Tips to make your smart home smarter

Almost everything in your home can now be connected via Wi-Fi, allowing you to control functions like temperature, music, and security systems through an app. While this kind of freedom and flexibility can make your home more convenient and efficient, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of smart devices on the market. A few simple things to keep in mind can go a long way in helping you set up the right smart home experience so that you can enjoy all the smart devices you’ve bought over the years.

Connecting devices and making sure they’re working properly can be a frustration for some people. Just being connected matters to millions of people for a variety of reasons. A recent survey1 showed that half (49%) of U.S. consumers have an increased need to be connected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 40% have connected a new device at home since the start of the crisis.

The demand comes from both tenants and owners. On average, 44% of tenants1 say they would be more interested in a future rental if connected home products were provided as a convenience. This is true for a wide range of connected products. Smart door locks, security and HVAC systems are the most popular items, with more than half of tenants expressing a preference for these features.

There are several other home gadgets and devices that people are looking to connect and it is important to make sure that they are properly connected to keep your home as smart as possible.

Smart televisions

Smart TVs are an easy place to start when it comes to smart devices, and setup often only takes a few minutes. Most TVs are ready to connect to your Wi-Fi network and you can simply download streaming service apps right to your TV. With this connectivity, you should avoid having to purchase additional and expensive accessories for streaming content, as most operating systems are now built right into the TV itself. Just connect to your Wi-Fi with a strong and secure password and download apps to get started.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are also very popular today and are a good investment for a new home. These devices allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely, allowing you to heat or cool your home before you even walk in the door.

It works because the smart thermostat is connected remotely through your smartphone, and in addition to adjusting the temperature remotely, you can also check and adjust the energy consumption in real time, wherever you are. This saves money over time, as you may be able to turn off air conditioners that you left on by mistake, or turn down the heat if you’re not at home. New device models allow you to learn your programming habits and adjust the temperature without your direct intervention. Some can even detect when you get home and automatically adjust your temperature to your preference when you are within a specified range.

Installation can be as easy as watching a video tutorial, app, or even a manufacturer’s YouTube video. But before making any purchase, make sure the one you are interested in is fully compatible with the wiring, furnace, and air conditioning units in your home.

Boost internet connections

Finally, smart home or connected devices are really of no use if they don’t have a strong internet connection. However, what can you do if you have slow or poor internet power and speed, or if you have a large house and your internet signal does not fully reach all areas of the house?

The first step is to make sure that your router is located in a centralized location in your home. Since Wi-Fi signals don’t pass through dense objects like concrete, metal, and wood well, the more walls the signal has to pass, the more strength it loses. Simply moving the router to another location can resolve many signal strength and coverage issues.

If you are having trouble centralizing your router, there are some additional options that may help. If your router is failing to provide adequate Wi-Fi coverage in every corner of your home, mesh network systems and Wi-Fi 6 routers are potentially great ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal and correct problems. dead spots in your home. But which one is right for you?

Mesh systems are really designed to solve poor signal coverage which can reduce the strength of your internet. Before investing in a mesh Wi-Fi system, it is wise to check first if you have signal strength issues in the places where you need to use Wi-Fi. There are excellent speed test systems out there. Wi-Fi, or apps like the Ookla Speed ​​Test, which you can use to check your signal strength in various places around your home. You might be surprised at how much signal you get when you walk away from your router. Based on the results of the speed test, you can make the right decision for your situation.

Sometimes your signal strength issues can be caused by using routers that are just plain outdated and not ready to handle the demands of today’s streaming, gaming, and smart product use. Another great solution is a Wi-Fi 6 router offered by many manufacturers today. Wi-Fi 6 systems can extend the range around the home, transmit data faster, and with their multiple processors, they can process signals from different sources simultaneously.

About the Author: Scott McKinley is AVP, Premium Technical Support for Pocket Geek Home. For more information, visit

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