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I have a single-story house (with tile or hardwood everywhere except the bedrooms), and 3 dogs in southeast Texas. My dogs shed heavily 6+ months of the year. I don’t have time to vacuum every other day. The reviews I read led me to expect the Pet Roomba would keep the dog hair under control, but I would have to vacuum thoroughly myself every 1-2 weeks. I have been using it for about 1 month, and it is performing exactly as expected. The only feature I wish it had was a locator button on the base (like a portable phone). Once or twice it hasn’t made it back to base to charge, and I had to search the house to find it. I haven’t tried to program it yet. I work from a home office, so I just start it manually. It takes 2 or 3 charges to do the whole house (~2700 sq. ft.). If I run it every 1-2 days, I don’t have to empty the dirt cup between charges.



Ever since it was first introduced in 1901 by a British inventor named Hubert Cecil Booth and was improved for the domestic market in 1905 by Booth’s compatriot Walter Griffiths, the vacuum cleaner has become an indispensable tool in eliminating dust and other types of dirt from homes. With even more innovations, some vacuum cleaners are even made more portable and can be carried anywhere, with or without the need for an electrical outlet. Other vacuum cleaners do all the cleaning by themselves due to being automated robots in essence. Others still suck up not just dry dirt, but also liquid spills that cannot be handled by mops alone. Others still can be shrunken further and can, therefore, fit into the palm of one’s hand. Needless to say, the vacuum cleaner is a part of the modern lifestyle when it comes to removing dirt and dust that can have detrimental effects on people, especially those who have allergies.


With so many types of vacuum cleaners on the market today, one might not know what it is that he or she really needs in such an appliance. There is good news, though. After looking through many articles related to vacuum cleaners – specifically of the handheld and upright type – product specialists advise consumers to look for the following features and characteristics:


  1. a set of additional tools such as nozzles


  1. lightweight


  1. a cleaner head that is easily maneuverable


  1. versatility that is not limited to floors only


  1. a secure dustbin with a huge capacity


Those features and characteristics should be suitable for the different needs of different households, and they should not buy more than one vacuum cleaner unless absolutely necessary.




The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a sleek animal, clad in silver and metallic fuchsia. It is advertised to have twice the suction power of any other vacuum cleaner on the market, which should be good news to housekeepers who have a hard time dealing with stubborn dirt on the undersides.


Dyson DC65 This force is made possible by two features: the Radial Root Cyclone Technology that encapsulates the cleaner’s suction power into a ball, and a redone brush bar that will penetrate deeper into carpets to harvest more dirt. The ball design also allows for a self-adjusting cleaning head that makes the DC65 Animal easy to maneuver around corners. Customers generally have a favorable opinion of the DC65 Animal and it may even be considered one of the top best vacuum cleaners, which should not be surprising since Dyson is one of the innovators when it comes to devices that utilize the power of the air. Satisfied owners like the ergonomic design, the easy maneuverability, the ability to go from one surface to another without the need for changing cleaning heads, the lack of scratches made by the cleaning head on delicate surfaces, the ease of assembly, and the general durability. Some customers complain about the extension tube being a little hard to pull, a somewhat steep learning curve, the so-so plastic housing, and the non-retractable cord, but they should get used to those shortcomings after a few uses.




  1. The Miele S2121 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner boasts of being a lightweight contender among the top vacuum cleaners. It weighs only 16 pounds when packed and under 10 pounds when in use, which is good news for those who do not want to break their backs in searching through corners and other tight spaces for elusive dirt. It offers six suction settings, which is useful for people who do not want to accidentally suck precious things such as jewelry and small toys alongside the dirt. It can transition from one surface to another with no problem, thanks to the Combination Floor Tool. For those who want to literally extend their cleaning horizons, a telescopic stainless steel and offers a cleaning radius of up to 29.5 feet. Customers generally have a favorable opinion of the German-made vacuum cleaner, saying that it has customizable suction options, it has a whisper-quiet operation, it has notches where the hose can be parked, it has an indicator that signifies when the dirtbag is full, its filtration system can be upgraded, and it is durable.


Some complaints regarding the S2121 include having to flip the switch on the cleaning head to prevent annoying noises when transitioning from one surface to another, the horrible smell coming from the dust canister, the clumsy arrangement of accessories, and the flimsy plastic hose.




  1. The Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has a unique approach for the overall design – its main unit lies in the handle rather than the cleaning head. Dyson intended the design to be as versatile as a typical portable vacuum cleaner while still retaining the integrity of the upright vacuum cleaner that the DC59 Animal is classified as.


Dyson DC59And for those who are concerned about power being sacrificed for portability, they have nothing to worry about. The DC59 Animal’s motor is packed with 350 watts of power and can spin 110,000 revolutions per minute – thrice the power of conventional vacuum cleaner motors. The nickel cobalt manganese battery that is provided with the cleaner can accommodate this much power – it can run cordless for 26 minutes on regular mode and 6 minutes on boost mode. The battery power is only used when the trigger is pulled, and there is no wastage of power when the cleaner is idle. The handheld nature of the DC59 Animal allows for the wealth of attachments that make it more than just an upright cleaner. Like the Dyson DC65 Animal, the DC59 Animal is well-loved as the best vacuum cleaner in 2018 by consumers for its light weight, ease of operation, ease of charging, and overall cleaning efficiency considering the battery’s capacity.


Some customers did not like the inadequate dust canister, the somewhat limited battery life, the difficulty of swapping batteries, and the outrageously high price.




  1. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) is perfect for homeowners who want large dust canisters and who want their houses to be free of all types of air-polluting allergens. It combines into one unit the power of three types of vacuum cleaners – the traditional upright cleaner, the portable pod cleaner, and the central canister cleaner.


Shark NV501 For those who do not want to spend too much on separate vacuum cleaners for different situations, this Shark model is just what they need. The swivel steering allows for greater maneuverability in tight spots that can be cleaned by the motor that will never lose its suction power. For those who want a comprehensive vacuum cleaning system, one can purchase additional tools such as the power brush as well as a set of attachments for cleaning the interiors and exteriors of cars. Customers are generally pleased with the Shark. It never loses power even when the dust canister is full, it operates quietly, its brushes are top-notch, and its dust canister is easy to empty and clean.


Some customers did not like the Shark’s inability to suck up long hair, its rigid flexible hose, the dull LED lights, and the assortment of buttons that will confuse users.




  1. The Hoover Platinum Collection Lightweight Bagged Upright with Canister UH30010COM comes in a professional platinum finish, which is perfect for those who do not want their vacuum cleaners plain or dull in appearance.


Hoover UH30010COM Platinum CollectionIn terms of cleaning power, the Hoover is also professional and deserving of the platinum name – the powerful 12-ampere motor combined with the proprietary WindTunnel technology ensures that dirt stays trapped the moment it is sucked into the dust bag. Despite the bulky-looking appearance, the upright unit only weighs 12 pounds, and the canister unit is even lighter. The separate nature of the upright unit and the canister unit ensures greater longevity with careful use. Customers are generally impressed with the Hoover package as a good contender in the vacuum cleaner contest – they praise the simple controls, automated carpet settings, easy maneuverability due to the lightweight nature especially in cleaning the stairs, the long power cord, the carrying strap of the canister unit, and ease of assembly.


Nitpicks include the expensive replacement dust bags that can only be ordered online, the noisy operation of both the upright and canister units, a flimsy plastic hose, and the loose fit of the attachments.




  1. The Miele S7210 Twist Upright Vacuum Cleaner is another example of German precision. While it looks somewhat bulky, its swivel neck offers good maneuverability and the ability to reach the undersides of furniture, proving that one should not judge a vacuum cleaner by its appearance alone.


Miele S7210 Vacuum CleanerThe automated height adjustment ensures there is no loss of suction power when transitioning from one surface to another. And due to the long power cord, the cleaning radius of the S7210 can reach 54 feet. Customers generally have a favorable opinion of the S7210. They like the durable and long cord, the quiet operation, the indicator warning of potential cleaning head jams, the durability of the dust bin, and the general durability that is said to last a decade.


What they do not like about the S7210 are its bulky weight, constant clogging, and the expensive replacement dust bags.




  1. The Bissell CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass 9595 is futuristic in terms of appearance and function. In just a single pass, many surfaces can be cleaned.


Bissel vacuum cleanerCleaning and maintenance are also simplified – the dirt tank can be easily emptied, and the filter is easily washable. Customers generally rate the Bissell as one of the best not just for its unique look, but also for its maneuverability, ease of maintenance, lightweight, and for excelling in removing pet hairs.


The Bissell has some glaring weaknesses, though: it lacks accessories, it is weak against powdery substances that can easily choke the motor, its motor can easily overheat under certain conditions, and it cleans poorly when used on some rugs and carpets.


How to choose the best vacuum cleaner for your home?

There are thousands of vacuum cleaner models available to the public. How do you know what to choose and what company to trust? Sometimes the simple process of picking an appliance can prove very difficult as you might have already found out. Let us see what you should know before purchasing.


First of all you need to understand the uses of different types of vacuum cleaners. Upright models feature the pump directly mounted over the intake. The bag used for dirt collecting can be found on the handle. This contrasts with the cylinder (or canister) model, which has the motor and the bag located in another canister unit. The vacuum head is connected to it through a flexible hose. A wet vacuum is a special appliance designed to suck up liquids. It can work and look much like any other vacuum, some models presenting the possibility of taking in both dry and wet dirt. If you need a vacuum in a commercial area or while traveling, you should consider a back-pack vac or a hand-held vacuum cleaner. Several other robotic models have been developed but for the normal, everyday user these are the most important types worth considering.


Now let us take a look at the leading vacuum cleaner manufacturers. Most of the models currently released include a new technology called “cyclone principle”. This means that dirt will be sucked up by the vacuum’s head and taken through a filtering system. Some wet models can even make the process achieve incredible heights. Some claim that the resulting water can be used for laundry washing, cooking and even drinking. You should not trust everything people say about this fact and if you decide to buy such a vacuum cleaner it’s better to use the water only for plants.


A cyclone system is used in the highly popular model: Dyson DC07 Animal Bagless Upright Cyclonic Vacuum. It is currently one of the most sold upright vacuum cleaner models and is produced by Dyson vacuum cleaners. The company prides itself on delivering quality to users. You can consider them one of the best and the technology used in their products is truly impressive. Electrolux is another important vacuum cleaner producer, manufacturing Eureka vacuum cleaners. They have various products and if you are looking for quality and low prices you can take a look at their vacuums. They would fit your research perfectly. You might also have heard of Miele vacuum cleaners. They have models for all types of vacuum cleaners and you can see them divided in series. IE: Galaxy Series, Solaris Series, S200 Series, etc. If you enjoy brands that have existed for longer periods of time you might consider Hoover vacuum cleaners. Their first model was created in 1907 and they have been a leading producer in the market ever since. Hoover evolved from the original design and features to many popular models of all kinds today.


In the case of industrial vacuum cleaners, the choice will become a little tougher. These appliances have special features and are designed to fit the purpose for which they are used. This means that you will have to see what you need in order to choose the correct model. You need to do this for any type of vacuum cleaner but with industrial vacuum cleaners, you will have to pay more attention to detail.


As a conclusion, we only need to say one sentence: “It is you that needs the vacuum cleaner and not someone else”. This means that you must not really take notice of what other friends, family members or acquaintances use. Take a look at your agenda, see what kind of vacuum cleaner you need (you might have problems with a large cylinder model if you have a lot of furniture in the house). After this consult more catalogs and companies to see if there is a model that can suit you. Give it a test run and only after that can you truly decide. The companies mentioned above are the most important at the moment but a breakthrough model can appear at any time as well. Think first and only buy afterward!


Comparing Neato and Roomba robot vacuum cleaners

Every person will wish to stay in a spotless and tidy homestead. Due to the busy schedules, we are ever involved in, doing regular cleanliness becomes at times a challenge. To make it work, employing the right cleaning equipment is the thing you should consider at large. Among this cleaning equipment in the market are the robot vacuum cleaners. These gadgets are quite small in size but then, they are powerful as compared to other cleaning gadgets in the market. Among the popular robotic vacuum cleaners are the Neato and Roomba brands. These models have advanced features that will help have your job well done. Let’s look deep into these brands, their features, differences and much more about them.


Neato brands have been in the market almost a decade now, they have made such a remarkable place as they comprise some best technologies and thus they stand to be among the reliable ones for consideration. Some of the latest Neato vacuum cleaner models you will find in the market are the Neato Botvac, the Neato Botvac D5, and the Neato Botvac D80.


Roomba brands are too other efficient robotic gadgets in the market. They have been in the market for over two decades and they are actually an option to many people out there. They have continually shown a remarkable difference right from their design to their kinds of cleaning patterns at large. Among the latest Roomba models, you will find in the market are the iRobot Roomba 980, iRobot Roomba 860 and iRobot Roomba 960. Let’s keep on to discuss more about these two models widely.


Common Roomba and Neato features


Advanced Features


Both these two brand cleaning machines; they have been designed with advanced and upgraded features to help perform cleaning tasks perfectly. There are those with complicated sensors and others equipped with dust bags. Both also have detection capability to detect any kind of surface changes.


Auto Recharge option


Both these gadgets are programmable to move right back to their docking stations and recharge their batteries in case they go down. This innovation has greatly helped for the machines to work even while you are away.


Set the boundaries


For both models, an owner is capable of setting his/her desired cleaning space. The set cleaning surface limits cannot at all be breached by the machine once set. As usual, if it detects any kind of hard item, it will bounce back to other places automatically.


Dust detection


They have all been designed to detect dust amounts in different cleaning surface spots and they perform cleaning tasks automatically.


Minimal Maintenance


Both vacuum cleaners don’t require much maintenance. By choosing a high-quality product, you are assured to get much out of the product you buy.


Neato vs. Roomba


The manufacturers of these gadgets both produce high-end products that many have greatly considered in carrying out their daily duties. Actually, the gadgets might be somehow costly, but then, they are worth what they are paid for. It is normal that making a selection of the right gadget to fit your needs is not such an easy task, for this case, herein you will have an idea of the differences between Neato and Roomba robot vacuums. You should take advantage to learn about their differences to help you while out there making your selection.


Differences between Roomba and Neato robot cleaning vacuums


To start with, Roomba vacuums normally comes well equipped with tangle-free silicone rollers while Neato vacuums are designed with combo brushes that work well when cleaning out pet hair. Silicone rollers, in this case, are however easily maintained.


Except for the latest Roomba models in the market, going through a map created by Roomba is not possible. There is actually no possibility for a buyer to set digital modern virtual walls. This is quite different with Neato as their brands have magnetic tapes and there is the ability to come up with as many No-Go Lines as you need.


Roomba vacuum cleaners are equipped with a camera sensor to work with while Neato brands use LIDAR mapping that is laser based. Working with LIDAR mapping is more accurate and the gadget can be used even in the dark.


Roomba vacuum cleaners have carpet identification whereas Neato kinds are equipped with Turbo mode that helps provide users such a deep cleaning as possible. Both of these work well on carpets, but then, the Roomba vacuum cleaners switch air power automatically to a maximum level.


Each of the Neato vacuum cleaners normally stores at least even single created maps whereas, for the Roomba vacuum cleaners, it’s only the latest models in the market that can do that. Normally, robots don’t necessarily require coming up with a map at any time it starts performing cleaning duty.


Which is better between them?


After a thorough comparison and analysis of these two robotic vacuum cleaners, it is quite evident that these cleaners somehow function similarly. As the Neato brands are capable to do corner and walls clean up with such an efficient cleaning option and battery, its counterpart the Roomba has superior features like for instance it is equipped with dirt sensors and laser barriers that offers them better performance rates at large. If you try to compare their cost, the Neato vacuums seem to be cheaper as compared to the Roomba robot vacuums. In terms of performance, we can conclude that a Roomba robot vacuum is the way to go. On the other hand, in terms of cost, Neato can be the option.




While out there in the market, you will come across many robotic vacuum cleaners to choose from. Ensure that you have a clear guide to help you choose the right vacuum cleaner to fit well your needs. You can have help from online reviews to make the right selection for you. Get a clear check up on the right reliable experience and online reviews to settle for the right gadget. Why do you have to hesitate about this? Make the right selection today.


Welcome to the Keyless World

Welcome to the Keyless World

Over the past few years, the smart locks industry has grown exponentially. According to a report by Allied Market Research, by 2016, the industry was worth around $400 million with North America accounting for almost 35% of the total market share. By 2023, the industry is expected to hit the $1 million mark.


Europe is notably behind when it comes to the adoption of this new technology. However, in the last few years, there has been slow but steady growth, but still, the number can’t be compared to the US market. Korea, on the other hand, is a surprising market for these locks together with China. The Pacific-Asia region, in general, seems to be a fast-rising market for these high-tech locks due to the vast construction going on.


The connected lock industry is indeed a big deal. In the beginning, it’s the traditional deadbolt brands and companies like Schlage, Kwikset, and Yale that dominated the smart lock industry. Today, we have witnessed big companies like Amazon joining the bandwagon with Amazon Key. It’s worthy to note that Amazon also has Alexa which interestingly, works with several connected locks, Amazon Key included.


The market has also attracted several other brands including Samsung, Lockey, August, Ikilock, Ultraloq, LockState, Quicklock, Okidokey, Plantraco, Tapplock, and so on.


Welcome to the keyless future

To be honest, the convenience of smart locks is irresistible. Many are times you forget to close your door, or you lose the keys. With an intelligent lock, all these are worries of the past. The possibilities of smart locks go beyond the basics of opening and closing the door.


Right now, some models can detect when you are around, and they automatically open for you. If you always struggle with a bunch keys at the door with arms full, this is a feature you will love. Connected locks have proved to be an invaluable addition to many homeowners in different situations. Parents can easily monitor when kids come in and go out. It’s also easy for dog owners to coordinate with dog walkers easily and more securely compared to leaving the keys tucked somewhere.


Businesses can also leverage on the several access methods that smart locks offer. Instead of giving employees copies of keys, models like ResortLock 4000 can store over 800 codes, also known as e-keys. Smart locks are also ideal for senior citizens or homeowners with disabilities.


Amazon, the largest online retailer, has its own connected lock launched last year called Amazon Key. Many online shoppers have a busy schedule, and the result has been cancellation of many orders. Right now, the in-home delivery powered by Amazon Key has solved one of e-commerce’s biggest challenge. This new technology enables customers and Amazon to schedule deliveries even when there’s no one at home.


Through coordination between a connected camera and lock installed at the door and Amazon, your door will open once the delivery guy arrives and closes when they are done with dropping your order. There’s also the in-car delivery where the order is put in your car in the same fashion as the in-home delivery.


Surprisingly, these new locks have also impacted the insurance industry. Even though intelligent devices like smoke detectors, and maybe leak detectors are the investments that make sense to insurance companies, smart locks improve the property’s security. That means insurance companies may be more willing to insure properties with these locks than the traditional deadbolts. But that’s subject to the quality of lock you install. As you understand, there are some really good connected locks in the market as well as knockoffs.


Smart locks have also influenced Airbnb with hosts preferring them over giving strangers copies of their door keys. It’s easier and even convenient for Airbnb visitors to use access codes than having to bear the extra hassle of carrying keys.


Smart locks put the focus on preventive measures. Some models like Schlage Sense Smart come with a built-in system that detects when the lock is being tampered with. It then notifies the owners through an alarm system. That means that even though the lock doesn’t come with any extra security, homeowners can always be alerted in case of anything. That’s something your traditional deadbolt can’t do. However, it’s worthy to note that these locks, just like deadbolts, come in different security grades, with the ANSI Grade 3 locks being the best.


Are intelligent locks safer than traditional deadbolts?

While connected locks have become an invaluable addition to the modern smart home, they tag along with a host of risks. A very controversial question recently has been; is a connected lock extra security or an additional risk? As we all understand, there is no extra security that the likes of Schlage, Kwikset and the rest come along with except for the preventive measures like the alarm and tamper-detection. In fact, one can successfully argue that smart locks make your home more vulnerable and indeed, it’s true.


Smart locks are very conspicuous, and their sophisticated nature always raises eyebrows that there could be something valuable inside. While the designers were focusing on the aesthetics, burglars seem attracted more to doors with connected locks as opposed to doors with the traditional deadbolt. However, this is not a major concern because features like alarm and tamper-detection will notify you before the burglar gets far with lock picking or breaking in.


Recently, home AI and the Internet of Things, in general, have been under the radar for their vulnerability to hacking. It’s unfortunate that smart locks focus on convenience while jeopardizing your property’s security. The fact that intelligent locks connect to other devices via a wireless protocol makes your house insecure as hackers can intercept the commands and fetch passcodes or even program new access codes.


The risks of these locks are not only from hackers. Recently, LockState internet locks were affected by an automatic firmware update. Most of the homeowners couldn’t do a thing about their doors unless using the mechanical key. You never know what the bug, might do; it might lock you inside or even open the door to intruders.


The vulnerability of Bluetooth LE communication

One of the features that make smart locks very vulnerable is the Bluetooth protocol. At the DEF CON hacker conference, it was established that 75% of Bluetooth locks could be hacked into. The problem in these locks is not the Bluetooth LE protocol but how the system implements communication. Funny enough, most of the models were transmitting communication in plain text. The researchers were also able to program new password by returning the commands with the initial passwords changed freezing the real homeowner’s access.


Voice assistants are also susceptible

The vulnerability goes beyond the lock itself. Voice assistants are becoming increasingly popular because they help us manage our smart devices more easily. Many smart home enthusiasts have connected their homes to Amazon Alexa and other assistants like Google Assistant that are also being hacked. One of the features that have been put under in-depth scrutiny is the new Door Lock API. The feature requires just a voice command and the PIN to open the door.


There are no authentication means of proving that it is indeed the homeowner requesting for access. Initially, Amazon and Google were reluctant to roll out this feature but guess what; it’s now in place without any other security layer. The work of a burglar is made easier as they only need to record your pin code and that’s it. At least there should be some technology to clearly and accurately match the homeowner’s voice recording and the actual voice when issuing commands to Alexa.


Apple HomeKit has also come under threat, and just last year, Apple had to fix several vulnerabilities that could have put homeowners security in jeopardy. It was reported that the malware is in the current iOS 11.2 version and could give hackers access to several smart devices including smart locks and even garage door openers.


What the future holds for smart locks

Well, not all the connected locks in the market are insecure. It’s just that most of the models out there rely on Bluetooth Low Energy communication which is highly susceptible to attacks. So far, there’s hope in smart locks with other protocols like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Z-Wave.  But that is not to say that they are 100% secure; the internet is synonymous with cybercrime.


Most of these top brands, the likes of Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale have an excellent record.   “At Yale, we develop all of our systems with security in mind,” says Mr. Josh Waites, a product manager at Yale. “All data are encrypted, and we also employ third-party penetration testers to conduct regular security assessments and tests to ensure our smart locks are secure.”


But there might be a dozen of vulnerabilities that have not been discovered yet. Amazon Key, for example, has been hacked by Rhino Security Labs which uses a bug that blocks the camera from recording and cuts Wi-Fi connection so the door won’t close after the delivery guy leaves. Also, it’s possible to block the command from Amazon to close the door after a delivery has been made. All these are security concerns that face the smart lock industry.


Wrapping Up

Indeed, internet and technology has revolutionized home security. Connected locks come with the same protection as traditional deadbolts but have the extra capability to detect any tampering like lock picking and notifies the homeowner. The convenience they offer is immeasurable; from opening and closing the door remotely to monitoring whatever is happening on your door front in real time while in the office. It is evident that the designers focus much on the robustness of the lock and forget security. It’s unfortunate that even some of the biggest names in the industry have these discrepancies.  


While the risks sound alarming, security experts say that in most cases, it’s the homeowners who make themselves vulnerable to hacking. One of the ways to stay safe is to make sure that your Bluetooth connection is always off when you are not using it. Also, it’s advisable that you don’t use voice assistant for your smart lock. But then, this doesn’t make you 100% secure as hackers are developing more intricate methods of exploring intelligent lock vulnerabilities. For now, it’s up to the brands to beef up security because the recent spate of cybercrime may tumble the smart locks industry if they don’t prove to be secure enough!