By Matthew Binns, Business Operations, Dial a Nerd
The “smart home” has become a buzz word over the past two years as fibre to the home providers have shown no signs of slowing down and thousands of homes are being connected every month, but what does it mean and how can you make your home smart?
The idea of the smart home has evolved from home automation where people spent huge amounts of money on systems to control every aspect of their home; but now thanks to technology & connectivity advancements, the cost has dropped and the definition has changed to include TV’s connected to streaming services, IP cameras and home alarms you can control from your phone as well as power management devices for solar and geysers.
The fundamental requirement of a smart home is a stable home network, which is crucial for everything to work seamlessly and for you to be able to control your systems yourself. Mesh Wi-Fi Systems are the latest development in home networking technology and devices like the Netgear Orbi and Ubiquiti AmpliFi wireless router ranges are becoming more and more popular within the home as their functionality far exceeds that of their predecessors.
With a stable network and the right products, your only limitation on what you can do within your home is your imagination and the device you are holding. With hundreds of devices available on the market, it can be difficult choosing what to add to your home. At Dial a Nerd we simplify technology and we’ve chosen 4 very different product examples which will make your home the most futuristic in your neighborhood!
The Netgear Orbi is a mesh wireless system. Wireless technology has improved dramatically in recent years and the latest access points use something called mesh technology with multiple radio antennas and intelligent systems to link each other and prioritize data to combat the strain of much larger data requirements (like streaming) and the interference from your neighbors and other tech devices in the home.
This type of solution will mean the Wi-Fi functionality of your router (provided by the ISP) is replaced with a Mesh device. You can then add additional mesh devices throughout the house to extend Wi-Fi and also link them directly to devices like TVs, DSTV or gaming consoles. Moving around the house and swapping between access points (automatically) is seamless.
Sonoff Smart Wifi Switches
The Sonoff switches can be used for many applications, whether you are wanting to replace an existing timer switch on a pool pump or to connect lights to come on during a set time. The Sonoff switches can be connected to your home network and then controlled through your smartphone or personal assistants like Alexa or Google Home. These devices are easy to set up and can be used for many different applications.
Xiaomi Mi Box S
The Mi Box is a smart TV box which is Google certified, this means that you can download your favourite streaming services like Netflix, ShowMax or DSTV Now directly from the Google Play store. The device runs the latest Android TV software and can stream all your favourite content in 4K Ultra HD. Furthermore, the device can act as your assistant with a dedicated Google Assistant button on the remote control. This allows you to control all your smart home devices, whether it is dimming your lights in your living room or playing your favourite music.
ESET Smart Security Premium
Everybody requires the latest antivirus to ensure their privacy but ESET Smart Security Premium is significantly more than that & one of the leading anti-virus solutions in the world. The premium package protects the user from threats and ransomware to ensure that their data is safe and secure but the added features offer significantly more with Smart home devices also protected through regular scans of the network and router for any unwanted attention. Importantly the bundled encryption is imperative if a device is stolen, ensuring your data is not also at risk. With software like this, your data will be safeguarded, and you and your family will be protected from losses far more than the price of the hardware that was taken.
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The average homes we support now can contain up to 10 connected devices, and sometimes significantly more; The router, access points, switches, phones, laptops, tablets, televisions, alarms, camera’s and the list carries on. With so many devices in your home being connected to the internet, security is becoming an ever-present threat and it is becoming more and more imperative that home security barriers are installed to limit the threat of unwanted eyes in your home network. So please take the time with your Nerd when we visit you and ensure you understand everything we are installing and that you can “self-diagnose” some problems (to a certain extent) to ensure that you trust what we are leaving you with; and as always, phone us as soon as you need us.