With the holiday season over and 2021 chugging ahead at full speed, many of us are getting back to basics and looking to put our best foot forward in the new year. Between cleaning, organizing, and learning new things, now is the time to explore your full potential. For many, this includes streamlining their tech and getting their homes in order. Home automation is a popular way to boost efficiency and add convenience to daily living. Home automation systems run the gamut from straightforward, plug-and-play devices like the Amazon Echo to homemade systems utilizing mini computers like Raspberry Pi. In this technical support tips feature, we explore home automation and the possibilities available for your home.
Home Automation is What You Make of it
Like many aspects of technology and home improvement, the degree to which homeowners utilize tools for home automation exists on a spectrum. While some people maintain fully-automated and integrated electronic locks, lighting, and climate control, others simply cherry-pick one or two features that make sense for their lifestyle. If you’re interested in home automation, but you’re uncertain about how extensive you’d like to go, consider starting with an Amazon Echo, a device from the Google Home lineup, or a smart doorbell like Nest or Ring. If you like what you see, consider integrating some of the following:
- Lighting: smart bulbs, switches, and lighting timers
- Cameras: nannycams and doorbell cameras
- Climate control: smart thermostats and vents
- Security: electronic locks, door controls, sensors, and alarm systems
Home Automation Technical Support Basics: You’ll Likely Need Mesh WiFi
If you’re interested in widespread home automation, there are a few technical support basics you’ll need to consider. Many devices use WiFi to communicate with you (and each other). While a range extender for your router may work for some applications, many homeowners with smart home features go with mesh WiFi, also called whole-home WiFi. With these systems, your modem is connected to a router, which then connects to a series of nodes placed around your home to provide more extensive WiFi coverage.These items can be purchased via Amazon, BestBuy, or other retailers with these products.
Smart Home Systems and Hubs
Amazon, Google, Apple, and a few other companies produce devices designed to bridge the gaps between you and all of your home automation devices. Smart light bulbs, thermostats, garage doors, security systems, and speakers can all be connected through things like an Amazon Echo, Google Home Max, or another hub. This allows homeowners to control all of their devices with a single visual interface or voice assistant.
Don’t Forget About Security and Technical Support Needs
While it may seem unnecessary to protect your smart fridge from hackers, security is vital for any automated home system. Without securing your WiFi and devices, bad actors can essentially enter your home, playing whatever music they want, unlocking doors, or gaining access to security cameras. Home automation is an excellent way to make your daily life more efficient and convenient, but you need to ensure that your system is secure and updated.
Do You Have Technical Support Questions? Ask the Team at Howard Tech Advisors!
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.