The internet is changing the way how we connect to the devices we use. Controlling your smart home devices with a remote was only limited to television once, but now, you can control your TV, heating and door locks, lighting, and garage doors, with the help of a remote. All of these devices are connected to the remote over the internet and this gives you total control of your home. If you subscribe to any of the tempting internet deals offered by providers like CenturyLink for instance, you can enjoy high-speed internet connectivity for an economical rate. Once you have a steady and fast-speed internet connection, you can make the most out of your smart home devices.
Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at how to use smart home devices and if is it safe to keep & secure your smart home devices connected to the internet.
What are smart home devices?
Smart home devices have small computers that are connected to the internet and are enabled to be remotely controlled. These devices come in different sizes; they can be as small as a coffee maker or as large as your heating system. What makes smart home devices different from the traditional television is that they can use internet protocol to link up and are connected through a hub, which could either be your smartphone or the router. These devices can also collect and store information about your usage, habits, and preferences.
The Smart Home Device Without Internet
Most activities of smart home devices need the internet to perform but they can also do without. Smart smoke alarms, smart locks, and smart thermostats do not need an internet connection for you to control them, but the main reason that makes the smart home concept exciting is that you can control various devices remotely. This would not be possible without an internet connection.
Advantages of Smart Home Devices
- You can easily manage your home devices from one place, which adds to the convenience factor. All you need to do is use one app on your smartphone or tablet, and you will be able to manage countless functions and devices installed throughout your homes.
- Incorporating security and surveillance features in your smart home network can help to tighten your home security. For instance, home automation systems can detect motions throughout your home, control automated door locks, and manage other tangible security measures.
- The power of being able to control your home’s functions from a distance should never be underestimated. You can condition your house to become cooler on a hot summer’s day in just enough time before you get home. Or if you are at the grocery store, you can have your over start to preheat.
- There is also an advantage of increased energy efficiency. For example, you can have control overheating and cooling system in your home. The programmable thermostat installed will learn your schedule and temperature preferences, and then gradually activate the best temperature setting throughout the day. Lights can also change according to the time of the day; it can turn off when you’re about to leave the room or sleep, and it can also turn on when it turns dusk outside the home.
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Secure Your Smart Home Devices
With any increased internet-based convenience comes an increased risk of threats to your cyber security, that fact is inevitable. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to secure your smart home devices.
- Your router is like a doorway to your smart home device’s control. To keep it secure, make sure its firmware is kept updated at all times.
- Do not keep the router’s default name. Change it to an unusual name that is not associated with you or your home address. Set the password to something unique and untraceable.
- Choose the highest level of encryption.
- Have a separate Wi-Fi connection for your devices. Many modern routers have the option to set up a guest or secondary network. You can create a secondary router for your relatives, friends, and other guests, while your devices will be connected to the primary one.
- Smart home devices also give you the option to control them from anywhere on the planet, but if you only intend to use these devices on your Wi-Fi connection, then there is no need to keep the remote access enabled.
- Your router may have its built-in firewall but it might not be sufficient enough. You must get a next-generation firewall (NGFW) that is an integrated network platform that adds to the security functionalities of the traditional firewall.
Technological advancement has led to the sheer amount of convenience individuals can experience with the help of smart home devices. However, even with an efficient means to secure our homes, there are risks involved when connected to the internet and individuals need to vary of it.