The Ultimate Guide to the Internet of Things at Home

The Ultimate Guide to the Internet of Things at Home

The following contribution is from another author.

There is no denying that technology has completely overhauled our homes and the way in which we live in them. Using high-tech tech devices and appliances in the home can help to speed up chores and various household jobs, which can save us a lot of time. And that means we will have more time to spend with our friends and family and taking part in our favorite hobbies.

Not only has all this tech made our homes a lot more practical, though, but it can also keep us well entertained as well. For instance, many families really enjoy gathering around the TV every evening to watch their favorite shows and movies. But did you realize that you can combine the enjoyment and practices of some appliances? You can do this all because of a new phenomenon known as the internet of things.

The internet of things is a term that refers to any household appliance that can be connected to the internet. Sure, you might already know that you can connect your smart TV to the internet so that you can access online streaming services and websites, but were you also aware that you can now connect all kinds of appliances? These includes ones that you might not have realized would be beneficial to connect to the internet, such as coffee machines and home CCTV systems.

There are many reasons why people are now connecting various household items to the internet. One of the main reasons is that it makes them a lot easier to control. For instance, you could set your coffee machine to start brewing you your very first cup of coffee as soon as your alarm goes off. Many people also enjoy being able to turn their thermostat on or off using their smartphone when they aren’t even at home. So, as you can see, the internet of things make life a lot more convenient.

However, the internet of things is not without its ups and downs. Here’s our complete guide to using it at home so that you fully understand everything that you are getting yourself into.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Internet Of Things

There are a few advantages and disadvantages of the internet of things that you will need to consider when you are getting started with it at home.

  • Advantage: Great For Getting Information. The internet of things is a brilliant way to get information. You will have no doubt already heard about the Amazon Dot and the Google Home Mini. These are both examples of smart home speakers. You simply connect them to your internet and tablet device or laptop and you can then control the speaker with your voice. You can then ask it for important pieces of information, such as the weather forecast or local train times.
  • Advantage: It Can Track Usage And Data. Another great thing about using appliances connected to the internet of things is that it can help us track our usage and data. For instance, it’s now possible to get smart meters connected to your home’s utilities so you can see just how much you use each month. Knowing that can help you save money.
  • Advantage: It Can Help Homeowners Save Money. There are also lots of internet of things appliances and devices that can save money just like the aforementioned smart meters. It’s worth researching the ones that will be the most beneficial to you.
  • Disadvantage: It’s A Security Risk. One of the most concerning issues with the internet of things is that it can end up becoming a security risk. That’s because a virus or hacker could affect any devices that are connected to your home’s internet if just one appliance or device is hacked into.
  • Disadvantage: It Can End Up Being Complex. The internet of things can be a very complex idea, especially so for those people out there who don’t find it easy to get used to new tech in their home, such as the elderly. But, ultimately, creating an efficient system can be complicated for any homeowner. By its very nature, the internet of things is quite complicated, and setting up a large system can end up being a bit too difficult to manage.
  • Disadvantage: There Can Be Compatibility Issues. Depending on the type of devices you buy, you might find that you experience some compatibility issues within your home. Unfortunately, there is currently no standard way to connect all devices to the internet and, until there is, compatibility will always be an issue.

Security Advice For The Internet Of Things

As has been previously mentioned, the internet of things can sometimes pose a security risk for homeowners who choose to welcome it into their house. This shouldn’t be something that puts you off using it completely, though. Thankfully, there are a lot of tips that you can use to ensure that your whole system is as secure as possible. Read on to find out more!

Protect All Devices With Different Passwords

When you buy a device or appliance from the likes of Custom Integrators LLC, the supplier will likely provide it already set up with login details. It’s a good idea to change both the username and password for the device as soon as you get it home. Ideally, the password needs to be one that you have never used before. It also needs to be quite complicated and made up of numbers, lower and upper-case letters, and punctuation symbols. That way, there is a lot less chance of any hackers figuring it out and hacking into your device.

Only Use Secure Internet Connections

When you are connecting your devices to the internet, it is also imperative that you make sure you are using a secure connection. If your home internet isn’t already secured, it can be easy to secure it. You just need to add a password to it so that anyone who wants to connect to your WiFi has to enter in the password. Once a password is in place, you will then need to go through each of your devices and use the password to connect them. The more secure your connection is, then the less chance a hacker has to hack your devices using your internet connection.

Use A Firewall For Extra Protection

You will probably already have a firewall installed onto your laptop or desktop computer. But did you know that it is also possible to connect one to all your internet of things appliances? It’s true and it can be a big help when it comes to security. The firewall provides an extra layer that any hackers or viruses need to fight their way through before they gain access to your system. Thankfully, the majority of all firewalls are all extremely sophisticated and will prove to be too much for most hackers and viruses. It’s a good idea to pay for your firewall rather than just using a free one, as the paid-for ones are often a lot more advanced and come with some extra features.

Turn Off Location Settings If They Aren’t Needed

With most internet of things devices, you will get the chance to use location settings. Most of the time, though, these aren’t needed. Generally speaking, you won’t require the location settings on most of your devices and appliances that you use at home. If you leave your location turned on, then a hacker could easily figure out exactly where you are. Even though that won’t make it any easier for them to hack into a device, it’s still quite a disconcerting notion.

Turn Off All Cameras And Microphones When You Aren’t Using Them

There are some home devices and appliances that will come with a microphone and camera inbuilt in them. These might be necessary in order for you to use them. However, when you aren’t using the device, you should make sure that you turn the camera and microphone off completely. That’s because a hacker could easily hack these features, which would make them able to watch and hear you. They could potentially be watching you and listening into your conversations at any time of the day, not only when you are using your device. And you could end up giving away sensitive information about yourself, such as your bank account details. So, make sure that a device’s camera and microphone are only ever turned on when you need to use them.

Put Some Rules For Children In Place

If you have children in your household, then you will need to put some rules in place for them. Children are one of the most common causes of internet security breaches in the home as they end up misusing devices. Ideally, you need to closely watch young children while they are using appliances that are connected to the internet. Otherwise, you could end up with a virus or being billed for unintentionally buying something!

Hopefully, this complete guide to the internet of things can help you use it at home!

Author

Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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