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Must-have gadgets for every home

Must-have gadgets for every home

Keeping up to date with some of the latest home technology can be overwhelming! In this ever-growing market you are spoiled for choice when it comes to adding smart devices to your home.

That’s why in this month’s blog, we’re doing some of the leg work for you by checking out a few devices that could not only make your life easier but also save you energy and improve your home’s safety.

Amazon Echo Dot

Cost: £39 to £50.

What is it?

Amazon’s Echo Dot is a portable smart speaker which connects to your home’s internet network through wi-fi. It responds to voice commands using Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa.

What are the benefits?

You can use the Echo Dot for internet research, to play audiobooks and music, make calls and set alarms.

It also links to most smart-home devices – allowing you to potentially control your home’s lighting, security, heating, entertainment systems, and more, with just your voice.

Hive Active Heating 2

Cost: £249 (including installation), £179 (without installation).

What is it?

The Hive Active Heating 2 is, essentially, one very clever thermostat, allowing you to control your home’s temperature and heating system remotely on a mobile device using an easy-to-use app interface.

There’s also a handheld remote for use in the home if you prefer.

What are the benefits?

The Hive’s Active Heating 2 app lets you control your home’s heating system using your smartphone, laptop or tablet from wherever you are – whether that’s the office, a hotel abroad or your sofa.

You can turn the heating on and off or up and down, and set timers, using the controls on the Hive app dashboard. It could be especially useful in winter, and for potentially helping keep energy bills down.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro (home security device)

Cost: £180 to £220.

What is it?

Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro is a smart device that allows you to communicate remotely using a mobile device, such as a smartphone, with anyone who approaches your home. There are also optional additional security features such as motion sensor alerts.

What are the benefits?

Being able to speak to and see anyone at your front door from your phone, laptop or tablet – whether you’re at home or not – could be very useful if you’re having something delivered, for example, or would simply like the added security it provides.

Ring offers enhanced options including motion sensors, video capture and alerts, but at an extra cost through Ring’s ‘Protect’ plan.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wifi Plug

Cost: £7 to £12 per plug.

What is it?

Smart plugs, such as Kasa’s Smart Wifi plug, act as adapters between a power socket and your home’s electrical appliances.

The smart plug then connects to your internet using Wi-Fi and allows you to turn the appliances – such as lamps and radios – on and off remotely via an app that you download to a mobile device, or your voice if you’re in the home.

What are the benefits?

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wifi Plug is a relatively simple, inexpensive way of making your home’s existing appliances ‘smarter’.

As the WiFi plug enables you to control the power to items such as lights and TVs from wherever you are, home or abroad, it’s often used to improve security.

This device also lets you set timers – so an upstairs light might come on in the middle of the night while you’re on holiday, for instance.

It also links with voice-controlled virtual assistants – such as Google Assistant – to give you even greater control with just your voice.

Many more gadgets out there

These are just a handful of the smart gadgets available for your home, all of which are relatively affordable and easy to install. However, we recommend doing some additional research yourself before making any purchases to ensure the product meets your home’s needs.