In the modern era, those who know how to use technology are a step ahead of the pack. The ability to program and use computers, mobile phones, and other pieces of tech will make you more marketable than any other skill set you possess. You’ll not only to get your choice of jobs but find that navigating through the world is much simpler.
In short – the more you know about tech, the better. Even if you don’t have any plans of becoming a programmer or web designer, you need to learn as much as you can about technology.
The best way to learn is by doing, and the following are five DIY tech projects you can learn to do right now to increase your level of tech savvy.
1. Build Your Own Computer
Building your own computer is one of the easiest, most educational DIY tech jobs you can do. By researching how it’s done, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge about CPUs, RAM, motherboards, operating systems, and a host of other basic computer concepts.
As an added bonus, you stand to save a lot of money by building your own computer instead of buying one pre-built. While a bargain build won’t save you that much compared to an off-the-shelf model, you save money in the long run with future-proofing.
What is Future-Proofing?
Future-proofing is the practice of investing more money in a PC upfront so that it performs better for longer. To illustrate, think about it like this: you build a bargain model for about $500. In a year, you need to upgrade some components to stay current, costing another $200. That pattern repeats itself for the next four years. Altogether, you’ve spent $1,300 on your “bargain” PC.
If you had invested that money in a higher end build at the start, it would have lasted even longer. You wouldn’t have had to deal with upgrading so frequently.
2. Setup Your Own VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a system of encrypting the data being sent over your Internet connection. It masks your IP history so that hackers, data miners, and other malicious parties can’t see what you’re doing. It makes it much harder to access your sensitive data, including your:
- Home address
- Bank account and credit card information
- Social security number
A VPN will also make it possible for you to stream region-locked content, like movies and TV shows, without anyone knowing what you’re up to. You can install a VPN on a host of different devices. There are plenty of excellent online resources that will teach you how to easily set up a VPN and protect your personal information starting right now.
3. Setup a QR Code for your Wi-Fi Password
A great way to ensure that your wi-fi connection is protected from hackers and freeloaders is to set up a QR passcode. Using your IP address, normal wi-fi password, encryption type, and a QR code generator, you can set one up quickly and easily.
What’s the Advantage of a QR Code Password?
Since QR codes are a series of randomly generated black and white squares, they contain little hard data and are impossible to hack. Most networks and systems usually have security gaps or a backdoor method to access data, compromising their security. This means a QR code is far more secure than a normal password.
4. Design and Build a Basic Website
Even if you’re not planning on making a career in web design, everyone can benefit from knowing the basics of online coding. By designing and coding your own website, even if it’s just a simple blog, you’ll gain a better understanding of how websites are made and how they work.
This will really come in handy if you’re at work and the boss is frustrated because he can’t put a new pic on your company’s homepage. He’ll treat you like a hero when you get that splash image uploaded no problem. It’s a great little bullet to be able to put on your resume.
5. Build Your Own Robot
This is a great DIY tech project for parents wanting to bond with their children. Since all technology runs on power, it’s incredibly beneficial to understand electricity and electronic circuitry. By building your own functioning robot, you’ll begin to master the fundamentals of setting up a power grid while having a ton of fun.
What You’ll Need
A DIY robot can be as simple or complicated as you like. There are some great packages with all the components you’ll need that range anywhere from $50 to $1,000. If you like to do everything from scratch, at a minimum, you’ll need:
- A resistor
- A capacitor
- A diode
- A thermistor
- A Light-emitting Diode (LED)
- A transistor
- A photoresistor
- An integrated circuit
- A potentiometer
- A switch
In addition, you’ll also need materials to construct a basic frame for your electrical components. Your frame can be made of PVC pipe, wood, metal, or even rubber. Depending on how your robot will move, you’ll also need either a set of wheels and an axle, or some parts to construct legs for walking.