category myself. When Best Buy picked up the Pebble I decided to jump in and try it out with every intention of returning it if it was as underwhelming as some had described.

After a few days I thought its appeal would wear but, but 5 months later I still wouldn’t give it up. As a watch it’s highly customizable with a growing library of watch faces available and being waterproof and easy to read in the sun adds to its utility.

It catches any notifications from your iPhone that appear in Notification Center which is especially useful when driving. It works over bluetooth and supports the low energy standard so it’s not a hog on your battery (I believe Pebble says it takes a 10% toll on your battery life through a normal day’s use).

The trick to having the best experience with the Pebble is toggling off notifications when it’s easier to read them on your iPhone and enabling that aspect of the watch when it’s necessary (driving or exercising make the most sense to me).

While it might be a big decision to spend $150 on a smartwatch this early in their existence, it’s probably not something someone would turn down as a gift. It also helps that Amazon knocks off $30 as it currently lists the Pebble for $119. Best Buy is offering the smartwatch for $90 for customers with .edu email addresses as 9to5Toys reports.

[$150, on sale $119.99]

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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The Best Work From Home Gadgets And Accessories (2023)

Thanks to a global pandemic, it seems that working from home is here to stay for a lot of people. You may benefit from investing in your workspace a little to make life easier and more comfortable. There are several gadgets that can turn blue Mondays into, well, not a party exactly but much less exhausting than things might otherwise be. Here are the best work-from-home gadgets you can buy.

We also made a short video on our YouTube channel where we give some simple tips if you’re working from home, so be sure to check it out:

Table of Contents

The Best Work from Home Chairs

Despite not strictly being a “gadget”, your office chair is one of the most important components of your work from home setup. It’s got a direct effect on your stamina, comfort and health. There’s a staggering number of choices out there, but these are the three we’d recommend at every major budget tier.

Best Budget Chair: Hbada Chair With Flip-up Armrests

This chair has a price so low, it might be a point of concern. Yet with over 12,000 reviews and an average 4-star rating, it’s one of the best deals we’ve seen. According to Hbada, this stylish chair has been through some thorough quality testing as well.

Apart from looking stylish, the other neat feature of this chair is its flip-up armrests. That allows the chair to be easily slid under low desks, saving you space. A very solid choice for the money!

Best Mid-range Chair: Nouhaus Ergo3D

The Ergo3D offers ergonomic features we’d expect to see in more expensive products, with high levels of adjustability to fit your body and posture as well as possible. It’s a great compromise between ergonomic features and price.

Best High-end Chair: Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair with Headrest

While the price of this high-back chair may be eye-popping, you have to weigh it up against the value of a pain-free spine and muscles that don’t feel like you’ve gone a few rounds with a professional boxer.

This Ergohuman chair has a mesh back, to keep things cool and dry. The materials are almost all recycled, in case you’re worried about your chair’s environmental impact.

The most impressive trick is, however, the synchro-tilt system. It makes sure that all of the supporting components are at the right angle to keep your posture right whether you’re sitting upright or have the chair tilted back. So you can relax and take care of your body at the same time. It’s a win-win! 

That’s where the much more reasonable WHCH710N comes in. While it has an equally incomprehensible name, it has a much lower price tag. The main sacrifice is audio performance for music or movies, but these cheaper phones still sound great by all accounts. You get smart environmentally adaptive noise cancellation, 35 hours of battery life and a built-in microphone for calls. We think it’s the best deal in its class.

The Samson Go Mic

Best of all, it has a headphone jack, so you can use it with any wired headphones of your choice. It’s competitively priced and is one of the most impactful upgrades you can make to your video conferencing audio equipment setup.

The Best Work from Home Webcams

Most laptops, smartphones, and tablets have cameras built into them, but in terms of quality, these are usually an afterthought. This is especially true for the many Apple MacBook computers out there with paltry 720p webcams! 

These days there’s a lot more video conferencing going on, so it’s the right time to upgrade your camera to something with a higher resolution and better optics. While there are plenty of companies making standalone webcams, Logitech has it all sewn up in our view.

Best HD All-round Webcam: Logitech C922x Pro

Beloved by gaming streamers all over the world, there’s little negative we can say about the C922x Pro. You can buy it for under $100 and get a full 1080p webcam with excellent built-in stereo microphones and snappy autofocus. 

It has automatic light correction and is specially designed to make the image look great even in low-light situations. This is doubtlessly the best general webcam for both work and play.

Best Professional 4K Webcam: Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam

If you think that 1080p is a little last-decade and really want to blow away your coworkers with your fabulous video quality, consider doubling the budget and getting the Logitech BRIO. 

It’s a 4K webcam with a better lens and similar automatic focus and lighting compensation technology to the C922x Pro. Since the BRIO is designed for video conferencing specifically, it has several neat functions that make video meetings more comfortable. 

For example, you can digitally zoom and pan, while also having three different fields of view to choose from. The camera is also certified for Skype for Business and is meant to comply with enterprise standards. 

The Best Work from Home Monitors

Apart from your chair, your monitor is the component you spend the most time with. If you’re using an outdated model that stabs your eyes with its ugliness, then either of these two options will soothe your eyeballs and make you much less likely to go blind from overwork.

Best Ergonomic Business Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX 27-Inch

We’ve used various Dell Ultrasharp monitors over the years and there’s a reason you’ll find these screens in so many large businesses all over the world. Its picture quality is fantastic and the monitor has great factory calibration to get you going with color-sensitive work right off the bat. 

The best feature, however, is perhaps the stand. You can rotate the monitor to use it in portrait mode, tilt it, swivel it and crucially adjust its height. These are features you almost never get in consumer-grade screens and turn it into a killer tool for work and general productivity.

Ultimate Multitasking Monster Monitor: Samsung Business CH890 Series 34 inch

Our final work from home recommendation is this massive CH890 business class monitor from Samsung. With a large, 34” ultrawide curved panel, you’ll be multitasking in comfort with one seamless image and easy cable management. 

While it may look like similar gaming-focused screens at first glance, Samsung has built-in features aimed at making work easier, although nothing stops you from enjoying a gaming break on the side!

Native split-screen and picture-in-picture functionality offer many different productivity options and support for USB-C display input makes it easy to find the right spot for your screen. The stand is also height, tilt and swivel capable, setting it apart from gaming monitors in this class. It’s a little more expensive than most monitors, but you’ll never want to go back to the old ways.

Top Toys Of Yesteryear: A Retro Holiday Gift Guide For Seos

SEOs are a unique breed. The wheels are always turning – trying to come up with the best way to optimize things most of us take for granted. Unlike most of us, every SEO is essentially working around the clock. They’re passionate, devoted, creative, a tad bit on the geeky side and tend to be difficult to shop for.

You could always give a SEO something that would help their profession, such as content writers, web design, ad space, or seminar passes. You could even wrap up the latest gadget, espresso machine, motivational book, or shiny new office chair. But what’s the fun in that? Why not help your favorite SEO relive their childhood with these classic toys from yesteryear? They could definitely use the lightheartedness and trip down memory lane. Besides, what respected geek doesn’t appreciate owning a piece of their childhood?

Chia Pet


Chia Pet? Really? Yeah. We’re serious. See, SEOs like to watch something grow organically over time – plus they could use a little bit of nature in that office of theirs – which makes the Chia Pet a great gift. Not to mention, there are so many versions available, you can find a Chia Pet that is appealing to anyone. For example, if your particular SEO is a huge Simpsons fan, you would obviously get them a Chia Homer.

Rubik’s Cube


It’s been said that Ernő Rubik intended his Rubik’s Cube to solve the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. Instead, he created a combination puzzle. Just like restoring a Rubik’s Cube, SEOs are always scrambling trying to solve a complicated puzzle with only a few options.

Bozo the Clown Bop Bag


We all need to relieve stress, especially SEOs. And, what better way to relieve stress than by punching a clown in the face?

GI Joe


Just like these iconic ‘real American Heroes’, SEOs must do battle in land, sea, and air – if you want an elite site. Most importantly, however, GI Joe left us all with one vital piece of information: Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. For SEOs, truer words have never been spoken. Yo Joe!

Magic 8 Ball




We’re sure that most of you are old enough to remember the Furby frenzy during the holiday season of 1998. Everyone wanted one of those odd animal-looking robots that spoke “Furbish”. What made this robot so appealing? Probably because it had a unique look and children had to teach the toy how to speak English, or whatever language they spoke. Just like the process of teaching a Furby a real language over time, SEO’s embark on the process of taking an idea, product and/or business model and gradually convert into a site that we can all understand – what your business is offering. If not, customers will only see  a site full of”Furbish”.

Barrel of Monkeys


The directions for this game are simple. “Dump monkeys onto table. Pick up one monkey by an arm. Hook other arm through a second monkey’s arm. Continue making a chain. Your turn is over when a monkey is dropped.” Just like successfully linking the pieces in this game, SEOs have to link together several factors (content, responsive design, media, localization) to make a site successful.



A yo-yo is one of the simplest toys to enjoy. Almost anyone can make it go up and down. The reason that it’s survived since Ancient Greece is because of all the tricks that people can figure out. Just like playing with a yo-yo, anyone can purchase a domain name and launch a website. But, would anyone visit? That’s when a SEO comes in and dazzles everyone with some of their famous “tricks”: mainly unique, interesting content in a great layout.



Video games have come a long way since Pong. While there are different platforms and genres for video games, there’s something refreshing about the simplicity and basic game-play of Pong. The same can be said for SEO. While there are apps, gadgets and all sorts of social media platforms to assist in the ever-changing world of online marketing, there remain a basic set of examples that every SEO should remember.

Hoppity Hop


Being a busy SEO doesn’t leave a whole lot of exercise, so why not get them a present where they can get some blood flowing while in the office? They can probably even use a hoppity hop (aka space hooper, moon hopper, skippyball, kangaroo ball, bouncer), or a yoga/exercise ball, as a new office chair. They say it’s better for your back, along with some other benefits.

Erector Set


Besides being a whole lot of fun, picking up an Erector set – or even Legos – would mean a whole lot to a SEO. Why’s that? Just like a kid with construction toys and a big imagination, SEOs like to build things from scratch.

Easy-Bake Oven


Who can forget this favorite childhood toy? After-all, it was a toy that actually made cookies and other treats that you could bake yourself. How awesome was that for kids? Just like an Easy Bake Oven took various ingredients to create something edible as a child, your SEO combines numerous tasks to make a functional and awesome website for your career to rise.

Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701


Inspired by electric stove coils, series art director Matt Jefferies’ design first appeared in the Star Trek pilot episode “The Cage” in 1965. Despite having some alterations throughout the years, the U.S.S. Enterprise remains one of the most recognizable vehicles in pop culture history. You can find replicas of this iconic spaceship on Amazon. Or, you can search for vintage Star Trek toys on eBay if you really want to go old school. Regardless, your SEO will definitely enjoy the gift of the Enterprise. Just like it did with Captain James T. Kirk and company, an SEO will boldly take your online business “Where no man has gone before”.

Vintage Star Wars Figures

Brian’s Toys

When Star Wars was released in 1977, it changed everything. Whether it was how it inspired how movies were made, how it sparked a new kind of fandom to how toys would be released from then on,pop culture would never be the same. The original Kenner Star Wars figures made smaller augmented figures the norm and proved that even a child’s toy could become a collectible in-demand item that adults would pay hundreds of dollars for. Much like Star Wars, SEO changed how the world conducts business. Focusing on an internet presence that is international, as opposed the local shops found in every small town. Besides, we could always use the force to guide us through a galaxy far, far away.

What was your favorite toy as a child? And, can you apply it to the world of SEO? We’d love to hear all about it. And, most importantly, Happy Holidays!

The Best Apple Macbook Accessories

The best MacBook accessories:

Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best MacBook accessories as new accessories launch.

1. Apple AirPods

They’re not the best-sounding true wireless earbuds, but the Apple AirPods are known for their convenience with Apple products. Once you pair them to an iCloud-connected Apple device, all your other Apple devices automatically pair with the AirPods. Airpods are almost quintessential to the Apple ecosystem and are one of the best MacBook accessories out there.

2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD

MacBooks start at 256GB of storage, so a drive with some extra space on it is one of the best accessories for MacBooks.

Thanks to Samsung’s V-NAND flash memory and USB-C, the T5 Portable SSD provides transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s. Even better, the external SSD delivers the speeds mentioned above while weighing only 1.8 ounces and coming in at 0.41-inches thick.

T5 Portable SSD storage sizes include 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, though we recommend getting at least 500GB of storage. Prices start at $89.99 for the 500GB model and go up to $279.99 for the 2TB model.

3. SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB-C

If getting an external HDD or SSD is too much money for your wallet, take a look at the affordable SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive flash drive.

4. Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2

An all-USB-C life isn’t yet as glamorous as Apple claims it to be. After all, people still have use for the SD card slot, regular USB ports, and HDMI. That’s where the Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 comes in, which restores many of the ports you lost by going with the newer MacBooks.

The adapter features three USB 3.0 ports, separate slots for microSD and SD cards, a USB-C port for pass-through charging, an HDMI port, and even a gigabit Ethernet port. The HDMI port supports output up to 4K resolution at 30Hz. Finally, the USB-C port supports up to 60W of output. 

The Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 is available for $79.99.

5. Anker Powercore III Elite bundle


Anker’s charging products are incredibly high quality. This charging bundle scores you an 87w wall charging brick and a 65w power bank with 4 ports so your devices will never run out of juice. Those wattages are more than enough for a MacBook air and even for some MacBook Pros.  

6. Amazon Basics Felt Laptop Sleeve

For those who don’t like their laptops enclosed in a plastic case, the next best option for protection is a laptop sleeve. Laptop sleeves are generally inexpensive, with one of the better options coming from Amazon’s Amazon Basics accessory line.

As the name implies, the Amazon Basics Felt Laptop Sleeve features a felt exterior. There’s also a velcro closure and soft suede interior to keep the laptop safe and secure. As a nice bonus, there’s a second pocket to put away essential accessories, such as pens and a small notebook.

The Amazon Basics Felt Laptop Sleeve comes in 11-, 13-, and 15.4-inch sizes. Pricing starts at $9.80 for the 11-inch version and goes up to $14.39 for the 15.4-inch version.

8. Anker PowerLine+ II USB-C to Lightning

Weirdly, Apple has stubbornly stuck with Lightning for the iPhones, yet its latest MacBooks only have USB-C ports. One of the best MacBook accessories will be one that can charge your iPhone on the go. The Anker PowerLine+ USB-C to Lightning cable is a great fit for that. 

The cable measures six feet in length and supports Apple’s 29W, 30W, 61W, and 87W USB-C power adapters. The MFi certification means the cable shouldn’t give you any issues when connected to an iPhone. Finally, the double-braided cable can supposedly withstand 30,000 bends. Talk about durability, huh?

9. Rain Design mStand

Some folks, including myself, sit in front of a computer all day to get their work done. If you’re one of those people, give your neck a break and pick up the Rain Design mStand laptop stand.

The mStand raises your MacBook 5.9 inches off your desk. That way, you’re not hunched over or looking down at your screen all day. The single-piece aluminum design means you don’t have to worry about durability, while the two-inch hole in the back allows for some cable management.

10. Logitech K780

The new MacBooks’ butterfly keyboards are generally OK, but they can be a bit uncomfortable for longer typing sessions. That’s where the Logitech K780 wireless keyboard comes in to alleviate any discomfort.

Best Vpn For Apple Tv In 2023 (With Installation Guide)

Apple TV is one of the best media streaming devices out there. It has often been compared to Fire Stick and other Android streaming boxes and has come on top every single time. Combined with a VPN, Apple TV can be your go-to streaming solution with all of the geological restrictions unblocked.

In this Apple TV VPN guide, I’ll tell you how a VPN can unlock the potential of Apple TV 4K and how you can watch restricted content by spoofing your location. First, let’s learn more about VPN.

What does a VPN do?

Ever been in a situation where you’re scrolling through Instagram, and you find a TV show or a movie to watch. You turn to Google, search the show, and find out that the show is available on a streaming service that you own but in a different country. 

Well, this is where a VPN comes in. A VPN geo-spoofs your location and allows you to watch content unavailable in your region. It ‘fools’ the streaming service into believing that you’re watching the movie from a different location.

Along with geo-spoofing, most VPNs also encrypt the data on your Apple TV. Thus, preventing third-party and your ISP from tracking your online activities. Now, let’s explore your best options.

5 Best VPNs working with Apple TV

1. ExpressVPN: Best overall VPN for Apple TV

Though (a bit) costly, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Apple TV. It’s easy to use and can be configured in minutes. The service supports MediaStreamer, which is its DNS service that allows you to geo-spoof your location easily.

If you don’t feel like going through the configuration, again and again, you can set up ExpressVPN on your Wi-Fi router. Their app for VPN on Wi-Fi is simple, and the VPN provider has some of the best how-to guides for it.

And oh, if you run into some issues, ExpressVPN has one of the finest customer support in the business.


Easy to set up

Amazing, dedicated router app

Best in class security and privacy measures

Great worldwide speed


Expensive monthly plan

Price: Starts at $12.95/month and $6.67/month when paid for one year


2. Nord VPN: Fastest VPN for Apple TV

Nord VPN comes in second for the best Apple TV VPN. It supports both VPN over Wi-Fi and SmartDNS, so you can connect to the server at your convenience. Setting up SmartDNS is easy and straightforward.

But what’s not so straightforward is VPN over Wi-Fi on Nord VPN. The service doesn’t have a dedicated Wi-Fi router app, unlike ExpressVPN. However, configuring it on a router is still possible. It’s just a little bit of hassle you’ll have to go through.

Moreover, in my testing, I found Nord VPN a bit slower than ExpressVPN. But it’s cheaper, so it evens out.


Doesn’t store logs on its server — truly encrypted internet

Ability to use VPN on up to 6 devices at once

Works with all major streaming services


Slow speeds for some streaming services

Lack of a dedicated router app

Price: $11.95/month ($3.30/month for 2 years)


3. Surfshark: Best value for money

Surfshark is one of the Apple TV VPNs that packs a lot of features at a low price. It has servers in more than 65 countries, so whatever you want to stream — whether it is NBA on CBS or Euro Cup on BBC ITV Player — you can do so seamlessly. 

It offers the option to configure VPN over Wi-Fi or DNS on Apple TV. If you’re looking for some casual streaming at the throwaway price, Surfshark VPN is available. It’s almost a no-brainer.

Plus, the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Thus, making it worth giving a shot!


Great value for money

Unlimited bandwidth

Blocks ad along with unlocking geo-spoofing content

24/7 chat assistance


You have to configure DNS every time via an email

Doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer

Price: $12.95/month for 1 year ($2.5/month for 2 years)


4. ControlD: Cheapest VPN for Apple TV

ControlD is relatively new in this space. Though it’s not a traditional VPN, it exploits the DNS feature to its maximum.

What I like about ControlD is that you can set custom locations for different services. For example, you can set the DNS to geo-spoof location as Canada for Netflix and UK for Prime Video.

It saves you the hassle of switching the server location every time, and it offers to set up location via the mobile website. It supports almost all streaming services in the world.

If you’re in the market looking for a SmartDNS service only and you don’t care about VPN over Wi-Fi, ControlD is one of the top options available.

You can try the full service for free for a month. During the sign-up, the service doesn’t even require your credit card. So try away!


1-month free trial

Doesn’t need a credit card to sign up

Supports almost all streaming services

Cheapest on the list


The network seems slower as the service is in beta

Price: Free 1-month trial (Monthly subscription starts at $2)


5. CyberGhost: Easy to use Apple TV VPN

CyberGhost is one of the all-in-one VPNs available out there. This service is an excellent option if you plan to use the VPN on your laptop, phone, along with Apple TV. It supports both VPN over DNS and VPN over Wi-Fi, though just like Nord VPN, there’s no dedicated app for Wi-Fi routers.

One of the unique things about CyberGhost is that it allows you to sort VPN locations based on the order of the streaming service they can unlock. Though with more than 7,200 servers, you can use CyberGhost to watch any content from any part of the world.


Decent speed

Robust privacy policy

Split tunneling feature

A wide fleet of servers


Expensive monthly plan

Restricted access to high-security servers

Price: $12/month ($2.5/month for 3 years)


How to install a VPN on Apple TV

Apple TV doesn’t support installing a VPN natively. VPN apps are against the guidelines of the tvOS App Store, so none of the popular VPN makers, like ExpressVPN and Nord VPN, have an app on the Store. Here’re some different ways of getting a VPN running on your Apple TV.

1. Configure VPN directly in Wi-Fi router

One of the ways to connect your Apple TV to a VPN is by configuring the VPN directly into your Wi-Fi router. This way, you don’t have to worry about connecting and disconnecting to a VPN again and again, plus your internet is encrypted each and every moment.

However, your internet might become slower than usual. This is due to the fact that the VPN is connected to a server outside your country.

Along with this, using a VPN on a Wi-Fi router for your Apple TV is very complicated since it depends on the type of W-iFi router you have and if your VPN provider has software available for it. Popular services ExpressVPN and Nord support a number of Wi-Fi routers and have firmware available for most of them.

After downloading the firmware from the VPN provider’s website, you can install it by logging into the router admin panel and uploading the firmware directly to your router.

To avoid this, you can also opt for a VPN router. These routers natively support VPN connections and have software available for almost all VPN providers. Check out our guide on the best VPN routers.

2. Use your iPhone to share VPN with Apple TV

This is one of the wittiest ways of using a VPN on Apple TV. Connect to a VPN service on your iPhone using Mobile Data, and then create a hotspot. Join the network you created on Apple TV, and you’ll have a VPN running on your Apple TV — via your iPhone! 

There’s only one downside to this — internet speeds are totally dependent on your iPhone’s Mobile Data provider, thus making it slower than a fast, fiber connection.

3. Change DNS on your Apple TV

Source: ExpressVPN

This is one of the easiest ways of spoofing your location on Apple TV. For services that support SmartDNS, you can configure a VPN on Apple TV by just changing the DNS in your Apple TV’s settings. 

Once you have a SmartDNS IP address from your VPN provider, you can change the DNS by going into Settings → Wi-Fi → Advanced Settings → Configure DNS. Enter the DNS address given by your VPN provider, and make sure to bind your Apple TV’s IP address to the service by logging into VPN’s web console.

Apart from a VPN, you can also install a web browser on your Apple TV 4K and stream content from websites for which apps are not available on the App Store. Check out our simple step-by-step guide on how you can install a web browser on Apple TV. 

Installing a VPN on your Wi-Fi router would be a convenient option, but the availability of firmware and the process make it a not-so-often used way. 

Apart from a VPN, you can also install a web browser on your Apple TV 4K and stream content from websites for which apps are not available on the App Store. Check out our simple step-by-step guide on how you can install a web browser on Apple TV.

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The Best Nintendo Switch Accessories Of 2023

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Written By Nicholas Ware

Updated Mar 21, 2023 8:59 AM

Here, there, everywhere: The Nintendo Switch is a gaming machine for every person and every place, and a few key accessories will make it even better. The console is portable or it can be connected to your TV. A new Switch has two Joy-Con controllers that can connect to its screen, function as a combo controller, or act as individual controllers. That’s everything you’ll ever need, right? Sorry to say but, as we’ve learned for decades at this point, there’s always innovation in the video game console accessory space. From extra controllers to screen protectors, cases to grips, you can easily trick out your Nintendo Switch with the best Switch accessories and enjoy it just that much more—and often for a bargain price to boot.

How we select the best Nintendo Switch accessories

I’m a big gamer and have logged hundreds of hours on the Nintendo Switch (or Nintendo Switch OLED). To deliver a list you can trust, I combined that “hands-on research” with suggestions from in-house reviewers and critical consensus. Every one of these accessories comes highly recommended by multiple gamers or outlets, and the vast majority have spent some amount of time in my hot little hands.

The best Nintendo Switch accessories: Reviews & Recommendations

The below options are, as of now, the best Nintendo accessories in each category, but there are a lot of solid products that come close. As always, it’s best to look at these products in a store before purchasing them, just to see in person if the aesthetic or design fits you before you commit to it.

Best controller: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Why it made the cut: Every feature you want in an ergonomic form factor with the reliability and performance that can only be guaranteed by a first-party product, Nintendo’s premium wireless controller gets everything right, from the weight to the springiness of the shoulder buttons.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo Switch Lite

Accessory category: Controller

Price: $69.99 at time of writing


Great layout

A responsive directional pad

Every needed feature included


More expensive than third-party controllers

Very few color choices

When it comes to an extra controller, you want two things: feel and performance. Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller delivers both. Extremely well-fitted for most adult hands, the Pro Controller has just the right weight, comfortable and responsive buttons and sticks, and plenty of bells and whistles. Want to use motion controls like you could with the Joy-Cons? Check. Want to scan the chips in your Amiibo figures, unlocking bonuses in some of your games? Check. Want the buzzes and jolts that come from rumble feedback? Check. The battery life on the Pro Controller is impressive, too, outperforming both the PS4’s DualShock4 and the Xbox One’s Wireless Controller. The only drawback of the Pro Controller is that, as a first-party Nintendo product, it rarely goes on sale. If you want one (and I think you do want one), you must plunk down $60 to $70 most of the time. While that’s more than most other options, it’s worth every penny. There’s no better general option for the best switch controller than Nintendo’s own Switch Pro Controller. It’s a joy to use. 

Best stand: Hori Compact Playstand

Why it made the cut: Nearly every Switch stand used a similar design, but Hori’s contribution has superior construction quality, with thicker plastic, rubber grips, and the best spacing to make it easy to access the Switch screen’s bottom charging port.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo Switch Lite

Accessory category: Ergonomics

Price: $12.99 at time of writing


Lots of designs to choose from

Solid construction

Good spacing


Is still just an angled piece of plastic

No built-in charging capabilities

Some Switch stands try to be a replacement dock, but what you really want from the best switch stand is a better tabletop mode. The standard switch comes with a tiny kickstand on the back so the screen can be placed on a flat surface and the Joy-Cons can be removed for some small-screen local multiplayer. The Hori Compact Playstand improves that experience by elevating the Switch screen so that the USB port at the bottom of the Switch that charges the unit can be accessed, increases the possible screen angles to three, and creates a much more stable base than the single, thin kickstand that is built in. Additionally, the Compact Playstand can be folded flat for easy transport with your Switch in a backpack or shoulder bag. Especially useful for vacations, when you may want to pack light and forgo the dock and HDMI cables, the Compact Playstand makes the prospect of tabletop play a little more enjoyable.

Best screen protector: amFIlm Tempered Glass

Why it made the cut: Piece of mind for only a few dollars, the amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector protects perfectly without much noticeable change to the surface of the Switch’s screen.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch

Accessory category: Durability

Price: $7.39 at time of writing


Extremely clear

Very strong

99.9-percent transparency

Scratch- and smudge-resistant

Comes with wet wipes, a microfiber cleaning cloth, squeeze card, hinge stickers, and an installation guide


Requires a bit of dexterity to get to apply perfectly

Can change the reflective quality of the screen

Best case: Orlzly Carry Case Compatible with Nintendo Switch

Why it made the cut: A sleek black clutch, the Orlzly Carry Case is a slim-profile case that still manages to hold everything you need to game on the go, making it the best Nintendo Switch case.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo Switch Lite

Accessory category: Travel

Price: $23.91 at time of writing


Slim profile

Good outer protection

Snug fit with room for accessories and games


Cannot house a pro controller or other larger accessories

No buffer for Joy-Con analog sticks

Switch carrying cases have all found a pretty universal design. Still, Orzly manages to outperform other very similar-looking cases with its superior materials, solid price point, and appropriate amount of space while maintaining a slim profile. The nine color choices mean you can find a case that fits your personal aesthetic. Weighing only about half a pound, the Carry Case compacts a lot of loose items into something much more manageable. However, you may want to be careful about arranging items in the upper pocket, as overstuffing it could result in the Joy-Con analog sticks having pressure put on them while in the case, which could cause some damage. Also, keep in mind that this product is not sized for the Switch Lite. Instead, Orzly offers a different version for that model of the Nintendo Switch.

Best memory card: SanDisk microSDXC Card Fortnite Edition

Why it made the cut: Most microSDXC cards will do the job, but only SanDisk does it with such style and guaranteed compatibility.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo Switch Lite

Accessory category: Storage

Price: $20.10 at time of writing


Available in four sizes

Cute design

Available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB

Cute official Nintendo iconography

Fully compatible with all versions of the Switch console


More expensive than no-name brands

What SanDisk offers in the microSD card space is a little bit of flair and a fully licensed product. Featuring a “Fortnite” Skull on the black 128GB card, a Fortnite Cuddle Team Leader on the yellow 256GB card, and an “Animal Crossing” leaf on the green 512GB card, these SanDisk microSDXC cards are very cute. Compatibility is guaranteed, and the cards slot easily into the Switch’s card port. As for size, your needs will come down to whether or not you plan to go all-in on digital games and if you plan to want to be able to play a lot of games concurrently. The 128GB card is more than enough for the occasional digital-only game if you plan to play all of the big titles off of gamecards, while the 256GB card is good for those who don’t need access to a bunch of games at the same time but want to go mostly digital. And 512GB is for the voracious player who wants dozens of games installed simultaneously.

Best grip: Satisfye ZenGrip Pro

Why it made the cut: An elegant solution to a big (hands) problem, the Satisfye ZenGrip Pro replicates the feeling of a larger controller on the small Switch Joy-Cons when in handheld mode.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED

Accessory category: Grip

Price: $44.99 at time of writing


Feels great in the hands

Anti-scratch silicone tabs

Asymmetrical design to reduce fatigue

Thumbstick caps included


Must be removed to put a Switch in a standard carrying case

Why it made the cut: A bit of overkill for many players, invaluable for others, the PowerA Controller Charging Base for Nintendo Switch is the best Switch charging station if you tend to host game night and need to keep all your devices powered at all times.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED

Accessory category: Charging

Price: $29.88 at time of writing


Compact, attractive

Works both as a set of Joy-Cons and pro controller

Includes portable charge block for pro controller


A bit weighty

Still tethered by USB

Best battery pack: Anker 733

Why it made the cut: Anker’s 733 is a high-capacity battery pack that doubles as a fast charger for your Nintendo Switch and other tech accessory.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo Switch Lite

Accessory category: Charging

Price: $69.99 at time of writing


Two-in-one design

High-capacity battery pack

Multi-device charging



The Nintendo Switch has a USB-C port, so you can extend its life by plugging it into an external power bank. This is very handy if you’re traveling and won’t be near an outlet for long stretches of time. Our go-to battery pack recommendation for the Nintendo Switch is Anker’s 733. The 10,000mAh power bank can extend the life of your Switch by several hours and has three USB ports so that you can top up other devices at the same time. The 733’s biggest strength is that it can also be plugged directly into an outlet as a multi-device power adapter. Both of the 733’s USB-C ports can output up to 65W of power when it’s used as a power adapter, which makes it ideal for the Nintendo Switch and most 13-inch laptops.

This multi-functionality does add to both the 733’s bulk and price, but those small tradeoffs are totally worthwhile. The ability to take a single accessory to charge all your devices, whether you’re home or on the go, is indispensable. If you mostly play the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode and like to crank its screen brightness to compete with the sun or other powerful light sources, Anker’s 733 is essential. This is one of the only multi-use Nintendo Switch accessories we feel comfortable recommending because it excels at both of its functions.

Best graphics upscaler: Marseille mClassic

Why it made the cut: Marseille’s mClassic can upscale your Nintendo Switch to make games look better on a 4K TV.


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED

Accessory category: Graphical enhancement

Price: $99.99 at time of writing


Can improve the look of some Nintendo Switch games

Doesn’t introduce latency



Effect not as noticeable in some games

Rumors of a next-generation Switch have swirled around for years, but Nintendo has shown no signs of releasing updated hardware. That said, Marseille has a solution if you’re disappointed by how newer games look on a 4K TV. The company’s mClassic is an accessory that plugs into the HDMI port on your dock and up-converts the console’s video signal before it reaches your TV. The results vary from game to game, but some titles will look appreciably better when the mClassic is used. To be clear, this accessory isn’t going to turn your Nintendo Switch into an Xbox Series X—it’s modifying the video signal coming from your console, not acting as a better graphics card. The mClassic won’t improve a game’s frame rate either. It’s best to think of Marseille’s mClassic as a way to enhance the look of your favorite games on your preferred console and make the wait for totally new hardware a little less annoying.

Best dock: Rocketfish TV Dock Kit For Nintendo Switch

Why it made the cut: This Nintendo Switch dock from Rocketfish makes it easy to connect your console to a television in another location without messing up your main gaming setup


Nintendo Switch models: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED

Accessory category: Charging

Price: $49.99 at time of writing


Compact design

USB-A port for charging

Compatible with all systems that support docked and handheld play


Third-party docks can be finicky

The Nintendo Switch’s namesake feature is the ability to use it as a handheld gaming system and hook it up to a TV using a dock. Nintendo’s first-party docks are hard to find, which is why we recommend this solution from Rocketfish. It has the same functionality—including a USB-A port, which can be used to charge other devices—in a much smaller form factor than Nintendo’s official accessory. If you’re taking your Nintendo Switch over to a friend’s house, and don’t want to unplug your Switch dock from your TV, this is a great solution. It’s also a smart buy if you travel often and want to play your Nintendo console on the big screen. Some third-party docks are a little temperamental—you may have to connect and disconnect your console from the dock a couple of times for it to work properly—but this isn’t a huge deal.

What to consider when picking the best Nintendo Switch accessories

The Switch isn’t the most expensive video game machine on the market, as it’s anywhere from 60% to 80% of the cost of the powerfully monolithic Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. However, it’s also not exactly cheap and is designed for on-the-go use, the Nintendo Switch can end up experiencing a surprising amount of abuse, especially when compared to those home entertainment center-bound consoles. System protection is one of the most important things to think about if you’re prone to taking your Switch on public transit, road trips, or on vacation with you. Like a cellphone, you’ll want to protect your Switch’s screen. Nothing is more frustrating than playing a great game with an ever-present scratch staring you in the face. You’ll also likely want to invest in a carrying case.

While the Switch’s main body with Joy-Con controllers attached could easily slip into a backpack, shoulder bag, or oversized pocket, the analog sticks on the Joy-Cons could easily snag on something in transit, which could contribute to early Joy-Con drift onset, which makes your control less precise and in some cases forces you to replace the Joy-Cons entirely. Also, while the Switch’s body is pretty durable, you still want something to help absorb the inevitable shocks of travel. Lastly, suppose you’re like me and still prefer buying physical games whenever possible (unlike digital, you can sell them to recoup some of their cost when you’re done playing). In that case, you’ll want something designed to carry all those extra tiny game cards to avoid a $60 loss of something about the size of your thumbnail.

Do I need extra controllers?

First, ask yourself if you play multiplayer games with friends offline. If you do, you absolutely need at least two extra Nintendo Switch controllers. A huge number of multiplayer Switch games are specifically designed for up to four players to play simultaneously on one screen, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Super Mario Party. Many of the best multiplayer games, especially those designed by Nintendo themselves, allow a set of Joy-Cons to be used as two separate controllers, which is why only two more are needed.

What are the best companies when it comes to Switch accessories?

While some of the best items come from companies that don’t produce a lot of accessories, some specialize in accessory design and production and can often be relied on for a quality product, even if it didn’t make our list. Nintendo makes only a select few accessories for the Switch, and they tend to be pricier than third-party choices, but the quality is almost always there. Hori—which produces many accessories for the U.S., European, and Japanese market—also has several standout items. Mad Catz is a well-known accessory manufacturer (now based in Hong Kong) whose products are also available in international markets. However, they tend to favor flashier design over unquestionable quality. Avoid, however, a lot of unknown brands out of mainland Asia and also skip a lot of the “premium” brands. The former tend to be cheap but have low reliability while the latter often end up charging for the name on the side of the product more than innovation or quality.

FAQs Q: What accessories do you need with the Switch?

Need is a loaded term but, of all the items in our rundown, we recommend the Pro Controller the most. It simply improves the play experience tremendously when you play in TV mode. It may be one of the most comfortable controllers ever designed, with a weight and shape that seems very natural to use, and any game requiring precise controls will improve with its use.

Q: Does a screen protector hide scratches on Nintendo Switch?

Screen protectors are meant to prevent scratches rather than hide them, so existing scratches won’t magically disappear once you apply a screen protector. However, it will help them not to become larger and may reduce their reflection, making them seem less noticeable from certain angles of light.

Q: How do I make my Nintendo Switch stand out?

A number of the Switch accessories mentioned here come in multiple colors or with branded characters available on them, and these graphic variations are a great way to customize your Switch. Additionally, there are various silicone rubber wraparound cases for both the standard Switch and the Switch Lite that can change the color of your entire system or put specific characters on it. These tend to be less effective as protection, though. There are even thumbstick caps with different designs on them that are meant to be purely aesthetic.

Q: Do I need a Switch case for all accessories?

No, you won’t need a case for all your Nintendo Switch accessories. However, many Nintendo Switch cases have slots for physical game cards and memory cards, which can make it more convenient to take your entire game library when traveling.

Q: Is it OK to leave the OLED Switch docked?

Yes. You can leave any model of the Nintendo Switch in docked mode for its entire lifespan with no ill effects. Similarly, you can use your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode 100% of the time without running into problems.

Q: How can I prolong a Nintendo Switch’s lifespan?

You can maximize your Nintendo Switch’s longevity by taking good care of it. Carrying it in a case while traveling and making sure it doesn’t get dropped onto hard surfaces are key. Nintendo has done a good job keeping the Nintendo Switch’s software stable, so if you’re mindful of the hardware it should last a very long time.

Final words on the best Nintendo Switch accessories

Despite all the awesome choices Nintendo made, there’s still space to improve your Switch. A Pro Controller is a no-brainer, but the rest of the Switch accessories will likely depend on your play tendencies and personal desires. Each of the options above adds something, but that something may not be necessary to you. That’s fine! Maybe the Switch fits your hands, maybe you prefer to charge your controllers directly into the Switch’s dock. Accessories are supplemental by nature but, when you find the right ones, you may wonder how you ever lived without them.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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