Smart homes are convenient, eco-friendly, and trendy. But the concept is often associated with luxury and technical complexities. When people see that you use your smart garage door opener with Alexa, they usually consider it to be something from the world of wealthy and tech-savvy homes. However, this is actually an easy-to-install device that almost anyone can handle.
The reality of making your home smart is not complicated at all. So in this article, we will share our top 8 tips on how to make your house a smart home easily and within budget. Let's get started!
Invest in a Reliable Network
The primary need of a smart home is a fast and stable Wi-Fi network. Without it, your smart devices will lag, and the system won't function smoothly. So, to enjoy the best, find the best network provider in your area and invest in it.
Generally, 10 to 12 smart gadgets require 5 Mbps of internet. If these devices have cameras, add another 5 Mbps. This means you should be aiming for at least 25-Mbps internet speed to ensure smooth operation.
Map Out Your Smart Home
It may seem logical to get as many devices as possible to create a smart home. But that's the wrong approach. If you do that, you will end up spending too much and still not be satisfied with your smart house.
So, before you invest, sit down and decide what devices you truly need. Some examples include:
- Smart TV
- Smart Fridge
- Smart Thermostat
- Smart Security Cameras
- Smart Door Lock, etc
List down the required smart devices based on urgency. This will help you budget your finances and build a smart home that eases your life. You can upgrade your smart home from time to time while staying within the budget.
Get a Smart Speaker
We have mentioned this smart device separately because it is more of a tool. The smart speaker (commonly known as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant) listens to your commands and responds accordingly.
For example, you can shut down your garage doors. You can also ask it to adjust the lighting and play your favorite song when you come home. All this makes the smart home integrated and smooth.
You can also command the speaker to handle different smart devices at once instead of having to control each one individually through the app. But make sure that all of your smart devices have unique names.
If you tell Alexa to turn one device off and two devices have the same name, the system will shut both of them. This can create a problem.
Have a Backup
Although multiple smart devices will work on the Wi-Fi network, there will come a time when the load will be too much. It's especially true for large households where internet usage is excessive.
You must have a backup to avoid glitches in your smart home network. And by backup, we mean you will need a smart hub device. It connects directly to the router and frees up the Wi-Fi for other technologies.
Another type of backup that you will need is power. Most smart devices are battery-powered, but it's best to have them hardwired too. This will ensure your smart home stays functional even when batteries fail or there's a power breakdown.
Strengthen the Security
All smart devices require a password. Since these devices will be operating in your home, it's important to set up a very strong and complex password. You don't want anyone to guess, as this can put the whole home at risk.
Here are some tips for setting a strong password:
- Use characters and numbers together.
- Use at least 12 characters.
- Don't use your name, birthdate, and other personal information.
If it gets hard to remember passwords, note them down in a notebook that you can keep safe. Never share the password with someone else or note it in another mobile application.
Keep Your Devices Updated
All smart devices are regularly updated by the manufacturers. They will receive new features to improvise the performance and make the user experience better. Although most devices receive these updates automatically, you may have to do it manually too. So, make sure your smart devices are updated with the latest firmware and features.
Geofencing is a feature that senses when you are leaving and entering the home using your smartphone's location. So, if you are coming to your house, it activates the necessary smart devices like a thermostat to make the arrival better.
Similarly, if you are leaving the house, it deactivates unnecessary devices like lights and thermostats so that no energy is wasted. This keeps your energy bills down, conserves energy, and also saves you the trouble of manually switching off everything.
Have a Troubleshooting Guide Ready
Last but not least, always have a good and comprehensive troubleshooting guide ready for your smart home. It doesn't matter how smooth and flawless your system is. The truth is that glitches do happen, and you need to stay prepared to handle them for a secure smart home system. Luckily, there are several guides available online!