Have you ever wondered if you could control your whole life through the Internet? Well, it is time to stop wondering now as this seemingly far-fetched dream has cloaked itself in the reality of today. We are not only talking about smartphones and computers only; but everything from cooking utensils to clocks, speakers to lights, doorbells to window blinds, windows to cameras, and whatnot. If all this seems unbelievable then you are in for a big surprise because all these appliances are now managed to communicate with each other and take your orders – feels like straight out of science fiction. This is called the Internet of Things abbreviated as IoT and plays a key role in smart homes and home automation.
Home automation can be defined as programming the ability to control appliances in/around the house with a voice command or a simple push of a button. From simple chores like turning a lamp on or off to camera surveillance, everything can be controlled through this technology.
With all the appliances being smart in this time and age, the most important thing of all is the oxygen supply i.e. the internet. Now more than ever, customers have to understand the responsibilities of their internet service providers as the complete dynamic of the house would depend on this service and should sign up with reliable and efficient ISPs. For instance, internet users prefer Optimum internet as it is ranked amongst the fastest internet providers in the United States; providing up to 940 Mbps download speed at affordable rates sufficing all your internet-related needs. In addition to this, optimum is recognized for its comprehensive and quick customer care unit that resolves any issue that its customer faces within minutes.
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This article focuses on the best product in each smart home category for you to consider ‘smart’ buying.
Best Smart Speaker – Google Nest Mini
Google’s new smart flagship Nest mini is an improved version of its predecessor, the Google Home Mini. Google has enhanced the audio quality of the Nest Mini by giving its bass output a bit more oomph. A presence detection method has also been incorporated that determines your proximity to the Nest Mini through the microphone and speaker and controls volume naturally.
One of the best features of this smart speaker is the machine learning chip fixed inside the speaker that allows the Nest Mini to learn the commands you give often.
Best Smart Display – Google Nest Hub
Formerly known as Home Hub, Google has redefined the concept of a smart display with the new Nest Hub. You get all the features of Google Assistant that you get in the Home speaker line alongside a display interface giving you just the right amount of visual response. All your voice commands would be shown on the screen so you know that Google has heard it correctly. It can work impeccably with the Google-supported video doorbells and smart home cameras to stream their camera feeds on screen.
Best Smart Plug – TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini
Smart plugs are often termed as the entrance point for anyone remotely interested in home automation. The smart plugs are simple to install, relatively cheap and an easy concept to grasp, altogether.
TP-Link’s Kasa Mini includes a single outlet connecting your network via the internet. Moreover, its connected app is very well-designed and gives you the control to program the plug on a schedule. Another important feature is its coherence working with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Best Smart Light Bulbs – Philips Hue White LED
Philips has a wide-ranging product list in this category, encompassing floodlights, fixtures, light strips, A19 bulbs, and it has recently added an entire array of outdoor lights as well. This huge variety of lights makes it easier to bring in the whole lighting system to your home. Another major factor is that Philips supports Google, Apple, and Amazon’s voice assistants.
Although Philips Hue line has color-changing bulbs, most people are interested in the standard white light bulbs.
Best Smart Thermostat – Ecobee SmartThermostat
A Wi-Fi incorporated thermostat, Ecobee’s SmartThermostat, allows you to take care of your home’s air conditioning and heating system with your voice or its supported app.
The thermostat has a remote temperature sensor which helps it to read the temperature of the room it is in and adjust the temperature, accordingly. Ecobee SmartThermostat is an Amazon Echo speaker in itself – it does an outstanding job as a basic extender for Alexa around the home although we do not recommend it for playing music.
Best Home Security Camera – Wyze Cam v3
Wyze Cam v3 is an affordable and brilliant outdoor/indoor home security camera that comes with a free 14-day video clip cloud storage. Further to this, it also houses a built-in micro SD card slot. The basic security camera features include night vision, two-way talk, live HD streaming, and support capability for Google Assistant and Alexa voice command.
Best Video Doorbell – Nest Hello
The video doorbell, Nest Hello, connects to your internet connection and helps you see the person at the door, in real-time. It is also able to capture and store video clips worth 3 hours, for free. With all these great features, the best thing about it is its owner-controlled facial recognition feature which means that you can build your facial recognition catalog of the people that come to your door. The app is designed to alert you when your most common visitors are tagged.
Best Smart Lock – August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
With every appliance going smart, you need a smart lock the most. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock has Wi-Fi embedded within. It supports Apple, Google Assistant, and Alexa voice controls.
Best Outdoor Floodlight Camera – Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
Best-in-class features of Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, like a sharp HD video feed, mounting hardware, easy installation, long-lasting battery life, and compatibility with all Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple, make it a reputable choice amongst the users.
In addition to that, Arlo has added a 2000 lumen light that will light up the whole of your courtyard, if that is what you want it for. It also has a dimming control for when your neighbors complain about the light sinking into their lives.