What is considered a smart home device?

A smart device is any electronic device that can be connected to your smart home system, that can interact with other devices, and that can make some decisions on its own. Televisions, stoves, alarm systems, doorbells, garage doors and stereos are examples of smart devices. Home automation, often referred to as “smart home technology”, is the use of technology to automate your home. Home automation allows you to control almost every aspect of your home through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Sonos is among CNET's best smart speakers, while Wyze is among the best smart plugs and offers great smart bulbs. Many companies, such as Sonos, have created intelligent versions of products that they have been manufacturing for a long time. Honeywell makes a quality smart thermostat, and several of the best smart locks come from companies that have been manufacturing locks for decades. Matter, a project that aims to provide greater connectivity between smart home brands, is getting closer and closer to its debut.

Even most devices with more complicated installations, such as smart thermostats, can be installed without too much trouble. Installing a wireless home automation system with features such as intelligent lighting, climate control and security can cost several thousand dollars, making it very economical. Smart speakers are the foundation of most smart homes, serving as a control method and a way to link accessories. This is the central hub of your smart home that actually allows voice commands, and there are many affordable options.

Wi-Fi is everything, especially once you start spreading things like smart speakers, smart lights, smart plugs, and everything else smart from room to room. Other powerful systems, such as Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Pro (which has a built-in mesh router), focus more on the security aspect of the smart home and have more limited third-party support. With a wide range of devices ranging from intelligent security systems to intelligent smoke detectors, there are very few devices from which you can't get an IoT version. Whether it's setting your devices on time or having them activate each other, you can configure your smart home to work for you, not against you.

If you're looking for the best smart home center and assistant, CNET has recognized Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as two of the top options. With this automation, IoT devices can be the “set it and forget it” type that makes smart homes so practical. So, while you'll have to shell out a little money to get your first smart home devices, they could eventually pay for themselves.

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