Having a Smart Home will change the way you live, find out how with these Smart Home Tips. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices that communicate, sense, or interact with other IoT devices and you. Gartner Research predicts that by 2020 there will be approximately 25 billion Internet enabled devices.
There are thousands of IoT devices available to the home owner today. These devices include smart thermostats, locks, lights, cameras, TVs, smoke/CO alarms, energy monitors, and garage door openers. Time savings, security, and lower energy costs are top reasons why home owners purchase Smart Home devices.
Smart Homes today allow users to:
- remotely see if doors are locked
- get alerts when room temperatures rise or fall within a range
- turn lights on/off in areas where the light switch is hard to reach
- order a pizza using only their voice
- program doors so they automatically lock after they are closed
- receive video clips when motion is detected by a security camera
- backup and share photos, music, and files
- save money by installing energy monitoring systems
- turn foyer lights on, unlock the front door, and unarm the security system when the home owner is within 100 feet of their home
- remotely turn off sprinklers systems when rain is forecasted
Here are five Smart Home Tips to help you build your home.
Tip One: Do research. There are thousands of articles and websites dedicated to Smart Homes and Home Automation. PC Magazine and customer reviews on various websites are two great ways to get the latest information on Smart Home concepts, designs, and products.
Tip Two: Have a plan. If you do not have a plan, plan to fail. Start with one room and divide and conquer. You should have a wired, wireless, and security strategy for each room. A wired connection is more reliable and faster than a wireless connection. Learn how to optimize and best secure your wireless signal. Buy a Smart Home device and stress test it on your network before you buy another device and try to connect them together.
Tip Three: Carefully select your Smart Home devices. There is nothing more frustrating buying a technology that does not live up to the hype, comes with poor documentation, does not integrate into your Smart Home system and has no or poor customer support. When researching Smart Home devices for purchase, always: 1) Read positive/negative customer and analyst reviews from multiple websites; 2) call the customer service department before you buy to see if they are knowledgeable and responsive; 3) purchase products from companies that have 30-day money back guarantees, no questions asked; and 4) always buy from industry leaders.
Tip Four: Use a multi-layered approach when protecting your Smart Home from cyber threats. Implement the best practices recommendations mentioned in the online document “Securing Your Internet of Things Devices” by the U.S. Department of Justice, Cybersecurity Unit, dated July 2017. Use a Unified Threat Management (UTM) router when protecting your network in conjunction with device based security software for PC’s, Tablets, Smart Phones, etc. It is always best to seek advice from data and network security professionals when implementing your Smart Home security plan.
Tip Five: Learn how to connect your IoT devices together and use Smart Home automation’s. You can get free home automation’s from companies like IFTTT (If This Then That). There are several Smart Home hubs that connect numerous types of IoT devices (i.e. – Samsung’s SmartThings, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home and Wink).
Amazon’s Alexa is an inexpensive Smart Home hub that is easy to use and connects to hundreds of IoT devices. Samsung’s SmartThings hub connects to the most IoT devices. If a IoT device doesn’t officially support Samsung’s SmartThings hub a workaround may be found in Samsung’s large developer community.
Whether it is convenience, security, entertainment, accessibility, efficiency, cost savings, or potential resale anyone can find multiple benefits and uses owning a Smart Home. Get started today so you can easily adopt future IoT technologies into your Home with these Smart Home Tips.
Mike Battaglia is President of Next Smart Homes.