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The Ultimate Guide to the Smart HomeThe Ultimate Guide to the Smart Home

The Ultimate Guide to the Smart Home

Fall 2018

You don’t need to be an expert or commission a professional to get the smart home you’ve always dreamed of. The Ultimate Guide to the Smart Home is brought to you by the tech experts at TechHive and PCWorld, and provides reviews and buying advice on all of the top consumer-level smart home gear. From smart speakers to security cameras to smart thermostats, we’ve got you covered!

Land:
United States
Språk:
English
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IDG
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4 Utgaver

I DENNE UTGAVEN

9 min.
a basic introduction to the smart home

One way to build out a smart home is to buy lots of components—sensors, smart bulbs, security cameras, speakers, and whatnot—and connect them all to a hub that helps them communicate with each other and with you, via your smartphone. But let’s be real: That can involve spending a lot of money and investing a lot of time. And for some people, it’s just overkill. If your wants and needs are simpler, just a few relatively inexpensive products will deliver most of the conveniences a high-end smart home can deliver, and on a much more modest budget. And if you make sure those smart home products are compatible with each other, you’ll build a solid foundation that you can expand over time. The key is knowing which smart home products don’t…

7 min.
how to choose the right diy smart home system

Before you start to build out a smart home, the first decision you need to make is whether convenience is more valuable than security. Many of the systems you’ll see when you go shopping will emphasize one or the other, even if they offer elements of both. If you’re more interested in the fun and convenience of a modern home technology—having lights turn on and off with voice commands, for example, or having a sprinkler system that operates in concert with the local weather—you’ll want a smart home system. But if you’re more concerned about being alerted to a break-in, or a disaster such as a fire or a burst water pipe, you’ll be happier with a home security system—perhaps one with a service that can dispatch first responders on your behalf. We’ve…

8 min.
how to choose the right diy home security system

One of the first decisions you’ll make before building out your own smart home is weighing security features against convenience features. Most of the packages you’ll encounter will emphasize one or the other, even if they offer elements of both. If you’re mostly interested in being alerted to a break-in, or a disaster such as a fire or a burst water pipe, you’ll be happier with a home security system—perhaps one with a service that can dispatch first responders on your behalf. But if you’re more interested in the fun and convenience of a modern home technology—having lights turn on and off with voice commands, for example, or having a sprinkler system that operates in concert with the local weather—you’ll want a smart home system. We’ve produced two stories that will help you…

9 min.
installing a smart home system: do it yourself, or hire a pro?

As you consider how to build out your smart home, you’ll be faced with four early decisions: Do you want a simple or a sophisticated system (see page 6)? Do you want a system that focuses on convenience (see page 12)? Or do you want one that emphasizes home security (see page 17)? The articles linked in the previous three questions will help you answer them. In this story, we’ll answer a fourth important question, along with a related one: Do you want to do the work yourself, or hire a professional? And if you take the DIY approach and include security features, do you want a professional to monitor it? Smart home equipment manufacturers have made it supremely easy to do the work yourself, even if you’re not an enthusiast.…

8 min.
best smart home systems for a connected domicile

From smart light bulbs and thermostats that think for themselves to Bluetooth door locks, wireless security cameras, and all manner of sensors, today’s home technology can sound awfully sophisticated while actually being a messy hodgepodge of gizmos and apps. Whether you call it home automation or the connected home, installing all this stuff in your house is one thing. Getting it to work together smoothly and with a single user interface can be something entirely different. There are essentially two types of smart home controllers that can tie a home's disparate smart components together into a cohesive system. There's the complete smart home system that can do it all: Controlling everything from your lights and HVAC system to smart entry locks and motorized window shades. These systems typically also provide security,…

4 min.
best all-around smart home system: samsung smartthings hub

SmartThings isn’t the earliest entrant to the DIY smart home market—it’s predated by companies such as HomeSeer (go.techhive.com/hmsr), Insteon (go.techhive.com/istn), and Vera (go.techhive.com/vera)—but its hub has gained the kind of mainstream market acceptance that has eluded its elders (all of which are still around). SmartThings has evolved considerably since it crowd-funded its way to a $1.2 million launch budget in 2012. Even after Samsung acquired the company in 2014, the SmartThings hub remained a scrappy product that eschewed the razzle dazzle of some of its competitors. The second-generation hub reviewed here, which arrived in 2015, was a mostly cosmetic update (apart from the welcome addition of battery backup and video-streaming support) accompanied by a spruced-up mobile app. Samsung recently announced a third-generation SmartThings hub (go.techhive.com/sthu), along with a mesh Wi-Fi router…