How to Choose the Right Smart Devices for Your Home

A smart home should anticipate your needs and give you the power to fine-tune them remotely. Numerous smart devices are available to help you achieve the dream of a smart home, with lots of new ones coming out every year. The options include smart speakers with amazing sound, video doorbells, smart lighting, automatic vacuum machines, and the best in-home entertainment.

For truly smart home, you need to pick the highest quality devices while paying attention to your individual needs. With the myriad of choices in the market, knowing how to choose the right smart home device can be a challenge. It is easy to splurge money on the latest smart device, only to realize later that it doesn’t fit your needs or that a better and cheaper alternative exists. 

We took it upon ourselves to do the heavy lifting for you and make selecting the best smart devices that much easier. Read on for the top smart devices that no home should do without. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

A superb home entertainment smart device must be at the top of your list of smart home devices. Whether for entertaining guests or binge-watching your favorite show, Amazon Firestick is a must-have. With a fast processor and Wi-Fi capability, you can say goodbye to expensive cable for good. Firestick makes finding and streaming endless 4K ultra-high-definition content a breeze.

Enjoy truly vivid and life-like colors as well top-quality sound on your movies, live events, sports, and your favorite TV shows from Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and many other streaming services. Firestick also comes with an Amazon Prime subscription, which unlocks a world of video and music content on Prime. With the all-new Alexa voice remote, you can find, play, pause video, and change volume levels with voice commands. 

For unlimited content, you can easily jailbreak your Firestick to watch content through third-party streaming apps that are not available on App Store, such as Kodi, Stremio, or Kokotime. This process is extremely simple and can be done in under two minutes without additional equipment or a computer. Watch the step-by-step cordcutters guide on Firestick to learn how to jailbreak. 

Once you install your favorite third-party streaming apps on Firestick, remember to use a good VPN to protect your privacy and personal data online. 

Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi

The Anova Precision Cooker is an immersion circulator used by sous vide chefs and amateur cooks. The sous vide cooking technique prevents food from having a dry and chewy texture caused by overcooking and loss of flavor. For a long time, sous vide cooking was the hallmark of pro chefs, but thanks to the Anova Precision, anyone can whip up flavorful delicacies at the touch of a button. 

The sous vide revolution has taken homes by storm due to its simplicity, especially for today’s busy lifestyles. If you want to nail that slender margin of temperature that differentiates a rare steak from a medium-rare, then this is the cooker for you. Let your food cook in its juices while entertaining your guests, playing with the kids, or watching a movie. 

Small and portable, the Anova cooker works better than traditional water ovens, which can cost up to hundreds of dollars. The Anova cooker inserts and clamps to the edge of your existing pots and can be stored in a drawer when not in use. 

The cooker is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to control its settings from your device wherever you are. Start, stop, or check in on your cooking while at work, the gym, or as you watch TV. Make sure to download the Anova app to access thousands of sous vide recipes to delight your family and guests. 

Nest Protect Smoke Detector

No home is safe without smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Traditional smoke detectors emit an alarm to alert you to smoke or fire in the house. However, a loud siren is no good if you are away from home. 

What you need is the smart Nest Smoke detector alarm, probably the best smoke detector in the world today. Available as a battery-powered or hard-wired option, the Nest is easy to install and has many handy features for your peace of mind. Importantly, the Nest detector will send an alert to your device if it detects a fire or smoke in the home. 

The Nest uses special sensors to distinguish between fast-burning, flaming, and slower smoldering fires. Nest also has sensors for heat and humidity and occupancy sensors to let you know if there is someone in the home and at risk of fire. It also tells you in which room the fire is burning to help you locate the danger more quickly. 

Other features include a siren to alert occupants and an LED screen with different colors that change depending on alert level; yellow means there is smoke or carbon dioxide but not at critical levels, while red means you need to get out immediately. 

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI

Spending time vacuuming and mopping the house can be such a downer after a long day at work. The last thing you need is boring, never-ending chores like vacuuming to dull quality time at home with loved ones. Thanks to smart devices like the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, cleaning your floors can be done remotely and on-demand. 

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI will simultaneously vacuum and mop the entire home, using its intelligent object recognition to clean, avoid and sweep around objects. It uses precision technology to create a map of entire floors, to enable thorough cleaning without missing any spots. 

Furthermore, the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI has carpet detection sensors, which allow it to instantaneously identify floor types, avoid carpets when mopping, and increase power when vacuuming. You can schedule the cleaning for those hours when you are out of the house or send it to a particular spot to mop up spills on demand. 

Finally, the Ecovacs Deebot has live video streaming straight to your phone, so you can monitor progress while at work or away from the house. With its 3-hour long battery time and an extra-large tank, you can mop up to 2000 sqft of space at a go. 

The best smart home devices don’t have to be complex or expensive. Take smart choices when making your purchases to save money, and turn your house into a truly smart home. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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