How to Turn Your House Into a Smart Home

Nov 25, 2021

If you’re want to figure out how to turn your house into a smart home, you certainly aren’t alone. Home automation devices add a new level of functionality and convenience to your space, allowing you to control a range of devices, even when you aren’t in the house.

But it’s also common to wonder, “Are smart homes safe?” After all, creating a smart home means connecting devices to a network, introducing some risk.

If you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of smart homes and how to turn your home into a smart home, here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits and Risks of Smart Home Technologies

There are many benefits and risks of smart home technologies. As a result, if you are trying to figure out how to turn your house into a smart home, it’s best to examine them all.

Benefits of Smart Home Technologies

smart home online security

Wanting to figure out how to turn your apartment into a smart home or asking questions like, “How do I turn my home into a smart home?” usually start once you become aware of the potential benefits of the technologies. Many new smart home technologies offer significant convenience, allowing you to control various home features either through a smartphone or simply by speaking commands.

For example, the ability to turn lights on in your home when you’re out later than you expected is a nice benefit. The same goes for remote thermostat control and connected door locks that you can open or lock even if you aren’t home.

Many smart security devices can make your home safer. For example, you can see who is at your door by checking the camera feed through your phone or review videos of incidents that occur when you’re away. Some detectors and sensors can contact the proper authorities or services if they sense a fire or break-in, allowing someone to respond even if you weren’t there to make the call.

Ultimately, the benefits of smart home technologies are typically pretty clear. However, they are only part of the broader picture.

Risks of Smart Home Technologies

smart home security

When it comes to the risks of smart home technologies, they usually fall into one of two categories. First, there are smart home privacy concerns.

Privacy issues can exist on multiple levels. Device manufacturers may share your data internally and with third parties, potentially without your explicit consent. If the proper privacy controls aren’t in place (or aren’t activated) on the device, the transmission may be interceptable, allowing others to monitor your activities.

Many smart devices with voice activation features are also always listening. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to respond to trigger words. However, some also create and store audio recordings even when the device isn’t actively being used, sitting in the manufacturer’s or service provider’s cloud unbeknownst to users.

In some cases, lax security protocols have allowed others to connect to and engage with devices. Some prime examples have been intruders connecting to smart cameras or speakers with listening capabilities, allowing them to watch or hear people in a space and even talk to them.

Second, there are network vulnerabilities. Any new technology for your home that connects to your wi-fi creates a potential entry point for hackers. If the device doesn’t have robust enough security measures, an unauthorized person may be able to use it to access your network and other connected devices.

While the network vulnerabilities can also lead to privacy concerns, other kinds of harm are possible. They may be able to disable devices, alter settings, upload viruses, use your network for criminal behavior, and more.

How to Turn Your House Into a Smart Home

smart home mobile phone controls items

If you are comfortable with the disadvantages of smart homes and are willing to take extra steps to safeguard yourself against the risks, then introducing new technology for your home is relatively simple. Most devices are easy to install and connect, allowing most homeowners to handle it themselves.

Here’s a look at some ways that you can turn your home into a smart home.

Security

When you first begin working out how to turn your house into a smart house, it isn’t a bad idea to focus on security. Connected cameras that record to the cloud and are viewable through your smartphone are a simple place to begin. The same goes for smart door locks that you can open and close remotely.

Lighting

Another great way to begin your smart home journey is with smart lighting. The ability to program lighting changes throughout the day and access each bulb while you’re away is incredibly convenient, particularly if you’re away from home for a period. Many smart bulbs can also shift between colors, allowing you to create your ideal lighting conditions for various scenarios.

Plugs

With smart plugs, you can turn various devices on and off remotely. Additionally, you can completely disconnect devices known for drawing power when idle, potentially leading to significant savings on your energy bill.

Detectors and Sensors

When it comes to safety, smart smoke detectors, water sensors, and similar devices are great additions to your home. Smart smoke detectors can contact the authorities if they sense a fire and send an alert to your phone. Water sensors can also send notifications if they detect a possible leak, as well as give you a way to shut your water off remotely to prevent flooding

Comfort

smart home heat

On the comfort side of the equation, a smart thermostat is a must-have smart device. You can program it to automatically adjust the temperature in your home during specific times of the day or change the setting using your smartphone. Some even learn your daily temperature preference patterns, allowing them to make adjustments according to your habits automatically.

If the air in your home tends to get too dry, you can find smart humidifiers. There are also smart air purifiers, giving you another way to keep your home comfortable and healthy.

Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment-oriented smart devices, you have a slew of options. Smart speakers and hubs can help you access information with just your voice and provide access to various kinds of streamable content, like music and podcasts. As a result, they’re typically the best way to begin your journey into the world of smart entertainment devices.

Smart televisions and streaming sticks are also stellar options. Along with being widely available, they allow you to control your viewing experience with greater ease.

Convenience

Smart robot vacuums and mops are excellent places to begin if you want to make your home easier to manage. You can program their paths and control them through an app, allowing you to clean your floors even when you’re away from home.

There are also numerous smart kitchen appliances. Smart ovens may offer more cooking methods than traditional versions, and they connect to companion apps that let you adjust temperatures and cooking times with ease. With a smart fridge, you may be able to open the door with your voice, making it easier to get items inside when your hands are full.

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