5 common smart home problems and how to fix them

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Even if you follow our ultimate smart home guide step by step, setting up your connected devices will likely require some troubleshooting. And even with unifying initiatives like Matter that promise to make your smart home more cohesive, you're likely still facing common smart home questions and concerns.

Whether you're new to the best smart home gadgets or already living amongst dozens of voice-activated apps and devices, getting your smart home to work exactly the way you want it to can be challenging. Have trouble linking your latest smart home purchase to your Wi-Fi network? Worried about spending too much on everything related to IoT? Stuck where you started and struggling to understand the difference between the best smart home platforms?

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We know how to answer your questions because we have asked ourselves at some point. After all, we have created a DIY smart home. Here are the top five smart home problems and how to fix them.

I can't connect my smart home devices to Wi-Fi

Perhaps the most common problem when setting up a smart home device is that it won't connect to the internet. Whether you have one of the best Wi-Fi routers or the best mesh Wi-Fi systems, you need your smart home device to recognize your Wi-Fi network so that it can communicate with other connected products you own.

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Also Read: Which smart home device is best 2022

There are several reasons why you may see error messages related to your network. First of all, not all smart home devices support the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands; in fact, most will only connect to the 2.4 GHz band. You can check which band your setup device (your smartphone) is connected to by viewing your network profile or settings.

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Alternatively, you may need to read how to make your Wi-Fi faster or where to put your router to get the best Wi-Fi signal. Your network may be stuck or not reach the location of your new device. Smart House. In that case, you may just need one of the best Wi-Fi repeaters. And if all else fails, try restarting your router; yes, the on / off method sometimes works.

I can't drill holes into walls

Do you rent your living space? You may face restrictions even on minor renovations. Maybe you can't even poke holes in your wall. Fortunately, all of the best tenant-friendly smart home devices can be powered by batteries or by using your existing outlets. You don't need to know what a neutral wire is or why you need a C wire.

You'll probably want to avoid installing one of the best video doorbells or smart thermostats, and replacing existing switches with smart ones is a lot of work for a temporary living space. Instead, consider boosting your home's IQ with smart speakers, lights, and plugs. Or using still cameras instead of video doorbells. Then the routines introduce automation that anyone can do with the right equipment, even in a rented residence.


Check out the best smart speakers, best smart bulbs, and best smart plugs to create a smart space without damaging your rental door, walls, or wiring.

Should I use Alexa, HomeKit or Google Home?

You can use Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Home if you want. Not all, but many of the best Alexa-enabled devices are also the best Google Home-enabled devices and the best HomeKit devices. Still, when it comes to creating routines and an organized dashboard to control your smart home (who wants to download a dozen different smart home apps?), It can be worth committing to a single platform.

In our DIY smart home, we chose Alexa over Google Assistant because of services like Alexa Guard and Alexa Hunches. But we also use HomeKit more regularly as it integrates easily with iPhone and Apple Watch. And if you use Google services on a daily basis, you may want to use Nest devices and Google Assistant instead of Alexa or Siri.


Either way, you'll probably want one of the best Alexa speakers, the best Google Home speakers, or a HomePod mini to lay the foundation for your smart home. Before you buy any new smart home devices, take a look at the packaging or the fine print to make sure they are compatible with the platform you choose.

I’m on a tight budget

Building a smart home doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, going the DIY route can save you thousands of dollars. All of the best cheap smart home devices cost less than $ 100 and often much less. Smart plugs cost around $ 20, as does a pack of smart bulbs. The Echo Dot is only $ 49. There are even brands like Wyze that are committed to providing affordable devices for every part of your home. Have you heard of the $ 25 Wyze Cam v3?

So don't feel like you have to splurge on Philips Hue lights if they don't fit your budget. Of course, inexpensive devices could and often do have a few caveats. We suggest sticking to well-known brands and smaller configurations within your budget.


Do I need to be worried about privacy?

Smart home devices often use our learned behavior to better adapt to our needs and routines. Many have built-in microphones, so you can wait for a command or stay alert for suspicious sounds. Some even have cameras that you can view anywhere from your smartphone.

So yes, you do have to worry about privacy, but it is not out of your control. The vast majority of smart home "hackers" are the result of people using the wrong passwords. When setting up accounts for your various smart home devices, be sure to read How to Create Strong Passwords. It could give you the peace of mind of purchasing products with physical shutters or mute switches, so you can mute the microphone or camera whenever you want.


Also, run firmware updates as soon as they are available for your devices. Firmware updates can protect your devices from potential vulnerabilities or hackers. You will also want to know how to protect your Wi-Fi.
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