Polk Audio Atrium 5 speakers $299.99

Outdoor speakers offer rich, full sound

Many of us have a deck, patio or even a pool in our backyards, and we like to spend time on the deck when the weather is nice.

Music can make a big difference in your outdoor entertaining. The Atrium 5 from Polk Audio are dual-drive speakers designed to live outdoors, so extreme cold, heat or even rain won’t hurt them. They come in black and white but include some handy instructions for painting them to match your house.

Each speaker houses a 5-inch midrange-woofer and a ¾-inch tweeter. The speaker enclosure is all-weather certified and water-resistant to withstand salt fog, UV rays, extreme high and low temperatures and heavy rain.

They each have a metal C bracket so they can mount vertically or horizontally on a wall. You can remove the bracket if you want to set the speakers on a flat surface.

These are not powered speakers. They need to be connected to an amplifier or receiver. For testing, they were attached to a Sonos Connect Amp.

Getting good sound outdoors can be tricky. They are usually mounted high, under the eaves of the roof, farther away from your seating position than inside. In the test, the music on the deck sounded rich and full.


Portable hard drive as secure as you can get

Everyone should be concerned about data security. Enter the iStorage diskAshur2, a portable hard drive with built-in 256-bit full disk hardware encryption.

This is a seriously secure hard drive. The USB 3.1 drive has a built-in cable that’s about 4 inches long, which is a bit inconvenient if the closest USB port on your desktop PC is on the front.

Plug the diskAshur2 into your computer — watch out, the cable is short — and before you can use it, you’ll have to enter a PIN on the keyboard. Out of the box there is a default administrator PIN you use to unlock the drive. You then need to set your own administrator PIN. Among the many PIN enhanced features, you can set PINs for other users.

This drive is as secure as you can get. Unplugging the drive will immediately cause it to lose power, and it will be locked when it’s plugged in again. The drives are available in various capacities for different prices. The one reviewed was the 2 terabyte red drive.