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Tech tips

Don’t buy these 10 obsolete products

Have any old gadgets around? Your dusty phones, boomboxes and gaming consoles can be worth a fortune. Here’s a list of items to fatten your wallet.

“New” is a relative term when it comes to tech. One product can remain on the shelves for years while another is replaced annually. The impact this has on your buying decisions can vary. Purchasing last year’s toaster oven may mean missing out on the new air fryer, but it’s not the same as getting an older smart speaker.

Here’s why you should avoid buying specific outdated tech.

End of Life

When a product leaves the market, it’s known as End of Life or EOL. This could result from introducing a newer product, low sales, or other reasons. EOS is sometimes used interchangeably with EOS or End of Sale.

EOL does not necessarily mean the manufacturer will stop supporting the product, but this is inevitable as time goes on. Replacement parts will also become more difficult to find.

End of Service Life/Support

A product pulled from shelves can have support from the manufacturer as long as they’re willing to offer it. When that’s removed, it’s known as the End of Service Life (EOSL).

Support could come in many forms, from producing spare parts to software updates and patches. The latter is critical regarding tech, whether it’s a physical product or software.

Without updates, your phone, smart speakers, security cameras, operating systems, browsers and routers become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Developers are constantly working to stay ahead of hackers, and you should always have the latest updates to protect yourself.

As a general rule, connected devices and apps that haven’t had an update in 12 months can seriously compromise your privacy and personal information. Go through your tech at least twice a year and determine which ones might be outdated. Then, either update their software or get rid of them. 

Here are 10 products to avoid. If you already have them, stop using them.

1. First-generation Amazon Echo

The tall, cylindrical Echo was introduced nearly 10 years ago and it seems Amazon no longer supports it. In fact, people are complaining that they’re having problems just connecting it to Wi-Fi.

Need a new smart speaker? You can get the latest fifth-generation Echo Dot for under $40. It has upgraded sound and features and is compact enough to place anywhere.

RELATED: Tech tip: Use an Amazon Echo as an affordable Life Alert alternative

2. Google Nest Hello

Google’s first video doorbell is vulnerable to a hack that disables its recording capabilities. Check out our coverage of the exploit here.

The Google Nest Doorbell replaced the Hello. This wired model can tell the difference between a person, package, animal, and vehicle, reducing the number of intrusive alerts you’ll get.

3. Old routers

If a router uses an older security standard like WPA2, don’t go for it. The latest standard is WPA3, which better protects your home network. As a bonus, a new router that supports Wi-Fi 6 bumps up your network speed considerably.

How to find and remove unwanted devices connected to your network

4. Old iPhones

Apple introduced iOS 16 in September last year, and with that came the usual dropped support for older iPhones. It was an unusually long list that included the following: iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iSE (first generation), 6s, 6s Plus and all older iPhone models.

Don’t get any phone that predates the iPhone 8 or X (both of which have been out of production for some time). Expect more phones to lose support for the next iOS as well.

5. Old Android Phones

Google began rolling out Android 13 last August, with Pixel phones getting first dibs. In that family, only Pixel 4 and newer models were compatible. Since then, the Samsung Galaxy S20, S21 and S22 all have Android 13 support, along with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, 3 and 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip line of phones.

RELATED: These are hard drives most likely to fail

6. Facebook/Meta Portal

Facebook has been called out for its privacy policies too many times to count, and here’s a device that provides the social network with eyes and ears into your home.

The final nail in the coffin came with Meta’s announcement that it’s killing the smart display following massive layoffs at the company. The product is dead and won’t be long before Meta stops releasing updates, if it hasn’t done so already.

7. Oculus Quest

Meta will stop releasing critical bug fixes and security patches for the original Oculus Quest VR headset following this year, according to a message from the company.

8. Google Stadia

Google’s cloud gaming service barely lasted three years. The service supported Google’s Stadia game controller, which can be used for other gaming purposes.

Google has been refunding all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia Controller, Founder’s Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) made through the Google Store and software transactions (games and add-on purchases) made through the Stadia store.

The refund program ran from Nov. 9, 2022, to Jan. 18 this year.

9. 3G is officially dead

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint no longer support 3G networks. Any device that needs to connect to a 3G network won’t be able to do so. While you’ll be able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to make calls or send messages.

10. Windows 10

As of the end of January, you can no longer purchase Windows 10 from Microsoft. Windows 10 will remain supported with security updates until Oct.14, 2025. If you’re looking for a new PC, make sure it comes with Windows 11. Here’s more information you need to know.

You may also like: Upgrading to a new computer soon? Don’t make this big mistake

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