Considering how much working from home has become the norm over the past two years, it’s no surprise people are spending more time in their house and asking how they can make their abode better. Some opt for home improvement projects like redecorating or even installing a dedicated office space at the back of the house. However, others have looked further into the future and have looked for ways to make their homes work for them.
The smart home is not new. There have been discussions about smart tech and the Internet of Things for years. However, over the past five or so years, the tech has evolved so that the average person can afford and install it. If you’re thinking of upgrading your property with smart tech, here are six essentials you need to know.
There’s no point in filling your home with smart tech without knowing what it does or how to use it. Just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it will work for you, so research is essential to ensure you pick the right products and brands for your needs.
You’ll quickly discover there is a range of smart products from the usual suspects (Apple, Google, Amazon), as well as other brands you may not have heard of. If you familiarize yourself with these brands, you’ll be able to find the most suitable products.
Make It Easy For Yourself
Once you have confirmed that the smart home life is the one for you, it’s worth making it as easy for yourself as possible. Right now, you don’t need a refrigerator that reminds you to get milk or a kettle that boils to a precise temperature. Instead, you can focus on the most common smart home appliances, such as smart bulbs and doorbells.
It is also worth looking at products with versatile integration capabilities, meaning they can connect to any smart home setup. Some products may be compatible with Alexa but not with the Google equivalent, and if this is the hub you use, it won’t be of any use.
Upgrade Your Router
Although modern routers can handle a wide range of devices without lagging, there is still a limit. Your home might already have a lot of devices as it is, especially if everyone has a smartphone or tablet (or both).
As smart devices work through a wifi connection, too many connected devices will throttle your router, slowing down the connection and clogging bandwidth. By upgrading to a superpowered router, you can enjoy swift download speeds even with multiple devices connected.
Find a Balance
One problem with smart homes is that they can quickly spiral out of control. What began as a convenient hub to remind you to take the garbage out or set a timer for the food in the oven could end up with everything connected to the hub.
In some ways, this can be convenient. You can dim the lights as you settle down for the evening or you can fire up the heating ready for when you get home. However, it also means that your home can lose its magic. It becomes more of a robot than a home, and that could unsettle even the most passionate of tech geeks.
Consider Costs Now vs. Later
Smart devices don’t always come cheaply, but they can save you money in the long run. Two great examples of this are smart bulbs and thermostats which reduce energy consumption and tell you how much energy you use.
But, it could take a while for you to see a return on your investment, especially with considerable upgrades everywhere in the house. So, while smart tech can be beneficial eventually, it might affect your budget at first.
Protect Your Information
There are still privacy concerns regarding a lot of smart home devices, with many accounts requiring you to opt into data sharing. Data privacy is a significant topic, and the jury is still out on how secure these devices are.
If this concerns you, installing a virtual private network like ClearVPN can put your mind at ease. These services can connect to a range of devices in your home to ensure your information is fully encrypted to protect you from cyber risks.
Smart homes can make your house work for you in ways you may never have imagined. However, it is not as simple as letting the home do everything for you. As with any type of technology, you must make sure the investment is worth it and you know how to maintain your privacy to ensure your information remains safe when connected to a myriad of devices around the house.