Tips to integrate smart home tech

Once something pursued by only the most tech-savvy of consumers, smart home technologies that enhance convenience, comfort and safety at home are becoming increasingly common.

Smart technologies have proliferated as the “Internet of Things” has grown to include home security and safety systems, lighting, entertainment, HVAC systems and even appliances.

Consumers are interested in a variety of technology combinations for their homes, but regardless of the applications, here are three key tips to keep in mind when integrating smart technologies into your home.

Ensure that various devices can talk to each other

This might seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring compatibility is vital to ensuring that convenience is not overcome by annoyance. One way of ensuring compatibility is choosing a single brand for as many applications as possible. Those pursuing several smart technologies might also look into investing in a central hub to coordinate and control various devices.

Many of the hubs available today offer additional features of their own, doubling as speakers, routers or displays. One major requirement for all these technologies is a fast and reliable internet and Wi-Fi connection.

Enable all security measures to prevent hacking

Adding smart devices to your home can increase the surface area that bad actors can use to hack equipment, increasing the importance of common-sense cybersecurity measures. Choosing smart devices with built-in security features and ensuring that these features are all turned on reduce these risks.

It is also important to replace default usernames and passwords with strong unique versions, enable dual and/or biometric authentication and keep your device software up to date through patches. Finally, if you are controlling your home devices from your phone, tablet or laptop, do not do so while using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.

Look for technologies to help control and manage home energy use

Smart home technologies can be a great way to control and manage home energy use. If you are looking into home automation, devices like smart thermostats, grid-controllable water heaters and schedulable or motion-controlled indoor and outdoor lighting can be smart ways to save money on your electric bill.

When used wisely and efficiently, smart home technologies can add great convenience to everyday life. Keep these tips in mind as you integrate smart devices into your home.

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