Turris Omnia aims to protect your privacy

Routers are among the most commonly-used tech devices in homes. However, when people are not using one to connect to the Internet, the device is idle and just consuming electricity.

The makers of the open-source Turris Omnia router have designed their device to have multiple functions within the home. In addition to serving as a fast router, it can be used as a home server, network-attached storage (NAS) device and a print server, according to its Indiegogo campaign. The device can handle up to 1 GB per second of traffic with no trouble, its makers say. It also has a SIM card slot and crypto chip for secure random number generation. Turris Omnia ships in April at future pricing of $285, although early bird backers can get one at pricing as low as $189. A version without Wi-Fi has a future price of $209, but early bird backers can get one at $139. Its makers are out to raise $100,000 by Jan. 12.

The device’s multifunctionality makes it fairly unique among routers. Other recent routers with crowdfunding campaigns focused on features including simplicity (Keewifi) and portability (Share Foil). Turris Omnia touts neither of those functions, but its more advanced functions may make it appealing to tech enthusiasts.

Tech Accessories

Wirca works with USB ports to share files among devices

Consumers today increasingly rely on mobile devices to store all the digital content they need while on the go. The ability to add additional capacity to these devices, especially when Wi-Fi service isn’t available to store new content, would be extremely useful.

The Wirca wireless card reader is a tiny network-attached storage (NAS) server that accomplishes exactly that, expanding the capacity of a smartphone or tablet without the need for Wi-Fi. The tiny device can be attached to user’s key ring or even placed in a pocket, handbag or backpack. Wirca, which can work with up to eight devices at the same time, can be used to store music, videos, photos and other types of files. When attached to a computer or portable power source via USB, it also sends a Wi-Fi signal and provides the user with access to additional storage. The basic version costs $45 and comes without a TransFlash (TF) memory card, though certain SKUs will include one. Wirca can store a maximum of 2 TB and will ship in May. Its maker is looking to raise $5,000 by April 19.

Wirca holds some promise but faces an uphill battle because there are just too many other devices from familiar brands that deliver the same type of functionality, including Kingston Technology’s MobileLite and SanDisk’s Connect Wireless Flash Drive.