Almost everyone’s hopping on the smart home bandwagon.
But like everything else, they’re far from perfect.
Smart homes also come with common problems.
However, you’re in luck.
I’ll teach you exactly how to avoid and fix them today.
Keep reading to find out:
- 7 common smart home problems and solutions.
- How you can turn your home smart for less than $100.
- 3 crucial tips to protect your smart home from hacking risks.
- And a lot more…
7 smart home problems and solutions
#1: Smart devices don’t connect with each other
When you watch smart home-related videos, this is what you’ll often see:
Gadgets working hand-in-hand to make your daily life more comfortable.
But honestly, accomplishing this setup isn’t always easy.
Because many smart devices refuse to connect with other gadgets.
Especially if their brands and operating systems are different.
For example, if you tell your Samsung TV to turn ON your Nest thermostat right out of the box…
It won’t automatically follow. Because the 2 devices have no way to communicate directly.
Luckily, though, there’s a very easy…
The best way to avoid this problem is to buy smart devices from the same brand.
Because gadgets that run on the same systems won’t have issues communicating.
However, if you already have smart devices from various companies…
Getting a smart home system is your best bet to fix their compatibility problems.
You can think of it as a brain that controls all your smart devices.
Or the bridge that lets your gadgets recognize each other.
Smart home systems allow you to:
- Set up Automation that operates multiple devices simultaneously.
- Control your smart gadgets from a single app (as opposed to several ones).
So it’ll fix most, if not all, of your smart home’s compatibility problems.
#2: Batteries drain too often
Smart home brands usually advertise their products as plug-and-forget.
Which means you don’t have to worry about your gadgets again after setting them up.
However, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
See, many wireless devices use batteries as their power source.
And while this design allows you to place your gadgets anywhere…
It also requires you to replace your devices’ batteries regularly.
Especially if they’re ON almost 24/7, like the following gadgets:
- Motion sensors.
- Security cameras.
- Portable smart lights.
Of course, this problem can be very annoying.
After all, not only will you spend more money buying battery replacements…
You might also risk your house’s safety. If crucial devices like your sensors or security cameras completely drain their battery.
Fix 1: Use your device’s power-saving modes
This feature allows your smart devices to consume less energy.
In return for sacrificing a little bit of their performance.
Note: The exact name for this feature may vary depending on your gadget’s brand.
Fix 2: Move your smart device closer to the WiFi
Gadgets consume more power when they’re constantly trying to get a hold of your WiFi signals.
So, it’s best to keep them close to your router.
Fix 3: Turn OFF features you don’t use
For example, if your camera is currently recording 24/7…
You can set it up to only record videos when motion is detected.
#3: Gadgets keep disconnecting from the WiFi
Most smart devices need a stable Internet connection to operate.
Unstable network connectivity is 1 of the most common issues in smart homes.
See, many smart devices, including the following, randomly disconnect from the WiFi:
And not only is this annoying. It can also be a very disruptive and risky problem. Especially if your security-related gadgets are affected.
But don’t worry. I know an effective…
To avoid WiFi-related problems in your smart home…
Your network speed should be at least 100 Mbps.
So, visit speedtest.net to test your WiFi. And if its download speed is lower than the value mentioned…
Talk to your ISP and upgrade the router or Internet plan you have.
Don’t have the budget to do so yet?
Then, as a short-term solution, keep these tips in mind:
- Place your gadgets as close to your WiFi source as possible.
- Power cycle (unplug, then plug again) your router once a week.
Interesting fact: Some smart devices only work when connected to specific WiFi bands (2.4 or 5 GHz). So if you can’t connect a gadget to your network, check its connectivity requirements.
#4: Sensors activate at the wrong time
Many smart devices, like security cameras, have built-in motion sensors.
And honestly, they improve your smart home’s comfort by a huge step.
After all, they automate your devices. Without you needing to press buttons or use voice commands.
However, if your sensors activate at the wrong time…
Not only will you be irritated, but you might also panic.
Imagine your security app waking you in the middle of the night with a loud alarm.
Only to find out that a raccoon triggered your motion sensors.
Not really the best way to break your sleep, right?
I’m sure you want to avoid this problem. So, let’s hop into the…
Many motion sensors have features that prevent false alarms, including:
- Human recognition.
- Selection of the areas you want to ignore movements from.
- Scheduled deactivation of motion alerts during specified times.
So, check your smart devices’ user manuals. And customize the features that can help you avoid false alerts.
#5: Hacking risks
Here’s 1 of the main reasons some don’t think smart homes are a good idea:
They come with several cybersecurity risks.
Meaning, they can be hacked through the Internet.
And, yes, even reliable and big brands like Google Home are prone to this problem.
Smart devices record and save your data in online storage called the cloud daily.
So, if hackers get access to any of your gadgets…
They’ll know almost everything about you, including your:
- Daily routine.
- Personal details.
- House floor plan.
- Upcoming schedules.
And these data can make it extremely easy for criminals to spy on or break into your house.
Luckily, securing a smart home isn’t that hard to do.
Let me give you the top 3 tips to keep your smart devices and information safe.
Tip 1: Secure your router
Avoid using your WiFi’s generic name.
And use a strong and unpredictable password for your network.
To do so, avoid using information related to you. And make sure to include numbers and symbols.
Tip 2: Don’t use the same password repeatedly
When setting up a smart home, you’ll often need to make several accounts/profiles.
Because brands usually have their own smart home app/website.
But as convenient as it may be to use the same password for most of your accounts…
Avoid doing so.
Because this setup only makes it a breeze for hackers to gain total control of your smart home.
Pro tip: Only use the same password for a maximum of 2 apps or accounts.
Tip 3: Always update your smart devices
Updates equip your gadgets with the:
- Necessary improvements to work faster.
- Strongest defense against bugs and glitches.
- Latest patches that protect your device from hackers.
So, it’s best always keep your smart devices up to date.
Read next: 11 Real Benefits And Risks Of Smart Home Technologies
#6: Privacy concerns
Hackers aren’t the only ones you need to protect your data from.
Because if given a chance…
Smart home companies are always happy to collect and study your data as well.
Now, you may wonder:
“How do brands collect and study my information?”
Well, it depends on the smart devices you have.
For example, if you have Alexa, the popular voice assistant…
Amazon will receive the recorded files of all the voice commands you say to your Echo.
Or, worse, even your private conversations. Because Alexa sometimes responds if you say a word similar to her name.
Here’s a related video about this privacy concern:
Amazon isn’t the only smart home company that collects your data.
So, if you want to protect your privacy, don’t skip this…
Most brands will ask for your consent before they collect your information.
But the problem is…
Almost everyone agrees to a notification that pops up on their screen. Without reading the information written in detail.
So, here’s the best and easiest way to protect your privacy against companies:
Always read before you agree to anything.
Avoid simply checking every box on your screen and then pressing Done.
And turn OFF the features you don’t use on your smart devices.
#7: Expensive installation costs
Most smart home devices are expensive.
In fact, they’re usually over twice the price of their regular counterparts.
For example, smart doorbells can cost more than $200.
And that’s 4x the price of most regular chime kits.
Of course, this becomes a big problem for people on a budget.
But did you know there’s a quick workaround for expensive smart home costs?
As I always say…
There’s no such thing as the correct method to make your home smart.
After all, you can start this setup in 17 ways or even more.
And luckily, not all of them need you to spend a fortune to follow.
In fact, I know how you can have a smart home for less than $100.
Here’s the secret recipe: smart plugs.
These devices allow you to remotely control any of your old appliances. Thus, turning them smart.
So, if you’re really on a tight budget…
Just buy smart plugs (less than $20). And you’re already at the start of your smart home journey.