The 21st century has brought us amazing new technology that directly affects our quality of life. Smart homes are still a new concept, but the smart home market has grown tremendously.
It started with virtual assistants (like Alexa or Google Home), with some people taking it further by upgrading their homes to smart homes.
Smart homes are awesome, though they come with disadvantages. The technology is not as refined as we would like it to be, and there are still issues.
So let’s talk about the disadvantages of smart homes you should consider, as well as how to prevent and fix some of them.
1. High budget requirements
If you decide to upgrade your home with smart technology, the first thing you will notice is the price. The initial investment may be the biggest you’ll make, but don’t forget about maintenance.
Many smart home owners often underestimate the budget requirements, thinking that they will only have to pay for the installation. Unfortunately, even smart things break and need to be replaced. And that’s not cheap.
So, before you decide on the complete smart home package, do some research and find out how much it takes to maintain it.
2. A stable internet connection is essential!
Every smart device in your home will need a connection to the internet to do their job. The ability to connect to the internet is great because you can automate things like shopping or house cleaning.
However, if that internet connection breaks down (for any reason), some devices are likely to stop working or even dysfunction. What’s worse, even when the network stabilizes, you will need to set up some of your devices manually.
It’s no big deal to have your Roomba stop for an hour or two, but it’s no fun to do that to your fridge or surveillance system.
3. Cyber security risks
Smart homes that rely on a stable internet connection bring another liability – malware and cyber attacks. Hackers can enter your smart home ecosystem through your router, but the “infection” can come from almost anywhere. If you have a work computer in your home, your smart home could be at risk.
There are several steps you can take to prevent a cyber security disaster. Keep in mind that most smart devices come with some form of malware protection. But, hackers are getting more and more innovative, so it is strongly recommended to take precautions. Here’s where to start:
- Update your devices regularly – usually, each update provides a few security flaws.
- Encrypt your wifi – Use WPA2 (or WPA3 if available) encryption on your router, since the encryption entry point for malware.
- Protect your data – Your smart home can be infected through your phone or computer. Storing your data i cloud encryption can minimize these risks.
- Use common sense – try not to go to any shady website or open suspicious links.
4. Steep learning curve
Smart homes solve many issues, especially for busy people. But, learning how to set up the smart home to suit your personal needs – well, that will take some time. The more devices and appliances you have connected, the more difficult the initial setup will be.
In addition, there are more refined and polished smart home systems. They require less learning, but the price goes up pretty quickly.
The decision is up to you. If you have the time to find out about your smart home, great. If not – you should choose a more automated system or start your little journey. You can always add more devices once you’ve mastered the ones you already have.
5. Device compatibility
If you want to fully explore your smart home, you probably need to stay within the same device ecosystem. No matter which brand you stick with, the full suite of features is only available if you don’t stray from it.
But not all manufacturers cover all gadgets, devices and appliances. So, it’s only natural that you come to a point where you have to try other brands. This is when device miscommunication can occur.
Your best bet is to read experiences from users who have tried the combination you plan to use.
Smart homes are great, but…
This article is not meant to scare you away from getting a smart home package. Instead, we all want to emphasize that this type of technology is fairly new and it may not be a smooth ride. At least not at first.
Talking about the disadvantages of smart homes should help us while we wait for the technology to evolve over these small and potentially dangerous issues.
To summarize – smart homes are great, but be prepared for some learning and some frustrations.