Where do you start? There are so many products to choose from. But, before you get carried away by the hundreds of online retailers. Here are 5 things you need to hear before you buy any smart home products.
Just To Recap
Before we dive into the advice. Here are a couple of basics about smart homes. A smart home is the collective network of smart devices in your home. Your smart devices will connect to the Wi-Fi. It will also connect to each other through the internet. This technology is called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Hopefully, you have a wireless internet solution. Most (if not all) smart devices connect to your Wi-Fi network. It’s important to have a sufficient internet solution at home. Your device’s smart features will only work once it connects to the internet. There’s no use in paying top dollar for a smart device when you can’t use its smart features.
Every new smart device will add a heavier load to your current network. Also, make sure that you’ll have enough bandwidth available on your network to carry the load.
Secure Your Network
These appliances send and receive data over the internet, just like computers. There is a small problem with some of these devices. Many smart devices don’t have their own antivirus software. It’s very easy to hack these devices. There are many accounts of smart security products that have been hacked.
Secure your network with Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). It masks your network. It’s much harder for hackers to intercept your information. Any device on your network can now connect to the internet. The possibility of being hacked is much less now.
Unique Usernames and Passwords
These units are mass produced. To cut time and costs, manufacturers cut corners. They issue these devices with standard usernames and passwords. It’s possible that hackers know these user details. It puts your product at risk of being hacked. Thus, change the username and password as soon as you receive it.
Your smart devices will log onto the internet. It is wise to use the same password practices you would with computers and smartphones. Don’t reuse passwords. Change passwords often, especially if you believe your security has been breached.
Check Device Intercommunication
Your smart home is the collective network of smart devices and appliances. It is very important to ensure the intercommunication of your devices. Without this feature, you’ve just bought yourself overly expensive appliances.
Stick To A Brand
Buying products from the same range or brand will definitely help a long way. You can always do your homework and buy differing brands. Just take extra care to know whether these products will connect to each other.
Consider Smart Assistants
Smart assistants are third-party platforms. It acts as mediators between your different smart devices. It creates a virtual platform from which you can operate all your smart home devices. It’s very convenient to have access to every device in one place. Smart assistants can be standalone units sold separately in stores. Or it can be as simple as downloading an app. It may cost something, though.
Disable Any Unused Features
Not knowing the capability of your products can be dangerous. Read the manual. Understand the product features.
Disable Internet Connectivity
Now, it may be possible that you’ve bought a smart appliance. But, you won’t use its internet access capabilities. Make sure to switch those features off. As mentioned earlier, this product will still be at risk of being hacked. It’s pretty obvious that you won’t secure your smart devices against hackers seeing that you aren’t interested in its IoT capability. Switch any of these features off and close the door on cyber attacks.
Switch Off Voice Control Purchases
Some smart home products facilitate voice control purchases. But, anyone in your house will be able to buy things by voice command. So, switch off these features to stop your kids from ordering their favorite toys.
Knowledge Is Power
You’ve been empowered with some great advice. Go and buy the smart home products of your dreams. It will help make your life easier, healthier and in some ways even cheaper.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article was written and sent to me by Ana Bera – a 5’3 ray of sunshine and chocolate addict. As the co-founder of SafeAtLast, she uses every opportunity she gets to learn from others and then share the knowledge and generate fun and informative content. She is a Toronto born world traveler, hungry for knowledge and ready to make a difference in the marketing world.
You can connect with Ana on LinkedIn on https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana-bera-7b1583100/