All products recommended by Auvik in this gift guide for IT pros are selected by our editorial team, and not influenced by any promotional considerations. Links to purchases are suggestions only. Buyer beware, do your own due diligence, prices are not guaranteed!

Has another year gone by already?! The holiday season is back again, and that means racking our collective brains to come up with what to buy the IT pro in your life (AHEM *Auvik swag*).

But don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ve scoured the internet, and plumbed the depths of our company Slack channels, to bring you a round-up of suggestions in one holiday gift guide. Here’s hoping we can spark some inspiration, and save you some stress on the quest to find the perfect gifts for IT pros.


Home Networking

As far as gift ideas for IT pros go, this is probably an area that your naughty or nicer won’t need much help with, but being a company all about networks, we’d be remiss not to share our thoughts on what would make good holiday tech gifts. We polled the Auvik team for some of their recommendations, and no surprise, it’s mostly an Ubiquiti-heavy list this year.

Wi-Fi

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine

Source: Ubiquiti

If you’re looking to give your Wi-Fi a big boost, we’re going to recommend the Unifi Dream Machine. It’s built to handle a proliferation of WI-FI devices, and has the throughput and coverage you’re looking for. It’s also got advanced security features, like DPI and IPS, that are usually reserved for professional gear. Also, a great option for renters that can’t run LAN cable through walls.

Buy the Dream Machine from Ubiquiti – $299

AmpliFi Alien

AmpliFi Alien

Source: AmpliFi

If current availability or future proofing is a concern, the AmpliFi Alien is a great option too. Ready to go in less than a minute, this mesh-enabled router boasts 7685 Mbps total capacity and 2x coverage over other retail routers. As one of our experts said, “AmpliFi Alien is a beast and best for most out of the box.”

Buy the Alien from AmpliFi – $379

Access Points

Ubiquiti UniFi AP

Ubiquiti UniFi AP

Source: EvanMaccann.net

One central wireless router not doing it for you? Time to stop complaining about bad Wi-Fi speed tests and consider adding some access points to your set-up. When it comes to reputation and quality, it’s hard to argue with Ubiquiti’s UniFi line up of APs. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, from nano to pro, their line-up can cover anything from a whole house, to a whole stadium.

Browse the Access Point line up at Ubquiti

Switches

Ubiquiti Switch Lite 16 PoE

Ubiquiti Switch Lite 16 PoE

Source: Ubiquiti

Of course, you’ll need a switch to manage all this new robust networking gear. As any IT pro knows, switches can get pretty complicated, pretty fast, depending on your level of expertise and want for features. But for a fairly straightforward home set up, we think the Lite PoE switches (available in 8 or 16 switch varieties) are the best option for your home. These managed switches include power over Ethernet for clean installations, and power control over things like security cameras and access points.

Buy the Switch Lite 16 PoE from Ubiquiti – $199

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Pro

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Pro

Source: Ubituiti

If you’re really looking to step up to a prosumer option, the Dream Machine Pro is your all-in-one networking console. Integrated security gateway, 8-port switch, and enterprise-level threat detection—all in one rack space. It’s a best-seller for a reason.

Buy the Dream Machine Pro at Ubiquiti – $379


Tech & Tools

From working remotely, to work around the house, you need the right tools for the job. We’ve got a set of tech gifts that’ll keep any IT pro performing great on the (remote) job, and satisfy that need to tinker, fix, and improve.

Elcrow CrowPi

Elcrow CrowPi

Source: Elecro

Looking to get into Raspberry Pi projects, but don’t know where to start? This all-in-one programming kit is perfect for Raspberry Pi learning for just about anyone. The Crowpi advanced version comes with Raspberry Pi 4 2GB Model B, and can work with Raspberry Pi 3 3 b 3b+ 2 and more.

Buy the Elecrow Crowpi at Amazon – $369

Ablewe USB and HDMI KVM Switch

Ablewe USB and HDMI KVM Switch

Source: Cnet

Simple and compact, this two-input KVM will get your home lab up and running on two devices with just one set of peripherals. The Ablewe supports resolutions up to [email protected], and devices like Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox.

Buy the Ablewe KVM at Amazon – $49

Video cable converters

Source: Amazon

Have someone on your gift list with a bag full of cables hiding in the basement somewhere? Maybe a collection with an old VCR, or game systems and other electronics that don’t play well with modern HDMI? Have a browse through this set of video input and output converters that help you connect just about anything to anything.

Shop video converters at Infinite Cables

Logitech C930e

Headshot portrait screen application view of overjoyed young African American man sit at home have pleasant web conference on computer, smiling biracial millennial male talk on video call online

Source: Shutterstock

We all have to be on camera these days. A lot. Don’t make it worse. Grab some gear that will help them look good and sound good…even if it’s just from the waist up.

For video, we recommend the latest of the tried and true Logitech 900 series, the C930e. 1080p/30 resolution, a wide-angle lens with 4x zoom to frame yourself up, and software tweaked to account for dim or harsh lighting conditions.

Buy the Logitech C930e from Logitech – $169.

Blue Yeti Nano

Blue Yeti Nano

Source: Laptop Mag

And for audio, keep it head (and hands) free with a Yeti Nano desk mic from Blue Microphones that sounds warm and pleasant, connects directly to your laptop via USB-C (no need for an audio interface), and slides out of your way when not in use.

Buy the Yeti Nano from Blue Microphones – $139

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple Air Pods Pro

Source: T3.com

For maximum headphone convenience, go wireless. A good pair of Bluetooth headphones will last most of your work day and, can easily transition from your laptop for video calls, to your mobile device for listening to music while you walk. The Apple AirPods Pro feature noise cancelling, and are as easy as pie to connect to any Apple device including your phone, your laptop, and your AppleTV.

Buy AirPods Pro from Apple – $329

Samsung Buds Pro

Samsung Buds Pro

Source: Samsung

If you’re on the Android side of the fence, we recommend the Samsung Buds Pro for the same reasons: noise cancelling, water resistance, and great sound quality for calls and music. Cool colors, too.

Buy Samsung Buds Pro from Samsung – $189

Leatherman Surge

Leatherman Surge

Source. KnivesAndTools.com

A network pro likes to tinker. If it’s in the house, they’ve probably taken it apart and put it back together. And there isn’t a better name we can think of when it comes to tools for this job than Leatherman. In particular, the “Surge” has just about everything you’d need in one handy multitool, and a 25-year warranty.

Buy the Surge 21-in-1 Multitool from Leatherman – $172

Micro-Mini II Precision Screwdriver set

Micro-Mini II Precision Screwdriver set

Source: Amazon

And for finer work, you need to have a precision screwdriver set handy. For Torx, Philips, or flat, you’ll find this inexpensive set from Platinum Tools can get you into just about any modern electronic device with screws. I own this one, and it’s worked on my Macbook, my Canon DSLR, and my Peavy 5150 guitar amp.

Buy the Micro Mini II from Amazon – $41


Gaming & Entertainment

Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo Switch OLED

Source: Mashable

There’s no shortage when it comes to options in the handheld gaming category (sorry). But if the latest and greatest is your thing, the Nintendo Switch is the easy choice. Tons of great games, access to old-school classics via the Nintendo Switch Online portal, and a newly updated system with a larger, more vibrant OLED screen.

Buy the OLED Switch from Nintendo – $449

Playdate

Playdate handheld game

Source: Playdate

If you’re looking for something unique, however, consider the Playdate. To anyone that’s ever played a Game Boy or a Play and Watch, it’ll feel oddly familiar. A simple machine (designed by hipster-instrument firm Teenage Engineering) with a curious crank, the Playdate almost defies a regular description. Buying a Playdate now gives you access to a whole library of mystery titles. Expect two new games delivered over Wi-Fi every week, just don’t ruin the fun by looking up the release list!

Pre-Order the Playdate from Panic Inc. – $179

Console action (but not consoles)

We wish we could help you find stock this year, but we can’t. PS5s and the Xbox Series X are hot commodities, and have been for well over a year. With the end of global chip shortages nowhere in sight, it’s going to be an impossible category of products to find if you’re just starting your hunt now. Amazing if you find one, but we’re just being realistic here.

Xbox Series X

Source: Unsplash

Our advice to satisfy the console gamer in your life this year? Go digital gifting. Every system has its own ecosystem for gifting games, online play access, or even just gift certificates that can be used to purchase in-game items.

Head to the Microsoft Online store for your PC/Xbox fans to grab digital gift cards, Xbox Game Pass subscriptions and Digital games.

PlayStation no longer allows games as gifts, so you’ll have to grab a digital gift card, which isn’t really that different. Players can apply the digital card to their PlayStation accounts and spend however they like. Just about every retailer sells PlayStation gift cards, and the price is set by Sony.

PC Gamers

Source: Cnet

Like consoles, high-end game PC components are in very short supply this year. But no matter what side of the PC/console war you’re on, we’ve got you.

Digital games and gift cards are going to be an easy win in this category as well. We recommend some reliable go-to’s to snap those up: Steam Store, GameStop, Best Buy, and even Walmart will have easy to use gift cards for games and in-game loot.

The big difference is that, for PC gamers, there’s a lot of peripherals for your rig to consider. For example, an upgraded mouse brings faster reaction time for better control. A bigger or faster monitor earns you a better view of the game environment.

There’s a lot to consider, so we recommend going to the pros. IGN.com has a round up of peripherals and other items for PC gamers they’re sure to love, while New York Magazine surveyed gamers and came up with 29 recommendations.


Cool & Unclassified

Finally, let’s finish off with a few things we just loved, but don’t need a category all on their own.

Ctrl alt del mugs

Ctrl alt del mugs

Source: Ali Express

Two staples in IT life: coffee and resetting equipment. How about this cheeky three-cup mashup of the two? These ctrl alt del cups come in both black and white, and we’ve seen them as low as $10.

TIMEFLIP 2 Productivity Tracker

TIMEFLIP 2 Productivity Tracker

Source: Timeflip

Love D&D, but hate tracking your work day? No problem with the TIMEFLIP2: a productivity app coupled to a comically gigantic D20. Mark your activities with stickers on the D20, turn it to the side you need to work on, and let the time tracking app do its thing! Magic Missile that to-do list, you rogue.

Kinetic Toys

Source: Unsplash

I can’t stop fiddling with the kinetic ball set I got from the team at Auvik. Kinetic toys are a perfect holiday gift to keep your fingers busy, and they let your mind wander—a necessary exercise for creativity and mental health we don’t do enough of.

The Video Game Bucket List Poster

Source: Amazon

Bragging rights? You betcha. 100 iconic games for you to scratch it off this A2-sized poster.

Have you tried turning it on and off again?

If you know, you know. Get it on a coffee mug. Get it on a poster. Get it on a shirt. You get it.

Finally, the thing on every holiday gift guide, and this year’s MUST BUY gifts for IT professionals….

Auvik Swag!

We relaunched our entire Auvik swag shop with all new gear, designs and accessories, just in time for holiday delivery. Check out the new collections in unisex, men’s, women’s, and kids styles. It’s like a holiday gift guide unto itself!


That, friends, is our Holiday Gift Guide for 2021. And should any of these gifts for IT Pros just happen to make it into your own stocking, well… you probably deserve it too.

Good luck and let us know if we helped you in the comments! No fighting or you’re getting coal.

Ryan LaFlamme

About Ryan LaFlamme

Ryan LaFlamme is Auvik's Content Manager. Ryan has worked as an advertising and marketing professional for 10 years, working with leading global brands in Canada and internationally.


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