Remember 20 years ago when you actually had to call someone to have a conversation, had to make sure no one was on the house phone to use the internet or you had to use an actual key to enter your home? That sure was a simpler time, huh?
It is human nature to look for a simpler way to do things. The only problem with this is sometimes simpler isn’t safer. Or is it? That is the main question a person considering using home automation, or smart home items, should ask themselves before they go through the effort of installing products throughout their home. There are several factors to research before making your decision. Lucky for you, we did some of our own research to share with you. Here are the pros and cons of making your home ‘smart’.
Pro: Energy Savings
Anyone considering going the smart home route likely has this as their number one motivation. Being able to program the temperature in your home to vary based on different times of day can definitely put money back in your pocket. Whenever the house is empty, you can adjust the thermostat from your smartphone, even after you’ve left the house. Additionally, you can control lighting in the home with some smart home devices. This can also work into safety, which will be touched on later.
Upfront, these devices can be fairly expensive. Over time, it may pay off in energy bill savings, but the actual savings can’t be guaranteed and may vary. There could also be additional costs if you choose to have a professional do your installation for you. And, it gets pretty expensive to keep your equipment up to date.
Pro: Convenience and Customization
Did you know you can vary in the type and number of products you use in your smart home, allowing you to pick and choose items that are worth it to you? Maybe you’re more interested in the thermostat on your phone than being able to see who is at the door or maybe the door camera is something you want but you don’t care so much for the ability to turn lights on and off while you’re not at home. These are all convenience items and you have the ability to add and remove them at any time.
Con: The Technology Itself
This may be your biggest concern. It may all seem too complicated. The purpose of the smart home products isn’t to make things difficult. They are designed to make things simpler, right? With that said, it could still be a battle to make them operational. The devices in your home connect to your home WiFi. And, if you have connectivity issues, the devices won’t work with the remote settings on your phone. There may also be compatibility issues with your devices connecting to your phone. Before you make any purchases, you should check the compatibility of the smart technology to any devices you want connected and make sure your Wifi is fully functional.
There are many ways smart technology can be a benefit, but none may be more important than added security. The ability to turn on lights remotely when no one is home can make it look like someone is home. A doorbell camera can allow you to see who is at the door when you’re away from home as well. These features could ease any concerns you may have about being away from home for extended periods of time. How different would the movie “Home Alone” be in today’s world?!
We are aware that we just told you added security was a benefit, but as we know all too well, technology has its dangers as well. Hackers will attempt to access your information any way they can. Even if they get basic information, such as when your lights are turned on and off, they can use this to attempt to determine when you are, and aren’t, home.
Fear not! There are ways to protect your information. Since these devices are connected to your WiFi, making sure that your WiFi has necessary privacy and protection settings turned on is one way to protect your home. If you are not certain if this has been done, tech squads nationwide can help you make sure you are protected.
Since you are connecting these devices to your phones and tablets, making sure to have a password attached on these devices as well, can help protect you and your loved ones. Learning everything you can about your devices can help protect you as well. Some have quirky features that you may not know about. If these features concern you, see if there are ways to turn them off.
In conclusion, we’ll leave the ultimate decision to you. Are you tech savvy? For some, this may be the best thing they do. Others may find it a complete waste of money. Will you actually use these devices to their full ability? Once you have answered these questions you should feel much more informed and ready to make a decision.