Smart homes and speakers and locks and assistants – what is going on? If you’re still struggling with the basics and it all seems like just too much to keep up with, don’t worry because you are not alone. This emerging technology is moving so fast that it’s difficult for anyone but the manufacturers to really have a grasp on everything. But that doesn’t mean that it is too complicated to figure out and utilize. While it can be intimidating, smart home integration can be as simple as purchase, install, enjoy.
If you’re interested about smart homes but embarrassed by your lack of knowledge, here are answers to some of the most basic questions that can help get you started.
What even is a smart home?
A smart home refers to the devices and processes that ‘connect’ your home. The basic devices use your Internet connection to connect to Cloud information databases, to connect to apps, and to connect to other smart home devices. All these connections are meant to give you more control over the lighting, locks, temperature and more in your home. With smart home devices, you can use remotes to control things, you can set up automation so that things adjust through triggers, and even use voice control to make things happen.
Do I have to buy a whole big smart home system?
The short answer here is, no, absolutely not. If you want one, you can certainly get one but all that is needed for most basic smart home devices is the device itself and an active Wi-Fi connection. So people choose to buy hubs, which plug into routers. In a nutshell, hubs allow you to connect and control all your home devices, even if they aren’t from the same brand. Hubs are not necessary, however, for you to use things like smart plugs, smart locks, video doorbells and smart home speakers. You can easily buy individual products and control them independently.
Do I need a professional installation package?
This will really depend on which products you are going to install. You might need professional help if you are installing new, smart, light fixtures or anything else that might involve rewiring around your home. In general, though, most smart home items are ready to use after a few simple connection steps. Home improvement stores can offer installation help if needed, and even online retailers like Amazon offer some installation services when purchasing smart home products.
Will I be paying additional or monthly fees to use smart home products?
Again, this depends on which services and features you want to use. As an example, smart video doorbells and security cameras might charge a fee if you want to keep your video streams available on the Cloud, on demand, for extended periods of time. You may also get charged a fee if you are adding security monitoring support. Very few individual smart home products require services that include fees.
Are there any other questions you might still be pondering? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to address them!