It Pays to Prime

Posted Posted by Mason Clemens in Comments 0 comments

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of amazon.com, started the website in 1995 as an online book store. Little did he know that he would become the largest online retail store in the world. In 2013, amazon.com generated over $74 billion in revenue. Not only does Amazon sell products on their website, they also have digital media. Customers can purchase eBooks and can also stream movies and music. If one buys an Amazon Prime account, then he or she can have access to loads of digital media and other amazing Amazon perks.

Amazon Prime Benefits:


FREE Two-Day Shipping

*on eligible items.
Over 100,000 items are eligible and are listed. They are marked on the product page and at checkout. Many items are also "fulfilled by Amazon," so that you can still get the free two-day shipping.

Prime Instant Video

Similar to Netflix, one can watch unlimited movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video. There are over 40,000 film choices in Amazon's server. One can access these videos on their TV, computer, smartphone, or tablet. More than 600 devices have access to this server.

Prime Music

Unlimited streaming with Prime music. Users have access to over 1,000,000 songs and hundreds of playlists. All of the music is ad-free and can be accessed anywhere. All your music is stored on a cloud that you can pull from on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Customers can also download Prime songs directly to their mobile devices to avoid using data or just in case internet is unavailable.

Kindle Owner's Lending Library and Kindle First

The Lending Library includes over 500,000 free eBooks with a Prime membership. User may buy one a month, with no due date. The Lending Library has fiction, non-fiction, bestsellers, and classics. Prime members can also get early access to download one new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks.

Early Access

Amazon Prime members receive 30-minute early access to select Lightning Deals on Amazon.com and shop new events 30-minutes before others on MyHabit.com.

Other Benefits:

  • Prime Pantry. Member can buy groceries and household goods and ship them in a pantry box for $5.99.
  • Amazon Mom. 20% off diapers.
  • Membership sharing. Members may invite up to four other household members to gain the Amazon Prime benefits.
Amazon Prime cost $99/year.
Amazon Prime Students get 50% off.

Two-day shipping is an incredible benefit, but you get SO MUCH MORE. Netflix cost $8.99/month and Spotify cost/$9.99. That's a combined total of $227.76/year. Amazon Prime is a solid deal. It pays to prime.














What is a Virus?

Posted Posted by Josh Ledbetter in Comments 0 comments

The dictionary definition of a computer virus reads, "a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data." The effects of a virus infecting a computer can range from simply causing the computer to run slower to causing instability--popups, deleted files, unable to boot.

The majority of viruses are spread through email. The best line of defense is to be very cautious when checking email or clicking on links. If you receive an email that looks remotely odd or unsolicited, then proceed with caution. Opening the email is not the action that causes the computer to become infected, rather, the action of clicking a link or attachment within the email is where the infection will either take place or redirect the user to an unsafe website. Pay close attention to the link names in any email--spammers tend to insert an extra character into the link and are usually fairly easy to spot.

Also, there is a misconception that Macs do not get viruses. While the majority of viruses are built to exploit Windows computers, there are viruses made to attack Mac computers too. They aren't as prevalent because there are more Windows computers than Macs, and the virus makers seek to do the most damage by infecting the larger install base which is Windows. In either case it is recommended to have an anti-virus program installed. For Windows we recommend Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG Free, and for Macs we recommend installing Sophos AntiVirus. Each of these programs are free to download and use--there is no need to purchase an anti-virus program!

While anti-virus programs are a great step to block viruses from infecting your computer, they aren't always the best solution for virus removal. We recommend and use Malware Bytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) to clean Windows computers. It is best to run MBAM in Safe Mode to ensure only the essential programs are running in the background while scanning for viruses. For Macs, we use the Sophos AntiVirus scanner, which is thorough enough for removing viruses.


 If you suspect you have a virus because of a noticeably slower computer, an increase in popups, or instability then feel free to visit us at DormNet and we will gladly help get your computer running like it should!

Basic Troubleshooting - How to fix and prevent common problems

Posted Posted by Brent in Comments 0 comments

With each passing day, technology grows ever more prevalent in our lives. We use our smart phones, TVs, and computers on a daily basis for communication, homework, entertainment... you name it!

But alas, as we spend more and more time with our precious technology, there is a greater chance of running into frustrating problems. "Technical difficulties," if you will. These nasty problems come in all sorts of varieties - computer viruses, an inability to connect to the internet, or perhaps even a frozen screen.

http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/chapter5/panic/images/bsod.jpg
I guess I won't be doing any homework or having any fun today.

Fortunately for you, there are a number of easy, tried and true methods to deal with the most common technological problems of our generation. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a technology person, following the tips on this checklist will make your devices much more enjoyable to use!

Tip #1 - Restart the Program/Application

One of the most common issues on phones and computers is when something goes wrong with a particular program or application. For instance, your web browser suddenly freezes up and becomes unresponsive. If this is the case, simply shut down the offending program and turn it back on! This usually resolves a lot of one-time issues.

PC - Press ctrl+alt+delete to open the Task Manager, then close the program from there
Mac - Press option+space and type "activity monitor" to open the activity monitor, then close the program from there
Smart Phones - This process varies from phone to phone, but all smart phones have an active applications page which is easy to navigate to. Simply turn the problematic app completely off and try to launch it again.

http://socialmediaseo.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/force-close-app-iphone-ios7-576x1024.png 
On iPhones, double-tap the Home button to see this screen, then swipe upwards
to close an app. This process is similar on other smart phones.

If restarting the program/app doesn't seem to solve the problem, however...

Tip #2 - Restart the Device

At DormNet, you wouldn't believe how many problems we fix on a daily basis by simply restarting computers and phones. Whenever you turn off your device, you essentially bring it back to a clean state - all open programs are closed, internet connections are reset, and temporary memory is cleared. When you turn your device back on, everything starts fresh!

http://becomebetter.tv/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/power-button-4001.jpg
Pressing the Power button will turn your device on or off. For reasons unknown to
man, it will also fix 99% of computer problems.

If restarting the computer/phone doesn't fix the problem...

Tip #3 - Uninstall/Reinstall the Program

Sometimes, flipping the on/off switch just isn't enough. Programs and apps will occasionally become corrupted or otherwise unusable for a variety of reasons, and the only way to revert them to a working state is to completely remove them from your device and re-download them fresh.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KdVnbewQs30/UmVr8s5MisI/AAAAAAAAC0c/8JXj3GuF31M/s1600/Capture.PNG 
If you see this message, no biggie! Just delete Google Chrome and
download it again.

By now, you're probably noticing a pattern with this checklist - a lot of technology problems can be solved by returning your device to a fresh state and trying to run it again. This basic rule can be applied to a wide variety of issues - if a YouTube video won't load, refresh the page. If your WiFi isn't working, turn your WiFi off and turn it back on. You get the idea.

Remember - "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

Tip #4 - Check for Updates

Although returning your device to a fresh state will fix a ton of problems, it can't solve everything! Companies are constantly updating their software to increase security and provide additional features. Your device will usually check for updates and download them automatically, but sometimes it is possible to fall behind and miss a few updates. If this happens, you can manually check for updates and download them yourself!

Most programs/apps provide a way to manually check for updates. If you've already tried restarting/refreshing the app and it is still behaving strangely, it would be a good idea to check for updates you may be missing.

Sometimes, your device itself may need to be updated! If your device seems to be behaving slowly or strangely, it is probably time to check for an update. On Windows machines, this can be accomplished by going to "Windows Updates" and installing any "Important" updates. On Macs, users are usually prompted with a "Software" update.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/Windows_Update_Restart_Vista.png
An automatic update for Windows.

http://cdn.osxdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/software-update.jpg 
An automatic update on a Mac.

Tip #5 - Clean your Memory

Sometimes, computers run slowly simply because they are running low on available memory. If this is the case, three simple things may help your computer to run faster.

First, go through your Downloads Folder. A lot of people will download files from the internet, then forget to remove them from downloads. This results in a lot of wasted memory, since there are essentially two copies of every file ever downloaded from the internet!

http://cdn.solveyourtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/chrome-download-folder-2.jpg 
Unless you have just downloaded something and have yet to make a copy,
this folder should be empty!

Next, empty the Recycle Bin/ Trash Can. Just as bad as leaving one's download folder full is failing to empty out the deleted files. If you haven't emptied the Recycle Bin/ Trash Can in a while, you'd be amazed how much wasted memory might be there!

Finally, download the free program CCleaner from Piriform. This nifty program will go through your computer and clean up all temporary memory without deleting important things such as saved passwords and bookmarks. If you have had your computer for a year or more, you will be amazed how much faster it will run after performing your first CCleaner scan!

http://i.i.cbsi.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/07/02/Foreman_12631698_4969_ccleaner_540x415.png 
In this photo, a person was able to free up 230 MB of memory. My friend ran his first
CCleaner scan after owning his laptop for four years, and he freed up 17 GB! 

Tip #6 - Run a Virus Scan (Even if you're on a Mac!)

When most people think of virus infections on their machines, they usually think of popups. While popups are certainly a sign of an infection, a lot of malicious programs may be more sneaky and try to hide themselves - for instance, a key-logger program that attempts to record your passwords. If you've tried everything else on this list and your device still seems to be running slowly or behaving strangely, it would probably be wise to run a virus scan - even if you're on a Mac!

In the past, it was commonly believed that Macs don't get viruses. The truth is, any device in the world that connects to the internet is susceptible to security exploits, no matter what an advertisement may have you believe. It is even possible to hack (and kill) certain people if they have a pace-maker heart that connects to WiFi! Therefore, whether you are on a Mac, a PC, or even a smart phone, it is a good idea to download an antivirus program as an extra layer of protection.

http://cdn.ientry.com/sites/webpronews/pictures/heartattackdude_320x245.jpg
"I should have had an antivirus!"

It's up to you which antivirus program you want to use, but at DormNet, we typically give MSE to Windows machines and Sophos to Macs. Whichever antivirus program you decide to use, I would not recommend paying for one. There are plenty of free antivirus programs to choose from! It is also important to remember that you should only have one antivirus program on your machine at once. If you have more than one antivirus program at once, the antiviruses will tend to think that the other antivirus program is a virus and attempt to take each other out.

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/mse_false_positive2.png
Looks like we found a few threats! Better remove them and scan
again, just to be sure.

Once you have your antivirus of choice, run a scan! If no viruses are found on your machine, great! Otherwise, make sure to remove all viruses found and scan again. Ideally, you want to keep scanning and removing viruses until no more can be found.

Tip #7 - Get Help!

If all else fails and you really don't know what to do, don't be afraid to ask for help! Try Google-searching your problem. Odds are, you aren't the only one who has encountered your problem. If you can't seem to find a solution at all and you've exhausted all other options, go to the professionals! Harding students can always come to the DormNet Helpdesk for free, and there are computer repair shops for the rest of us.

No matter what the issue is, follow this seven step process and you should be able to solve most, if not all, technology issues that come your way in life. That's how we do it at DormNet, and it can work for you too! God bless!

Cloud Storage Solutions

Posted Posted by Brennan Thomason in , , , , Comments 0 comments


With the dawn of the digital age comes a plethora of storage solutions.  We've upgraded from floppy disks and CDs to USB drives and even external hard drives.  But in the past few years, a new storage solution has emerged: the cloud.  Cloud-based (which simply means online) storage has been gaining popularity steadily throughout the past several years.  And when you think about it, it makes sense.  People don't like carrying around a physical device that can be lost, stolen, or damaged, especially when there's important documents and files on it.  But for a while, no one trusted cloud storage because it seemed less reliable or less tangible.  While it is less tangible, let us at DormNet assure you that it is certainly safer than carrying around all your files on an USB drive.

Cloud storage basically works by storing your files on a device known as a server somewhere in the country where the storage service provider has decided to put it.  These servers are essentially specialized computers with enormous amounts of memory, designed to connect to the Net seamlessly.  These are still a physical device that exists on the ground somewhere, but it is much more robust than a small, easily broken/lost/stolen USB drive or a cumbersome external hard drive.  And besides that, most cloud-based storage solutions will back up your data on multiple servers, further ensuring that none of your data is compromised.

But the question that remains is, what is the best cloud-based storage solution out there?  While there may not be a single one that is the "best," there are certainly lots of options, so this article is designed to help you sort out all those options.  There are several paid services out there, but for the purposes of the average student budget, only the big-name, free solutions will be discussed.  That being said, usually even the free services are limited in some way or another, so just keep that in mind as you look at the different options.




Let's first take a look at Dropbox.  It's a great tool for online storage and has some nice features like plugins for Google Chrome that allow you to reach your files from directly in your browser.  It also has a nice program (called a desktop client) that, when installed on your computer, allows you to use your Dropbox folder much like you would a normal folder on your PC (such as My Documents or My Pictures).  Another plus is that there's a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows you to reach your files on your mobile device.

It does, however, have a drawback because you only get 2 GB of online storage for free.  If you want to pay $9.99/month, you can upgrade to Dropbox Pro and get 1 TB of storage with some extra features such as remote wipe and extra sharing controls.

Dropbox does have some incentives in place for you to be able to earn extra storage space. If you simply enable automatic photo backup from your mobile device, they will add 3 GB of free storage, giving you a total of 5 GB to use.  Then, if you don't want to back up your photos anymore, you can simply disable that feature and keep the extra storage space.  They will also give you free storage space upgrades of various sizes for doing things such as following them on Twitter, giving referrals, giving them a review, and sharing folders with other Dropbox users.

To find out more about Dropbox, click here.




The next solution we'll explore is Google Drive.  It is essentially the same as Dropbox as far as how its storage works, but there are several added benefits that come along with it.  One big benefit is that it allows quite a bit more storage without having to pay, with the added simplicity of it being connected to your single Google account (which allows you access to all Google services).  Normal Google accounts have an allowance of 15 GB per user for the free accounts.  With a Harding University Google account, however, all students are allowed 30 GB free of charge.  If you decide you need more storage, however, you may purchase 100 GB for $1.99/month or 1 TB for $10/month.

It also has the added benefit of working seamlessly with your Gmail account, something that isn't as simple with Dropbox, but could probably be done if you found the right browser extension.  Let's say that someone emails you an attachment.  You can simply mouse over the attachment's thumbnail at the bottom of the message and click the "Save to Drive" button, which looks like the Google Drive logo (the little triangular-shaped thing).  You can also download it to your computer's hard drive, of course, by clicking the downward-pointing arrow.

Google Drive also has the capability to work like a local folder through its desktop client and also has Android and iOS applications as well.  Another nice feature if you're a photography lover like myself is the automatic backup feature for photos.  Although Dropbox has this as well, it is not connected to your Google+ account where you can edit the photos by applying filters, adjusting brightness, applying frames, the whole nine yards.  This is a great feature because if you need to grab a pic you took from your phone to use in reports or just on Facebook, even, they're already there automatically.  You can set it to only upload over WiFi as well (same for Dropbox) in order to keep from using your limited monthly data allowance.  Google also does fun "AutoAwesome" photos every once in a while where it takes and does fun things with the photos you've uploaded.  One time, I took a picture in the snow and it automatically made a copy of the photo that had animated snowflakes overlaying the photo.  It also recognizes when pictures were taken in rapid succession (by reading the date stamp) and makes them into an animated gif that plays them all back to back!

Another excellent feature of Google Drive is the ability to access Google Docs to create, edit, and share documents online.  For group projects and the like, this is a great way to have everyone collaborate all at once and get a whole lot done on a single document simultaneously.  Documents are saved on your Google Drive and you can click to edit them (if they're in a Google Doc format) right from your drive and don't have to open another page.

All said and done, for the photo backup/editing feature alone, Google has an advantage over its competitors.  And as an added bonus, since Android phones are powered by Google, if you have an Android, the integration of your cloud-stored files with your phone is seamless and is very easy to access, even on the go.

To find out more about Google Drive, click here.



Amazon has their version of cloud-based storage as well, called Amason Cloud Drive.  It is much the same as Dropbox and Google Drive, but it gives you 5 GB for free. Then if you want to upgrade to 20 GB, it's $10/year and for 50 GB its $20/year, and so on.

Again, like Dropbox and Google, Amazon Cloud has a desktop client and a mobile version for access on the go.  It also includes automatic photo backup, as do the other two solutions.

Click here for more information on Amazon Cloud Drive.





Another option you may choose to go with is Microsoft OneDrive.  OneDrive is not strictly a free storage solution, but it is one that is available to Harding Students who are currently enrolled and taking classes.  (See the article about setting up your Harding Office 365 account on your PC here.)

Although this service is new (and especially new to Harding), it seems to be the quality kind of program you expect to see from Microsoft.  Its storage is reliable and works very well (although with a Harding Office 365 account, it's hard to see how much storage you're actually allowed) and the integration with Office 365 is an added benefit.

Your Office 365 account, through OneDrive, lets you do things like collaborate on documents online (both in your browser or in Office programs on your PC) if you've shared a document with collaborators such as project teammates.  It works nicely in the sense that it allows you to collaborate without worrying about how the formatting will transfer over from, say, a Google Doc to a MS Word file.  It does get a bit finicky from time to time when multiple collaborators are on at the same time.  Sometimes people get locked out and can't edit the document like they should be able to.  This is only a minor issue, though, as all the changes are saved immediately to OneDrive (the same is true for Google Docs on Goole Drive).  Considering that it is a 1st generation service at this point, however, Office 365 and OneDrive do work remarkably well.

To find out more about OneDrive, click here.




Another solution you may be tempted to try is JustCloud.  DO NOT FALL FOR IT!  This service, while it may back up a file or two, will never leave you alone about upgrading.  It claims that it has unlimited storage for FREE, but don't believe it.  It's just a service that doesn't work and doesn't stop badgering you about upgrading to a paid account.  Also, those who have paid have experienced things like deleted data and terrible customer service when they've called about it, essentially telling them there's nothing they can do.  it grabbed me at first due to all its claims, but it really is too good to be true.  As a DormNet Agent, I can tell you that I know what "spammy" programs look like, and this is one of them.  Although it probably won't give you viruses, it will clog up your email inbox and annoy you with incessant marketing.



When all is said and done, it seems that you ought to stick to the big names like Google and Dropbox.  In the case of a Harding student, who already has a Google account that they get to keep and gets 30 GB along with it, it seems that the clear choice is Google Drive for a reliable, trustworthy, easy-to-access, online storage solution.

Harding Students to have one more option available to them while on campus and connected to the secure Harding networks: the Harding m-drive.  To learn more about this cloud-based storage solution and how to map it to your PC, click the link.

Happy cloud storing!

Phishing: Don't Take the Bait

Posted Posted by Sam Tripp in , Comments 0 comments

    As the weather cools and holiday season approaches, my mind turns to the same place as everyone else's this time of year: phishing scams. Okay, maybe not everyone is thinking about this, but they should be, or at least be wary of the emails that end up in their inbox. While this type of scam definitely doesn't only occur during this time of year, scammers may try and step things up as people order various goods online. So what is a phishing scam? It is a type of scam where the scammer sends an email posing as a well-known, trusted company in order to get private information such as passwords, social security numbers, bank information, etc. from the unsuspecting public. Now the thing to remember about this type of scam is that they cannot get any information from you that you do not give them yourself. So how do you recognize if an email is legitimate or not? Below are a few things to look for in your emails before entering your credentials.

1. Spelling and grammar mistakes
    Any large, well-established company sending out mass emails will typically not have any spelling or grammatical errors in the emails they send to you. They specifically hire people to try and make their messages to you as complete and as professional as possible. Therefore, when you do catch these sorts of mistakes, it may be a red flag about the sender of the email. It is definitely possible that the company made a mistake--don't dismiss the email completely from a typo--but if an email is riddled with mistakes you definitely have cause to be cautious.

2. Don't trust the blue hyperlinks
    As the picture below shows, just because something is blue and underlined does not mean it is taking you to that location. You can write any text and have it link to any page you want. There are a couple of things you can do to watch out for this. First of all, you can move your mouse over the link without clicking it. A tool-tip should appear with the URL to where that link will lead. If they are different, you have cause to be suspicious (see picture below). If you do end up clicking on the link, make sure the URL on the page it takes you is the one you were expecting. Scammers often go to great lengths to ensure the fake page they created matches exactly the page that you are expecting. They don't have total control over the URL, however, so make sure if you are expecting to end up on Facebook that the URL reads https://www.facebook.com and so on.

Phishing scams masked web address

3. Find out the truth for yourself
    Often the scammers will tell you things such as your password has expired, there's been trouble with your account, etc. They will often also give some sort of ultimatum or warning that if you don't do anything, you or your account could be in trouble. So one thing you can do is to check out if what they're saying is true. If they say your password has expired, go to the website it expired for without clicking the link and log in to the page you know is secure. If it works, then someone was very likely trying to scam you. You can also email or call the business from information provided on their websites to double-check that the email is legitimate to see if your account really does have a problem. Make sure to do a little digging before entering any sensitive information!

What Gaming Console is the Best for YOU?

Posted Posted by Drew Locke in Comments 0 comments



There has been great hype with the newest generation of gaming consoles. The Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U have all brought new innovation to the gaming community. There have been a lot of fiery debates on many a forum with iron clad fans trying to prove that “their” console is the best. Therefore, the goal of this comparison is to be completely unbiased and to give the facts and benefits of each console with opinions put aside.


So! Let’s get started with the knitty gritty specs of each console!


CPU(Central Processing Unit):
PS4:
Single-chip x86 AMD "Jaguar" processor, 8 cores @ 1.6Ghz
Xbox One:
Single-chip x86 AMD "Jaguar" processor, 8 cores @ 1.75Ghz
Wii U:
PowerPC "Espresso", 3 cores @ 1.2Ghz

As seen above, the PS4 and the Xbox One both have very similar processing power, with the Xbox One slightly in the lead, while the Wii U has considerably less processing that seems to be more level with the past generation PS3 and Xbox 360. Xbox and PS4 have the highest processing rate which makes sense because Xbox is known for its multimedia and multitasking and the PS4 is known for its hardcore complex games.
You may want to laugh in the face of Nintendo for their relatively low processing rate, however, it should be noted that Nintendo uses an out-of-order instruction process allowing for more efficient operations. Also the Nintendo is known for simple and easy to play game design so the very high CPU isn't entirely necessary.


GPU(Graphics Processing Unit):
PS4:
800 Mhz AMD GPU with 1152 shaders, 1.84 TeraFLOPS
Xbox One:
853 MHz AMD GPU with 768 shaders, 1.31 TeraFLOPS
Wii U:
550 MHz AMD GPU with 320 shaders, 0.352 TeraFLOPS

The best out of the three consoles in this aspect is clearly the PS4. It has much more performance and shader units than the Xbox One. The Wii U is obviously in third place, however, one can argue that the games have a more cartoon animated style that doesn't need as much texturing.


RAM(Random Access Memory)
PS4:
8 GB GDDR5
Xbox One:
8 GB DDR3 + 32 MB ESRAM
Wii U:
2 GB DDR3

PS4 also takes the lead in this category; the GDDR5 RAM is what is commonly used in PC graphics cards which allows for even more complex and better looking games. The Xbox tries to catch up by adding the ESRAM, however, with how small the size is it still isn't up to par with the PS4. Because RAM allows for complex games, more textures, and more multitasking the Wii U has much less RAM because it doesn't focus in any three of those categories, but the games could be limited because of this fact.


Controllers are a subject where the Wii U actually takes the lead in innovation. Nintendo has always been ahead of other companies as far as their gaming controllers go. The Wii U doesn't disappoint with a tablet based controller: the Wii U GamePad. This GamePad adds a lot of functionality to games where it can include the GamePad screen into the gaming interface.  You also have the option to play the game on the tablet controller rather than the TV. This function is great if your roommate wants to watch something on your TV. You can just switch over to the tablet and your roommate can watch their show! It should be noted that the other consoles can also do this, but unlike the Wii U , the handheld devices do not come with the initial purchase of the console.



The PS4 controller has a very similar design as previous generations. However, It has some pretty cool new features like a ‘share’ button for uploading in-game screenshots and video, a touch pad for fine control, and a mono speaker and headphone jack.



The Xbox controller as you can see looks extremely similar to previous designs. The new additions to the control include a ‘view’ button for switching between apps and a less bulky battery pack. The Xbox does still require AA batteries rather than having a USB rechargeable battery seen on PS4 and Wii U controllers.





Backwards Compatibility
The Wii U is the only console at the moment that supports games from its previous generation: the Wii. Xbox and PS4 both do not have backwards compatibility, which has been a turnoff for many people. However, the PS4 is currently in the Beta stages on their new way of streaming older generation’s games through the internet. It should be coming out sometime in 2015. The problems would be that you might have to pay for games that you already own and that internet is required to play those games.

Online Gameplay
All of the devices support online play. The Wii U provides the only online service that is free of charge. The PS4 requires membership to “PlayStation Plus” and Xbox continues their subscription to “Xbox Live” in order to play online.

And… Most importantly… PRICES!
Xbox One (including kinect) ---> $499.99
Ps4 -----------------------------------> $399.99
Wii U (Bundle) --------------------> $299.99

So which console should you get?
The choice of which console to buy is completely decided by what you are looking for in a gaming system. If you are looking for a hardcore gaming experience with complex and visually pleasing games that require the newest technology, then the PS4 is for you. If you are looking for an all encompassing multimedia center than the Xbox is a great choice. And finally, if you are looking for a family oriented, fun, simple and cheap console than the Wii U is your best bet.

Personally, my view on the quality of a console isn't the console itself. It is the games that it provides. Follow the games that you like!

If you own any of these consoles and want to share your input feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.