Having a smart home has undeniable advantages.
But it also has risks some wouldn’t dare take.
As someone who has been living in a smart home for years…
Let me tell you exactly what its benefits and dangers are.
So you can decide if this setup would work for you.
Continue reading to find out:
- 4 serious risks of living in a smart home.
- 7 real benefits of smart home technologies.
- How a smart home can increase your safety.
- The easiest ways to reduce cybersecurity risks as a smart homeowner.
- And much, much more…
7 benefits of smart home technologies
The convenience factor of getting a smart home is enormous.
Instead of controlling each of your appliances manually…
You’ll be able to command all your smart devices from a single phone.
Or even just by using your voice.
For example, with a simple:
“Alexa, turn ON the news.”
You’ll immediately see the latest events coverage on your TV.
Without needing to hold the remote at all.
But you know what’s even better?
Smart devices can cater to your needs even without your command.
See, voice assistants let you establish routines.
And with this feature…
You can schedule your smart devices to do specific actions during a particular time.
For example, here’s what happens inside our smart home when the clock hits 8 AM:
- Bedroom lights turn ON.
- Morning news plays on our TV.
- Smart kettle starts boiling water for our coffee/tea.
And with this routine, every morning becomes as convenient as it can be.
Wanna see what a day inside a smart home looks like?
Watch this video:
#2: Total control
When it comes to precision, humans can’t beat technology.
So, with a smart home…
You’ll have total control of your surroundings.
For example, smart thermostats will keep the temperature in your home consistent.
Regardless of how cold or hot it is outside.
And smart electric kettles will let you heat your water to the specific temperature you want.
So, you can brew tea or coffee precisely to your liking.
#3: Extra free time
Household chores can take up quite a chunk of your time.
But with a smart home…
You’ll significantly lower the hours you spend doing them.
For example, instead of vacuuming yourself…
A robot vacuum can do the cleaning for you.
And when your grocery stock runs low…
You can command your smart refrigerator to order replenishments online.
I’m saying this based on experience.
So, trust me. With a smart home…
You’ll have fewer household chores on your plate. And more time doing what you truly enjoy.
#4: Heightened security
Smart homes are more secure than traditional houses.
Because smart devices have extra safety features that regular models don’t.
Let’s get into the specifics with these…
5 ways smart homes keep your household safe:
Regular door locks only have 1 function:
Preventing anyone without the right key from entering your house.
And although this is indeed helpful in securing your home…
It’s a very limited feature compared to what smart locks can offer.
Because these models:
- Let you lock/unlock your doors remotely.
- Automatically shuts after a certain period.
- Notify you if someone’s trying to guess your passcode.
- Allow you to monitor when someone last entered your house.
Further reading: 10 Real Reasons Why Smart Locks Are So Expensive
The easiest way intruders know if someone’s home is through the household’s lights.
Because if the lighting conditions don’t change over several days…
It often means somebody isn’t home to do so.
But, if you have smart lights…
You won’t need to worry about others knowing your house is empty.
Because these devices can mimic the lighting patterns you use when you’re home.
You may also turn smart lights ON/OFF remotely through your phone.
So, you can leave your house empty for weeks. Without making it too obvious.
Appliances automatically shut off
Appliances that generate heat are often the main cause of fire accidents.
But with a smart home, you can significantly lower the chances of this happening. .
Because many heat-generating smart appliances automatically turn OFF when:
- They’re ON for too long.
- You don’t approach them for a certain period.
For example, this smart stove has a motion detector.
So, it automatically turns OFF when it doesn’t sense any movement for 15 minutes while cooking.
Smart surveillance system
CCTV cameras without an Internet connection only record footage.
But smart surveillance systems let you avoid immediate dangers thanks to these features:
- Automatic alarms when there’s an intruder.
- Real-time camera monitoring.
- In-app notifications when there’s odd movement surrounding your house.
Hence, I recommend having a smart home if you take your house’s security seriously.
Alerts authorities during danger
Most smart homes are protected by monitoring companies.
And, simply speaking, they contact authorities on your behalf when your alarms go OFF.
This service is non-existent with non-smart surveillance cameras.
So, having a smart home is undeniably more secure than traditional house setups.
#5: Remote monitoring
Here’s 1 of my favorite things about living in a smart home:
Being able to control my house’s appliances even when I’m outside.
At last, I’m not welcomed by a freezing house after work during winter.
Because with a smart home…
I can adjust my thermostat even when I’m outside.
If you want to reduce your electricity bills…
Having a smart home will significantly help you.
See, just by adding a smart plug to your house…
You can already cut your energy expenses through 9 different ways.
And my favorite ones are being able to:
- Schedule when appliances turn ON/OFF.
- Track how much power each device consumes.
- Limit the number of active hours of my appliances.
Apart from smart plugs…
Other appliances like smart thermostats or AC also have built-in power-saving modes.
And with this feature…
Your devices minimize their performance to use the least electricity possible.
#7: Personalized to your needs
No 2 smart homes are the same.
Because the devices you include will always be up to you.
There’s no need to buy a robot vacuum if you don’t want to.
Likewise, you can use regular refrigerators. And still have a smart home.
You may personalize the devices around you depending on your priorities.
So, you can use as many or as few smart gadgets as you need.
Recommended reading: 39 Best Smart Home Devices & Gadgets (Updated)
4 risks of smart home technologies
#1: Potential privacy breach
Voice assistants are usually the brains of smart homes.
Because they allow you to control your smart appliances with voice commands.
Unfortunately, despite being so helpful…
These AIs also pose the biggest threats to your privacy.
Let’s use the popular voice assistant, Alexa, as an example.
Most people think this AI simply responds to your immediate commands.
But in reality, Alexa also records everything you say to her.
And she indefinitely stores them in Amazon’s database.
This doesn’t sound too troubling if Alexa only records your voice commands.
But the problem is…
It’s not uncommon for this AI to respond even when she’s not called.
So, Alexa might accidentally record your private conversations.
Just because you said a word that sounds similar to her name.
To make matters worse…
Amazon’s employees also manually transcribe some voice recordings from Alexa.
And for many, it’s alarming to know that…
Strangers can listen to everything your voice assistant has recorded before.
You may now prevent Amazon from storing your voice recordings.
But this isn’t the default state of Alexa’s settings.
So, many people still don’t know that Amazon has a copy of their daily dialogues.
#2: Your phone becomes the ultimate keycard
It’s very convenient to control all your devices with just a single phone.
However, this setup also has very high risks.
Since all your smart appliances can be controlled using your mobile device…
You’ll have major safety concerns if you accidentally lose your phone.
All someone needs to do is crack your mobile device’s password. And they can immediately:
- Unlock your house.
- Control your smart appliances.
- Disable the security alarms you have.
If you have a non-smart home, though…
No one can do any of these disturbing acts just by using your phone.
#3: WiFi outage may leave your house defenseless
Smart devices communicate with each other through your WiFi.
So, without an Internet connection…
You’ll also lose the convenience of having a smart home.
See, smart gadgets like plugs and lights don’t respond to their apps without WiFi.
And without an Internet connection…
Voice assistants like Alexa also become unresponsive.
But here’s the worst part of losing your WiFi in a smart home:
Your smart surveillance system temporarily fails.
And here are what can possibly happen when it does:
- Your doors won’t automatically lock.
- Smart cameras won’t save any footage.
- Motion detectors won’t notify you even when there are unusual movements.
So, it’s best to not rely on a smart home’s security if you live in an area with unstable Internet.
Editor’s pick: 11 Steps To Use Mobile As CCTV Camera Without Internet
#4: Prone to cyberattacks
All devices connected to the Internet are possible entry points for hackers.
And with many WiFi-reliant gadgets around…
Unfortunately, you’ll be more prone to cyberattacks inside a smart home.
Moreover, since your smart devices are based on your daily routines…
You’ll save most of your information in the cloud, including:
- Where you work.
- Your house’s floorplan.
- What your daily routine looks like.
- Any events you’ve scheduled in your calendar.
So, if you, unfortunately, get hacked…
It’ll be effortless for intruders to commit crimes in your household.
Or for hackers to do unlawful acts while stealing your identity.
“Can I prevent cyber attacks when I have a smart home?”
Yes. Because there are….
Ways to reduce cybersecurity risks:
- Use unique passwords.
- Always update your smart devices.
- Don’t click unfamiliar and spam links.
- Buy from reputable smart home brands.
With these tips, cyberattacks are easily preventable.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that smart homes are still more prone to them. Compared to regular households.
Hence, having a smart home isn’t always the safest choice. Especially if you’re not too tech-savvy.