We’ve finally arrived at the future that was promised in the 50s! Back in those days there were lots of predictions about what the world would look like in 50 or 60 years. Mainly it involved flying cars and space travel for everybody.
But, one thing that was right on the money was how we would have smart homes where everything could be controlled by the touch of a finger and even remotely. With the Internet of Things, it is finally possible. Not only that, but it is not nearly as expensive as it would seem.
Reviewing outdoor cameras that can automatically alert you that somebody is in your yard or front porch shows that they are very affordable and accessible to everybody.
Is it worth it though? There are pros and cons to everything, including having a smart home. Our opinion is that these gadgets do make life easier and are worth it, but it does pay to take a closer look at what to expect.
Pro – Increased security
One of the biggest pros is that you can keep your home secure with a number of smart systems. It starts with a smart lock.
When these locks are connected by Bluetooth to your phone or computer, you can give access to people, and take access away. This is helpful if you want to have Amazon leave your package in the house, or if you have a pet that needs care while you are away. A dog walker, for example.
Then there are the outdoor cameras that can record anytime motion in front of it is detected. You can even be alerted on your phone so you can look right away and see what is happening there. If you have porch pirates or live in an area where house break ins are frequent, then this is essential for keeping your home safe.
Not only will you be alerted, but also thieves can be depending on the system. At night, the area will light up and a message can be announced that they are being recorded. This will send most crooks scurrying away.
Con – Less security
The flipside of having your house more secure is that you are also potentially opening yourself up to some security weaknesses. Since all of these things are connected and managed by the internet, hackers may be able to get into your system.
Once they do, then they can enter with ease or even monitor your house to know when people are not home. There are ways to protect yourself, however.
One way to stay secure is to not only create a unique name and password for your router, but to also hide it from view. If somebody is roaming with a Wifi detector in your neighborhood they won’t see it come up on their list of networks.
You should also make sure that you download and install any updates that happen for your devices. When you register them online then you will receive patches that usually close a vulnerability to hackers.
Pro – Energy savings
Using things like smart thermostats can save you money by being much more energy efficient. They are not only programmable to work when you need the A/C or heat the most, but many use AI to automatically turn systems on and off based on your usage history.
Even your lawn can be watered more efficiently when you use smart sprinklers. You have far more control when you use these smart devices that remember when you need them most. Some can even use the weather forecast to determine if and when they need to be used.
Really the only disadvantage to using these smart systems for your home is the vulnerability to malicious attacks. But, if you use some preventive measures, then you can keep your home secure and take advantage of this technology for an easier and more efficient life.