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10 practical things to do with a Raspberry Pi



The Raspberry Pi single-board computer and all its variants have captured the imaginations of DIY enthusiasts and budding hobbyists alike. And now that the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 has been slashed to $35 and an 8GB model with as much RAM as a Mac Mini is here, interest in building with the board is sure to spike.

Much of the coverage you’ll see around the web focuses on the more fantastical projects—magic mirrors, portable gaming handhelds, intelligent drones, and so forth. And for good reason! Those maker masterpieces show what sort of power the $35 mini-PC is capable of in the hands of someone with a little imagination and a bin full of spare electronics, especially now that the Raspberry Pi 4 includes more RAM, a huge CPU upgrade, USB-C charging, and enough graphics horsepower to drive a pair of 4K monitors simultaneously.

But most people, particularly beginners, won’t use the Raspberry Pi to whip up crazy creations. There are near-endless practical uses for this bare-bones kit, from media streaming to extending the range of your Wi-Fi network, as the following 10 projects demonstrate. Time to put that $35 computer to real work. Heck, many of these will work just fine even on the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero.

Editor’s note: This article is updated periodically to include new projects or info, most recently to mention the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4.

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