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Smart Home: It’s a space that anticipates your needs and gives you the power to customize your surroundings. At the very least, that’s the pitch. It’s not easy to put it all together, but the appropriate arrangement and combination of gadgets may make life easier and more convenient.

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.

However, MVIVO put together this smart-home guide to highlight your options, explain the jargon, and help you understand the consequences of the choices you make. A little planning goes a long way.

The Importance of Wi-Fi

A stable Wi-Fi connection is required by almost all smart-home devices. The two most common frequencies to be aware of are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

The majority of smart-home devices use the 2.4-GHz band, but this is beginning to change. The 5-GHz frequency offers higher speeds and has a larger range. Wi-Fi 6E, a relatively recent Wi-Fi standard, supports 6-GHz, which is considerably faster. Wi-Fi 6E can handle more devices, uses less power, and is more secure, but all of your devices, including your router, must support Wi-Fi 6 or 6E. Although there are few Wi-Fi 6E devices on the market, it’s something you should think about for future-proofing, especially if you’re building a new ecosystem from the ground up.

Make sure your router is in a good location, and keep in mind that there are various ways to improve your Wi-Fi speed. If you have an older model or a simple router provided by your internet service provider (ISP), switching to a new router could provide significant benefits.

Setting Up Smart-Home Devices

The major smart-home vendors make it simple to integrate with the major ecosystems. The Google Home and Apple Home apps, for example, can add Philips Hue lamps directly. Unfortunately, this is not a common occurrence. Most devices will necessitate the use of a third-party software for initial setup, as well as possible configuration and control.

Downloading the companion app is usually the first step in the setup guide that comes with any smart-home device. You may be required to scan a QR code or enter a serial number, so make sure you complete this step before mounting or discarding anything, as these codes are frequently found on the back or underside of devices or in the instruction booklet.

You may not need to utilize the third-party app after setting up a device and connecting it to your preferred ecosystem, but this depends on the device. Because the Google Home, Apple Home, and Alexa applications tend to provide a streamlined set of controls for most devices, it’s a good idea to keep the third-party app on hand just in case you need to access certain settings.

Grouping, Automation, and Routines

In the app for your selected smart-home ecosystem, you can group devices or organize them into rooms. When you have numerous lights, for example, this is an important step since you don’t want to be saying “Turn on living room light 1,” then “Turn on living room light 2.” You may just say, “Turn on living room lights,” if you put all of the lights into a group.

By creating custom groups, zones, or rooms, you can group rooms, create subsets of devices within rooms, or group devices across numerous rooms, depending on the platform you’re using. It’s worth devoting some time to this because it allows you a lot more control and flexibility when it comes to voice commands and automating or routines.

You can also schedule a variety of actions. This could be useful for certain gadgets, such as robot vacuums, to keep your home clean. A specific, configurable word can be used to start some tasks. You can program Google Assistant to offer a weather and news report, open your curtains, and switch on the coffee machine simply by saying “Good morning” to it. You can get started with our tips on building Google Home routines, Alexa routines, and Siri Shortcuts.

If you have a variety of devices or services that run on different platforms, you can still construct automated routines (or applets) if they are compatible with IFTTT (A software and an App), a third-party service (If This Then That). Google, Alexa, and Siri routines are restricted in scope, while IFTTT offers elaborate automation chains that connect diverse devices and software. When your video doorbell detects someone approaching, for example, you may have IFTTT turn on your Philips Hue front garden and porch lights.

Security

Microphones and cameras may be built into smart-home gadgets, which could compromise your privacy. Security breaches, which might expose personal information or recordings saved in the cloud, are always a possibility. Always read the manufacturer’s privacy policy to ensure that you’re happy with how they utilize your information. It’s also a good idea to look into the manufacturers of smart-home devices to see whether they’ve been involved in any recent breaches or concerns.

Think very carefully before you buy a smart-home device with a camera inside, whether it’s a robot vacuum or a smart display. Most aren’t necessary unless you’re buying a security camera. That said, if you have a smart display with a camera for video calls, you can buy webcam covers that can slide open when you need the camera.

To limit the chance of someone getting access with stolen credentials, try to use devices that allow multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication). You’ll need to send a text message or send an email to confirm your account (the latter is more secure). Take the time to enable these features if they aren’t enabled by default.

If you think you might want to invest in a smart home that will pull all these components together under a single user interface, just make sure all the bits and pieces you buy will work with one of the most common hubs. MVIVO offers total smart home solutions in Sri Lanka and please click here to book and appointment.The problems in terms of integration and set-up are all solved by MVIVO. Even a stable WIFI/ Datarack (router placed in the Mechanical Room) is offered standard in every home.