The smart home is no longer the home of the future. It is the home of the here and now. As such, plenty of consumers will spend 2020 in search of smart home equipment and services. Perhaps you have your own smart home plans for the coming months. If so, understand that there is a lot to know.
From smart speakers to thermostats that learn, smart home technology is changing the way we all live. It might be that a decade from now, everything in a typical American home will be automated and controlled by voice. For now, there are a number of exciting technologies to get the average homeowner excited about smart homes.
Here is what you need to know BEFORE you shop for smart home stuff:
It’s a Wireless Revolution
First and foremost is the simple fact that smart home technology in 2020 is all about wireless. You might even say that we are in the midst of a wireless revolution. That’s great because wireless systems offer a ton of potential without requiring professional installation.
Vivint SmartHome says there’s a lot to love about wireless smart home systems. They are easy to install, quite scalable, and tend to integrate well with a variety of equipment choices from multiple manufacturers. For example, you could purchase several Vivint devices and pair them with a Google or Amazon smart speaker for complete voice control.
It is Not Just About Security
The next thing to know is that smart home technology is not just about home security. Do not misunderstand; home security is very important and a very good reason to dive into the smart home pool. Modern security systems protect homes with wireless video cameras, video doorbells, electronic door locks, and more.
The thing is that you can expand on the home security paradigm to also include home automation. For example, imagine programming both interior and exterior lights for a variety of different lighting scenes. Save money on your lighting bill while also guaranteeing you have adequate lighting right where you need it, just when you need it.
Remote Access is the Bomb
As long as you are investing in smart home technology, invest in a system that gives you remote access. Being able to control every element of your system remotely gives you so much more freedom and flexibility. Let us use the thermostat as an example.
Your smart thermostat might be programmed to not heat the house during the day while you are away at work. But what if you get a call from your child’s school informing you that junior is sick? On your way to pick him up, you can override your thermostat so that the house is warm by the time you arrive home with your patient. How cool is that?
Systems Can Still Be Hacked
As you shop, bear in mind that wireless smart home systems can still be hacked. This is not intended to scare you away from home security and automation. Rather, it is a reminder that you have to pay attention during installation. You also have to keep an eye on things over time. If you ever suspect your system is compromised, do not ignore it.
One of the easiest ways to fall victim to hackers is not changing factory default settings for usernames and passwords. All of your wireless smart devices come with a default username and password required to set them up. Those usernames and passwords are all over the internet. Fail to change yours and you are inviting hackers to do what they do.
All of your usernames and passwords should be changed during installation. That goes double for your home router. If you are not using at least WPA2 security on your router, do so. Use WPA3 if your router will support it.
This could be the year of smart home technology for your family. If so, you are in for some wonderful surprises. There is so much today’s smart homes can do that you and yours will likely be both thrilled and amazed. Just do yourself a favor and don’t go into it ignorantly. Do your research and shop wisely.