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10 surprisingly practical Raspberry Pi projects anybody can do

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer and all its variants (including the dirt-cheap Raspberry Pi Zero and a turbo-charged Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ released on Pi Day 2018) have captured the imaginations of DIY enthusiasts and budding hobbyists alike.

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 3 Model B+ includes a faster processor, power-over-ethernet capabilities, and better network connectivity across the board.

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.

Editor’s note: This article is updated periodically to include new projects or info. The most recent update adds mention of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

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