If you’ve decided that 2020 is the year you’re going to turn your house into a smart home or add a whole lot more internet-connected gear into your property, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to buying gadgets.
In recent years, this industry has exploded, and not only are there more devices to choose from than ever before, but prices are consistently coming down, too. However, for the optimal results, it’s also necessary to think strategically when setting up your smart home. There are some common mistakes many people make that you’ll want to try to avoid.
Failing to Secure Devices Against Hackers
With so many hackers targeting smart homes because they know all those internet-connected devices give them an “in,” it’s amazing how many people don’t properly secure their homes.
When you start filling your property with smart gear, you get all the benefits these products are designed for, but you also get some potential downsides. The increased security risk is one of the biggest.
As such, take steps to keep hackers out. For example, utilize a comprehensive home network security system that will protect all your devices at once from digital attacks. Make sure your Wi-Fi is password-protected, change product usernames and logins from the default settings they come with, and keep all software updated.
Buying Cheap, Nasty Products Over Quality Ones
You must take care when initially buying your smart-home gadgets, too. While understandably, most people have certain budgets available to them to spend on this kind of technology, it’s also necessary to choose wisely and have a focus on quality.
Although there are many cheaper products on the market now, many of these, unfortunately, aren’t worth the money.
Long-term, cheap and nasty gear can end up costing you more than quality goods would have in the first place. Not only do they tend to break more, need repairs, and leave you more vulnerable to hacker attacks, but they also don’t generally do their jobs properly either. Therefore, try not to be so concerned with pricing that you sacrifice quality.
When researching products, don’t look purely at prices. Instead, read reviews about items you’re interested in and focus on people’s comments about things like ease of use, reliability, the longevity of goods, and how often parts fail and need replacing. If you can’t afford a quality option straight away, it’s best to wait for a while and save up so you can buy a better product for your needs.
Spending Money on Gadgets You Don’t Need
On the other hand, another common mistake people make when setting up a smart home is going all out and buying more things than they truly need or want. There’s no point spending money on numerous gadgets that all do the same job or that you have no use for, after all.
Before you shop for smart-home gear, think about what you want internet-connected devices to do for you. What kinds of functions are you after, and why? Consider what you might want right now and what your future needs may be.
Then, investigate whether you can buy multi-functional gear that will handle many jobs in one. Also, strike off any items you do not need, so you don’t get tempted to buy them anyway when in the shops and faced with a persistent salesperson.
Buying Products that Don’t Talk to Each Other
To get a smoothly operating smart-home setup, you must buy products that “talk” to each other properly.
However, many people make the mistake of buying gear based on special deals or whatever products happen to be considered must-haves at the time. Doing this can lead to you outlaying on multiple gadgets you can’t properly use. You may also have to spend considerable money buying connectors and other products to try to make your gear compatible.
Thankfully, today many manufacturers make their gadgets as flexible as they can, so they’ll work with other smart-home brands and be easier to connect.
The popular range of Nest products, for instance, works well with Google and Amazon’s smart speakers and many other products, so setup is simple.
To make life easier for yourself, always look into how compatible a new product you’re considering will be with other brands and items you own. Don’t just assume that because a device is brand new on the market that it’s designed to be flexible.
If you can’t find the relevant information on packaging, check with salespeople or get in contact with brands directly to confirm details. Reviews and forums can also be the place to find what you need. Most product packaging should have specifications related to compatibility, though.
Turning your house into a smart home is fun and exciting, but do be careful to avoid some common mistakes if you want the process to be as smooth and pain-free as possible.