How To Make Your Home A Smart Home

Even if your house was built in the 1800s, you can still make your home a smart home with voice-activated lights, a whole-home audio system and all the cool smart home features you want. Smart speakers, smart lights and all the other clever smart home devices available now generally rely on wireless networks. It doesn’t matter how old the wiring in your house is—and you almost never have to worry about drilling holes in your walls. Let’s look at how to make a smart home, no matter when yours was built.

It all starts with Wi-Fi

What is a smart home? It’s a home in which you can control many of the home’s functions—thermostats, entry, lighting, running appliances—all through an online network.

As long as you have a good Wi-Fi connection, the age of your house doesn’t really matter. Almost all your smart home devices will rely on your Wi-Fi network or their own wireless communication protocol, so they’ll work just as well in an old house as a newly built one. However, some related factors, like the size of your house, what materials it’s constructed from and where you’re able to place your wireless router and any smart home hubs, do matter.

If there are rooms in your home that don’t have a good Wi-Fi connection or you experience slower speeds, then you probably need to place your router somewhere more centrally or consider using a Wi-Fi extender or setting up a mesh network. Not only will setting up a better Wi-Fi network make a smart home possible, but it means that all your computers, smartphones and other devices will have a faster connection, too.

How do you get reliable Wi-Fi? Start with fast fiber internet. If you’re getting smart, this is the time to upgrade to a fiber connection that comes with a state-of-the-art router. And, once you’re a Frontier Fiber customer, you can enroll in Frontier ForMe Rewards and get great discounts on some of the popular devices to turn your house into a smart home.

Frontier Fiber 200 Internet
Frontier Fiber 200 Internet

Smart speakers and smart displays make everything easier

While you don’t need a smart speaker or smart hub to have a smart home, they’re a great foundation to turn your house into a smart home. They’re what allow you to turn on your lights or lock your door with a voice command. Without a smart speaker or display, you normally have to rely on a smartphone app.

There are three main smart speaker ecosystems you can choose from:

Which one you go with depends on your priorities, though they can all work great. Amazon’s Echo devices are affordable and compatible with a wide variety of smart home devices, while Google’s and Apple’s ecosystems work best if you also use their smartphone. Just make sure any smart devices you buy are compatible with your smart speaker ecosystem.

The best smart home tech to start with

As long as you rely on wireless smart home products, it’s easy to make any home a smart home. Installation is as simple as connecting a device to your Wi-Fi, connecting it to power or charging its batteries and configuring things through an app. (If you need help with your tech upgrades, search online for a local service that offers smart home installation.) Consider some of the best smart home tech:

  • Smart lights are an incredible way to automate your home. Depending on how you set things up, you can turn your lights on and off from your smartphone, a light switch or with voice commands. You can also have them come on automatically when you’re away or when a motion sensor is triggered.
  • Smart doorbells and security cameras are a great way to keep your home safer. They can let you know when you get a package and send footage of any visitors to your smartphone, smart display or computer.
  • Smart locks can automatically unlock your house when you arrive home or lock it when you leave. You can also let people in using your smartphone or smart speaker, even if you aren’t there.
  • Smart sound systems allow you to play music in all the rooms in your home at once, or different playlists in different rooms, all controlled with voice commands or a smartphone app. They’re an awesome way to smarten up any home.
  • Smart thermostats can automatically control your HVAC system based on your schedule and personal preferences, or you can control it from your smartphone when you’re not at home. Unless you heat your home with an open fire, there’s a good chance you can get a smart thermostat that works. (This is the one time you might need a professional installer.)
  • Other smart devices, like smart fridges, smart cookers, smart vacuums and pretty much anything else you can imagine, will all work in almost all homes.

Tips for setting up a smart home

Excited to set up your smart home? Here are some tips to make sure things go smoothly:

  • Make sure any smart home devices are compatible with each other and your smart speaker ecosystem. You will have an easier time if you buy all your smart lights from one brand rather than try to set up three different kinds.
  • The majority of smart devices are easy to set up if you follow the instructions and take things slowly. If you can set up an email address, you can almost certainly set up a smart home. In most cases, you won’t need to hire an electrician or other professional.
  • Most smart home devices are compatible with multiple smart home platforms. And if one particular brand of devices isn’t compatible with your smart home setup, you can usually find an equivalent from another brand that is.
  • There’s no need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on smart home devices. It’s okay to start slow with a smart speaker and couple of lights, then build from there.
  • Make sure you’ve got a great Wi-Fi network and a fast, stable internet connection. Your smart devices will rely on them to work properly!

Stay connected to home with Frontier Fiber

When you power your smart home with the best fiber internet connection, you can rest assured you have reliable access to your smart devices whenever you want to be in touch. Learn about the advantages of Frontier Fiber. Frontier Fiber is available in select areas—check here to see when it’s available at your address. Then check out Frontier’s SmartMarket for a great selection of smart home devices from smart speakers to lighting to thermostats.

Product features may have changed and are subject to change.

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