smart home

How to Make Your Smart Home a Safe Home

Are you holding out on getting any smart home devices? If so, you’re not alone, and you’re not paranoid either. Safety is a major concern with smart home devices, and it’s one that more people should probably consider.

The benefits of a smart home system are obvious. With smart systems come enhanced the convenience and even some safety features. Forgot to lock your doors? You can do it from traffic on your commute to work. Forgot to turn off the curling iron? You can do that too (as long as it’s plugged into a smart adapter).

Source:techhive.com

But with all this convenience comes a natural concern. What happens if someone hacks into your system?

At this point, we’ve all dealt with security breaches on some level. Someone hacking into your home would probably feel the most invasive.

So in this post, we’re going to cover a few tips for making your smart home a safe home.

Be careful about using cheaper devices

No one will begrudge you for wanting to save a little money, but this isn’t an area to go for the budget option. The big names in smart home devices follow standard security protocols like ZigBee, Z-Wave, or S2. There’s no guarantee that the cheaper ones do, and that may leave you exposed to security breaches.

If you want to stay safe, stick with known brands like Google, Amazon, Phillips, Nest, and Belkin. And stay away from the obscure brand names that you’ve never heard of.

Stay off public Wi-Fi

You might be tempted to check your home network from work or a café, but you should resist that temptation. You probably already know that this is dangerous, but it’s definitely worth a reminder. Because of what’s at stake, you don’t want to risk exposing your home network to hackers. And that’s exactly what happens when you access your smart home network from a public network.

Use smart passwords

Source:psafe.com

We’re all guilty of using names or other simple passwords because they’re easy to remember. And who wants to get locked out of their smart home? But this is the perfect time to get smarter about your password creation and management. Create a super-secure password and store it in a place where hackers can’t find it. Ideally, you could slip a piece of paper with the password into your wallet. Just don’t include any other identifiable information in case your wallet gets stolen. You can also use a password manager. Learn all about the best password managers of 2019 here.

Set up a guest network

Set up a guest network and password that you can share with friends and family when they come to visit. This way, no one will have access to the password for the wifi that connects to your IoT smart home devices.

Disable features you don’t need

Check the pre-installed features on your smart home devices. If there are features you aren’t using, turn them off. Things like remote access can be helpful, but they can also leave you more exposed to an attack. So if you aren’t using them, turn off the feature. It’s easy enough to turn it on if you need to later.

Update your software

Source:techdonut.co.uk

Software updates can definitely be annoying, but you don’t want to skip them for your smart home devices or home computers. Software updates contain security patches to help keep your devices safer. As hackers become more advanced, manufacturers learn how they are accessing their devices and find ways to stop them. That’s what these patches are for, so don’t skip them.

Smart home devices can be very safe if you follow the appropriate steps and purchase from well-known brands. But even the best security systems have their own weaknesses.

Best Smart Home Device Ideas on a Budget

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Making your home smart is no longer a break-the-bank affair as the smart home industry matures. From Amazon Echo speakers to Alarm Relay residential monitoring, there are several budget-friendly options that don’t compromise on quality.

Top 6 Affordable Smart Home Device Suggestions

Whether you want to do the basics or are looking to add to an existing setup, there is something for you in this top 6 list.

1. Smart Speaker – Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) – $49.99

source: theverge.com

The 3rd generation model of the Amazon Echo Dot is a considerable improvement upon the previous model in terms of design and speaker quality. Indeed, the audio output is superior to its close competitor – the Google Home Mini. Using just your voice, you can control a wide range of devices (Alexa is compatible with more than 10,000 smart home devices). Features such as Whisper Mode, Shopping Lists, Flash Briefings and Alexa Calling make the Echo Dot all the more, a worthy budget buy.

2. Smart Color Changing Lighting – Lifx Mini Wifi Smart Bulb – Under $50

source: techhive.com

The Lifx Mini is sufficiently small to fit into the majority of fixtures to replace the conventional light bulb. The bulbs can be linked to virtually any smart-home ecosystem from Google Assistant and Alexa to Samsung Smart Things and Microsoft Cortana. The fact that the bulb doesn’t require a specific bridge device or dedicated hub is indeed a major cost advantage. The entry-level LIFX MINI White is just $23.51.

3. Smart Thermostat – Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat – $64

source: thegadgetflow.com

The Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat is easy to install and program. Though a no-frills product in comparison to the Ecobee or Nest, it does its job of monitoring and managing the heating and cooling system. You can run the system using its touch screen or the Honeywell Total Connect comfort app with it connected to your domestic Wi-Fi network. The thermostat is compatible with a wide range of smart home systems which is a great perk for the price it is available at. One con worth mentioning though is that you need a C-wire.

4. Smart CleanerRoborock S5 Robotic Vacuum and Mop Cleaner – $546.99

source: techhive.com

Irrespective of whether you live in a large house or a studio apartment, the Roborock S5 delivers an amazing range of functionality for its low price. The cleaner utilizes a smart sensor navigation map to plan and execute the optimal route for cleaning around your home. Other noteworthy features are that it sweeps and mops in addition to just vacuuming, and its battery has a running time of 150 minutes. With its companion Mi Home App, you can save maps and do scheduled a cleaning. You can also set up a barrier and no-go-zones. The zoned clean-up feature enables you to position one or more boxes over the map and order the Roborock S5 to clean just those areas following which it returns to its dock.

5. Smart Plug – Kasa HS 107 (2-outlets) – $34.9

source: kasasmart.com

The HS 107 Kasa Smart Plug enables its user to control two devices individually or at the same time from anywhere with a single smart plug. Thus, it is suitable for controlling kitchen appliances, bedroom lamps, an iron, and so on. You can schedule the device to switch on or off if you’re not at home or even set a scene to manage many devices using just one button. Combining the smart plug with a smart home speaker such as Google Assistant or Alexa enables voice control.

6. Smart CookingAnova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano | Bluetooth | 750W – $98.99

source: kinjadeals.theinventory.com

The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano with Bluetooth makes it possible to prepare a meal of restaurant quality at home and hands-free. All you have to do is attach the cooker to a pot, pour water and put in the food you wish to cook, in a glass jar or sealed bag. You just have to press a button to start cooking. The cooker’s timer and accurate temperature control enables you to relax for a while and leave the cooking to the smart device. To control the device from your Android or iPhone smart device, download the Anova app. The cooker’s Bluetooth connection makes it possible to control the device from an amazing maximum distance of 30 feet away.

So as you can see, you don’t need thousands of dollars to create your very own smart home. You can always upgrade to more advanced options in future as and when you feel the need.