A connected home is a home that’s easier to use. Whenever you want to do something, you can usually do it with the touch of a button or even with your voice. You can control everything from your phone or tablet if you decide you want to automate everything and create a smart home. Many people are starting to make their home smarter, loving the convenience and the fun of the gadgets. If you want a better-connected home, it’s easy to get started, and it doesn’t have to be that expensive. Many gadgets are very affordable and easy to install.
Make Sure You Have a Strong Internet Connection
Before you begin, it’s essential to make sure you have a great internet connection. You need to have a strong connection all over your house. The first thing you might consider is changing your provider, which can immediately improve your connection. If you check out http://www.verizonfiosdeals.com/double-plays.html, you can get fast fiber optic broadband and bundle it with TV or phone service. You can also get gadgets to extend your connect to different areas of your home if you find you have blind spots. Staying with the same provider but changing your package can work too.
Get a Virtual Assistant
If you want to have help doing day-to-day tasks, you don’t have to hire a PA. A virtual voice assistant can help you out. It can do anything from telling you what the weather is like to ordering some new clothes for you. For example, there’s Amazon’s Alexa assistant, which you can use through their Echo connected speakers or with other devices by different brands. Whenever you need to know something, and you don’t have your hands free, you can just ask. You can get your assistant to start playing music for you, turn on the lights, and much more, depending on what you connect it to.
Create a Connected Music Setup
When people start thinking about making their home more connected, one of the first things they want to do is often set up some speakers and a music system. Lots of people listen to music through various channels, from streaming services and music files on their computer to record players. A system like Sonos can help to connect everything and make it easy to play from several different sources from one device. You can use your phone or tablet to play straight from your device or select a streaming service. Many speakers will have an input to allow you to connect things like record players and CD players in addition to being wireless.
Smart Control of Your Lighting and Heat
If you want to control the basics of your home, smart lighting and heating can make everything so easy. If you forget to turn down the heating when you go out, you can do it from your home. Or if you want to turn off the lights without getting out of bed, that’s easy to do too. It’s not hard to put in smart lights or to get a smart thermostat, and it won’t cost you much either. You can also get it all connected it a hub or virtual assistant to control it all from one place. Have a look at http://www.homedepot.com/b/Heating-Venting-Cooling-Thermostats-WiFi-Thermostats/N-5yc1vZc5kl for some thermostat options.
Cast Streamed Videos to Your TV
If you like streaming TV and movies, there are a few ways to connect a computer or other device to your TV. One way is to simply use a wire connection. However, you have other options if that’s not convenient. The Google Chromecast offers one way to do it, allowing you to cast what you’re watching to your TV wirelessly. You can get a standard one or an HD one that gives you a faster and stronger connection. Audio Chromecasts are also available for listening to music.
Bring Your System Together
If you end up with lots of different apps to control various smart gadgets, it can be a bit annoying. A virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa can help, but you need a device to control it from. A connected speaker like the Echo is one option, but you do have other choices. Samsung SmartThings gives you a single hub you can use to connect everything, for example. You can connect things from other manufacturers or use Samsung’s smart devices, which include sensors that allow you to automate lights when you leave or enter a room.
You can make your home better connected and turn it into a smart home if you want to move into the future.