Creating a Smart Home: Your Introductory Guide

Smart home technology represents a sci-fi vision come to life. We’ve all spent decades imagining a world where we can ask our robot butler to turn out the lights or turn up the heat, and now that reality is here. Unfortunately, it’s also super intimidating. There’s a lot to learn about setting up a smart home, and somehow none of the old TV shows covered the nitty-gritty details like syncing your devices or setting up a secure network.

Never fear: Your smart home dreams are within reach. Once you’ve found the perfect home with Preferred Realty, you can use this guide to turn it into your perfect smart home. Here’s how to get started:

Make Safety a Foundation

If those sci-fi shows wanted to paint a narrative of “smart home gone wrong,” it usually boiled down to your devices growing sentient and, of course, evil along the way. The real dangers of smart home tech are far less exciting but honestly more disturbing.

The more devices in your home you have connected to the internet, the more points of vulnerability you introduce into your life. This means every app-connected washing machine or smart TV makes it that much easier for a bad actor to control your devices and get onto your network. The results of this can manifest as anything from prankster-like behavior (such as turning your TV on and off) to far more dangerous acts (such as hacking into your home surveillance to monitor the best time for a break-in).

We don’t say this to scare you — only to emphasize the importance of digital security. Simple security measures go a long way toward preventing these things. For starters, always secure your WiFi network with a truly random password. Use a password generator rather than coming up with something yourself — humans are very good at creating patterns and, therefore, shockingly bad at random password generation. You should also set up a hidden network for your smart devices. These aren’t completely inaccessible, but they’re much less vulnerable since they won’t show up in “available network” searches.

Start Simple

Many people’s first big mistake with smart home technology is doing too much, too fast. Not only will this put a massive project on your shoulders, but your initial ideas about what you want out of a smart home might be wrong. Starting small — for example, with a smart hub and one or two connected devices — is a better bet.

Pay attention to how you use your devices, and think critically before bringing new tech into your home. Smart home tech is expensive, after all, and you really want to be sure you’ll actually use a device before you bring it in. For example, a smart coffee maker might be a great fit for someone who wants to schedule coffee so it’s ready first thing in the morning, but a bad fit for the manual coffee enthusiast. Building up your smart home network gradually gives you the opportunity to think about these kinds of things.

Focus on Tech That Works For You

It’s easy to picture the fun stuff — blasting your favorite song via voice command, for example — when you imagine your smart home, but there are some extremely practical benefits to smart home tech. For example, you can use a smart thermostat to lower your heating and cooling costs. Smart laundry machines, which send you notifications when they’re done, are perfect for people who habitually forget to move the wash into the dryer.

While you’re outfitting your smart home, you’ll find that these practical features quickly become more valuable than the super exciting stuff that got you into smart home tech in the first place. Make no mistake — a finished to-do list and a manageable utility bill are thrilling in their own way. Good luck building up your smart network. That bright, shiny future is right in front of you.

Need to find the perfect home to smarten up? Get in touch with Preferred Realty to find an agent you can trust.

By Alex Robbins

Photo Credit: Pexels

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