Author Topic: Home automation/ smart homes  (Read 6431 times)

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2020, 07:08:23 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

FINate

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2020, 09:43:17 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

I find the WiFi appliance thing odd mostly because the manufacturers are focused on using the connectivity for things like control. Setting oven or fridge temp, or system settings? Sure, neat but essentially worthless.

The real reason I want WiFi on these things is for detailed monitoring. There should be a standardized network protocol for these devices to log events to, like SNMP, and something like a centralized server (or hub that bridges to an online service) that records all the data.

Modern appliances already have sensors galore built in. I want a long term record of this data, want to graph it, want see when something is starting to get wonky. Dryer vent/duct getting progressively more obstructed? Notify me that it needs to be cleaned. Fridge coils not dissipating heat as well? Remind me to clean them. Some sensor or system starting to act up? Let me know, would rather repair it before a fridge-worth of food spoils. Would even like to know things like how often the fridge door is opened and for how long.

I would happily send anonymized data to manufacturers so they can get a better idea of how their products perform and are used in the real world. And if people started pooling anonymized data in a central place consumers would have *much* better information on brand/model reliability and performance. This would also make it possible to start applying machine learning to the data to discover patterns that anticipate problems and further improve appliances in the future.


Optimiser

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2020, 09:48:28 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Chromecast audio was a good alternative, but they have stopped making them. They are still on ebay, but not as cheap as they once were.

The Sonos speaker that IKEA sells, is a little bit cheaper and still sounds pretty good, although not as good as the regular speakers.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 09:58:25 AM by Optimiser »

Chris22

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2020, 09:54:48 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Chromecast audio was a good alternative, but they have stopped making them. They are still on ebay, but not as cheap as they once were.

The Sonos speaker that idea sells, is a little bit cheaper and still sounds pretty good, although not as good as the regular speakers.

I looked into a house system like Sonos, but the cost is just too much IMHO. I was gifted two different Bose Bluetooth speakers, one the size of a paperback book almost 10 years ago, and one the size of a hockey puck or couple decks of cards a couple years ago, and while pricey ($300 for big, $100 for small?) the great sound quality and ultra portability make a whole house system unnecessary to me.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2020, 11:04:58 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.
Parts express has their own in house wireless whole house audio system. I haven’t used it, but have purchased from there before and would give them a thumbs up. 


https://www.parts-express.com/cat/whole-house-multi-room-a-v/45

Check under their wireless section and sorry if you fall down a rabbit hole...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ketchup

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2020, 12:28:58 PM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

I find the WiFi appliance thing odd mostly because the manufacturers are focused on using the connectivity for things like control. Setting oven or fridge temp, or system settings? Sure, neat but essentially worthless.

The real reason I want WiFi on these things is for detailed monitoring. There should be a standardized network protocol for these devices to log events to, like SNMP, and something like a centralized server (or hub that bridges to an online service) that records all the data.

Modern appliances already have sensors galore built in. I want a long term record of this data, want to graph it, want see when something is starting to get wonky. Dryer vent/duct getting progressively more obstructed? Notify me that it needs to be cleaned. Fridge coils not dissipating heat as well? Remind me to clean them. Some sensor or system starting to act up? Let me know, would rather repair it before a fridge-worth of food spoils. Would even like to know things like how often the fridge door is opened and for how long.

I would happily send anonymized data to manufacturers so they can get a better idea of how their products perform and are used in the real world. And if people started pooling anonymized data in a central place consumers would have *much* better information on brand/model reliability and performance. This would also make it possible to start applying machine learning to the data to discover patterns that anticipate problems and further improve appliances in the future.
Holy shit, this is absolutely how it should be done.  Unfortunately it's not sexy or whiz-bang "impressive", so they can't charge an extra $100 for an SNMP enabled refrigerator door sensor.

FINate

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2020, 03:00:09 PM »
Holy shit, this is absolutely how it should be done.  Unfortunately it's not sexy or whiz-bang "impressive", so they can't charge an extra $100 for an SNMP enabled refrigerator door sensor.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. As you say, it's not sexy. But more important this data is valuable. They don't want consumers or competitors accessing it. So they distract users with wiz-bang features. I fully expect WiFi enabled appliances are phoning home with tracking data on a secure channel.

I don't have any of these WiFi appliances, but do have a few IoT devices. These are all isolated on a separate VLAN, and I wrote custom NAT rules to silently redirect all DNS traffic to a PiHole which blocks known tracking sites. An interesting pattern emerged: Smart devices would first try to phone home with tracking data using the DHCP provided DNS (the PiHole), the DNS query would get blocked, and then the smart device would try again using what must be a hard-coded DNS IP, which would get routed via NAT to the PiHole and then get blocked again. They really, really want this data :)

ketchup

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2020, 03:03:06 PM »
Holy shit, this is absolutely how it should be done.  Unfortunately it's not sexy or whiz-bang "impressive", so they can't charge an extra $100 for an SNMP enabled refrigerator door sensor.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. As you say, it's not sexy. But more important this data is valuable. They don't want consumers or competitors accessing it. So they distract users with wiz-bang features. I fully expect WiFi enabled appliances are phoning home with tracking data on a secure channel.

I don't have any of these WiFi appliances, but do have a few IoT devices. These are all isolated on a separate VLAN, and I wrote custom NAT rules to silently redirect all DNS traffic to a PiHole which blocks known tracking sites. An interesting pattern emerged: Smart devices would first try to phone home with tracking data using the DHCP provided DNS (the PiHole), the DNS query would get blocked, and then the smart device would try again using what must be a hard-coded DNS IP, which would get routed via NAT to the PiHole and then get blocked again. They really, really want this data :)
Just another reason for no IoT stuff in my house. :)

FINate

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #58 on: April 29, 2020, 03:12:37 PM »
Holy shit, this is absolutely how it should be done.  Unfortunately it's not sexy or whiz-bang "impressive", so they can't charge an extra $100 for an SNMP enabled refrigerator door sensor.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. As you say, it's not sexy. But more important this data is valuable. They don't want consumers or competitors accessing it. So they distract users with wiz-bang features. I fully expect WiFi enabled appliances are phoning home with tracking data on a secure channel.

I don't have any of these WiFi appliances, but do have a few IoT devices. These are all isolated on a separate VLAN, and I wrote custom NAT rules to silently redirect all DNS traffic to a PiHole which blocks known tracking sites. An interesting pattern emerged: Smart devices would first try to phone home with tracking data using the DHCP provided DNS (the PiHole), the DNS query would get blocked, and then the smart device would try again using what must be a hard-coded DNS IP, which would get routed via NAT to the PiHole and then get blocked again. They really, really want this data :)
Just another reason for no IoT stuff in my house. :)

It's the main reason we don't have an Alexa-type device. That, and I just don't find them useful at all. But a Phillips Hue isolated on a separate VLAN? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Don't care if they know when we turn our lights on/off. Smart phones are far more concerning than most IoT devices.

ketchup

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #59 on: April 29, 2020, 03:26:30 PM »
Holy shit, this is absolutely how it should be done.  Unfortunately it's not sexy or whiz-bang "impressive", so they can't charge an extra $100 for an SNMP enabled refrigerator door sensor.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. As you say, it's not sexy. But more important this data is valuable. They don't want consumers or competitors accessing it. So they distract users with wiz-bang features. I fully expect WiFi enabled appliances are phoning home with tracking data on a secure channel.

I don't have any of these WiFi appliances, but do have a few IoT devices. These are all isolated on a separate VLAN, and I wrote custom NAT rules to silently redirect all DNS traffic to a PiHole which blocks known tracking sites. An interesting pattern emerged: Smart devices would first try to phone home with tracking data using the DHCP provided DNS (the PiHole), the DNS query would get blocked, and then the smart device would try again using what must be a hard-coded DNS IP, which would get routed via NAT to the PiHole and then get blocked again. They really, really want this data :)
Just another reason for no IoT stuff in my house. :)

It's the main reason we don't have an Alexa-type device. That, and I just don't find them useful at all. But a Phillips Hue isolated on a separate VLAN? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Don't care if they know when we turn our lights on/off. Smart phones are far more concerning than most IoT devices.
What, you mean my GPS-enabled always-online pocket computer filled with cameras and microphones and a non-removable battery is a problem?

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2020, 06:43:11 AM »
Reading this thread I decided I wanted a WiFi-enabled thermostat. I found a Honeywell model that isn't touchscreen, looks like some of their standard LCD (black on green), but has a WiFi capability and I have to install Honeywell's smartphone app. Only $69.99 on sale!
Then I read the installation manual and user guide. OK, I can do this, I've installed thermostats before, including a Nest for my dad.
Then I started questioning what's wrong with the current thermostat (nothing), what will the new one do that the old one couldn't (programmable and remotely set the temp).
OK big deal, a few more minutes of 84F indoors until it cools down to 79F in the Sunshine State... which means more time for the kids to stay outside and I can get a few yard chores done.
Can we set schedules given our current and future work schedules? Umm No, we have kids, unpredictable schedules, sometimes work from home, sometimes client site, sometimes who knows from where. Wife and I haven't complained once in 11 years of home ownership about taking a few steps to the thermostat and setting it when coming home or leaving for the day.
So why do I want to replace a perfectly functioning unit and create waste? And probably more mother-ship reporting that the pi-hole needs to block.

fat-johnny

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2020, 09:46:54 AM »
Come to think of it, I’d appreciate my washer telling my phone when the load is done. It is in this outside closet so somewhat difficult to get to, and I forget about a load all the time. With the front-load washer if the clean clothes sit around for much they start to smell musty and have to be re-washed.
Well, ysette......what if I told you you could have all of this for a mere $40??

https://www.laundrysense.com/

Looks to me like a small vibration sensor. that you stick onto your washer or drier with a magnet.  When the sensor no longer senses vibration (i.e. your washer or drier stopped running), it alerts your phone.

2-pack (one for washer, one for drier) for $40....??    I just might bite.
FJ


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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2020, 09:54:48 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Chromecast audio was a good alternative, but they have stopped making them. They are still on ebay, but not as cheap as they once were.

The Sonos speaker that idea sells, is a little bit cheaper and still sounds pretty good, although not as good as the regular speakers.

I looked into a house system like Sonos, but the cost is just too much IMHO. I was gifted two different Bose Bluetooth speakers, one the size of a paperback book almost 10 years ago, and one the size of a hockey puck or couple decks of cards a couple years ago, and while pricey ($300 for big, $100 for small?) the great sound quality and ultra portability make a whole house system unnecessary to me.

Hocky puck speakers and the phrase "great sound quality" are two concepts that are completely, irrevocably at odds. ;)

Chris22

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2020, 10:21:46 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Chromecast audio was a good alternative, but they have stopped making them. They are still on ebay, but not as cheap as they once were.

The Sonos speaker that idea sells, is a little bit cheaper and still sounds pretty good, although not as good as the regular speakers.

I looked into a house system like Sonos, but the cost is just too much IMHO. I was gifted two different Bose Bluetooth speakers, one the size of a paperback book almost 10 years ago, and one the size of a hockey puck or couple decks of cards a couple years ago, and while pricey ($300 for big, $100 for small?) the great sound quality and ultra portability make a whole house system unnecessary to me.

Hocky puck speakers and the phrase "great sound quality" are two concepts that are completely, irrevocably at odds. ;)

It’s very good for what it is.

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/bose-soundlink-micro-review/

MilesTeg

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2020, 11:27:52 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Chromecast audio was a good alternative, but they have stopped making them. They are still on ebay, but not as cheap as they once were.

The Sonos speaker that idea sells, is a little bit cheaper and still sounds pretty good, although not as good as the regular speakers.

I looked into a house system like Sonos, but the cost is just too much IMHO. I was gifted two different Bose Bluetooth speakers, one the size of a paperback book almost 10 years ago, and one the size of a hockey puck or couple decks of cards a couple years ago, and while pricey ($300 for big, $100 for small?) the great sound quality and ultra portability make a whole house system unnecessary to me.

Hocky puck speakers and the phrase "great sound quality" are two concepts that are completely, irrevocably at odds. ;)

It’s very good for what it is.

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/bose-soundlink-micro-review/

Good for what it is means it's still a tiny speaker that can't magically violate the laws of physics to produce 'great sound' ;)

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2020, 12:32:39 PM »
I think I would be more into the idea of a smart home if everything was integrated into a single app or it all had a seamless interface.  I will not install 5 different apps.  The life gain I would get from having my electronics online I think is small, but I can see some parts being a bigger help to others.

fat-johnny

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2020, 12:43:55 PM »
I think I would be more into the idea of a smart home if everything was integrated into a single app...
That's kinda the idea of an app like Google Home.  I have an Android phone, so I am already bought into the Google infrastructure (vs Apple, or even Amazon's Alexa).  I have the Google Phone app on my phone, and some Google smart speakers throughout the house.  I have devices from Nest, Wyze, and Philips Hue to name a few.  They all integrate with Google Home, and I can use the one app to control them, or tell a Google Smart speaker 'Hey Google...set thermostat to 69 degrees".  It all works pretty well together.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2020, 01:24:18 PM »
I think I would be more into the idea of a smart home if everything was integrated into a single app or it all had a seamless interface.  I will not install 5 different apps.  The life gain I would get from having my electronics online I think is small, but I can see some parts being a bigger help to others.

My samsung hub talks to my door lock, camera, and thermostat, all diff brands.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #68 on: April 30, 2020, 01:44:10 PM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Amazon Dots have pretty good sound, IMO.  There's also an Alexa device to which you can attach your own speakers if you prefer.  You can buy a refurb dot for something like $30.  We have several of them around the house and I use them as a whole house sound system.  For $60 (one of my three was a gift), I have music in the main areas of my home.  Not mustachian, but it gets a lot of use and I'm happy with the expense.    Now, I can only listen to the music that is available through Prime for free, but that's more than sufficient.    Of course, you have to be willing to have Alexa listen in on your conversations...

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2020, 10:20:37 AM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Amazon Dots have pretty good sound, IMO.  There's also an Alexa device to which you can attach your own speakers if you prefer.  You can buy a refurb dot for something like $30.  We have several of them around the house and I use them as a whole house sound system.  For $60 (one of my three was a gift), I have music in the main areas of my home.  Not mustachian, but it gets a lot of use and I'm happy with the expense.    Now, I can only listen to the music that is available through Prime for free, but that's more than sufficient.    Of course, you have to be willing to have Alexa listen in on your conversations...
Do you actually have evidence that that is a problem. It doesnt matter if it's listening as long as the data is not sent to Amazon.

Villanelle

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #70 on: May 01, 2020, 02:55:58 PM »
I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I have none of the home automation devices discussed in this thread.  My thermostat is easily programmable but not connected.  None of my appliances are connected.  When we were shopping for a new range, I thought it was pretty odd that you could buy a Wifi enabled one. 

The one thing I would like to have however is a whole house sound system that is connected to my home theater system.  But damn, those Sonos speakers are really pricey.  Anyone have a good alternative without wiring in speakers?   If I wanted, I could run wire but it'd be a pain in the arse and I want to be able to control the volume output of speakers in each room.

Amazon Dots have pretty good sound, IMO.  There's also an Alexa device to which you can attach your own speakers if you prefer.  You can buy a refurb dot for something like $30.  We have several of them around the house and I use them as a whole house sound system.  For $60 (one of my three was a gift), I have music in the main areas of my home.  Not mustachian, but it gets a lot of use and I'm happy with the expense.    Now, I can only listen to the music that is available through Prime for free, but that's more than sufficient.    Of course, you have to be willing to have Alexa listen in on your conversations...
Do you actually have evidence that that is a problem. It doesnt matter if it's listening as long as the data is not sent to Amazon.

Was that question for me?  Clearly I'm fine with it since, as I stated, I have three of these things in my home.  But I mentioned it because I know that for some people it is a significant concern with any of these voice-activated devices.  I'm not one of those people though. 

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2020, 04:14:32 PM »
I have a few smart lights / outlets and a smart thermostat and I think they're worth it. It's really nice to wake up to my room slowly brightening in the winter since I have to leave for work before dawn. I found that the Ikea smart lights / outlets were a pretty good deal and are simple to use. The thermostat I have now is Honeywell, the Nest I had before broke way too quickly. I think I'd like to get the Ikea smart blinds eventually. I like to keep the blinds closed at night, but I have a few windows with plants so it would be nice if the blinds automatically went up in the morning for them. I don't have many windows so it would be a fun little improvement.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #72 on: May 06, 2020, 04:02:19 PM »
I have roost's leak detector and a garage door sensor (looks like a 9V battery and tells me if the Garage door is open or closed, but cannot open/close the door).  I'm less a fan of cameras or anything that will actually open or close a door/lock.  I have no amazon/google smart speakers in the house, and I've disabled the mic on my phone to everything except skype and the phone app.  I do not use Siri.  I'm still unhappy with the degree of tracking on me, and don't care to bring anything that tracks me unless there is a benefit (like telling me there is a leak in the house and finding it before I have significant water damage).

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #73 on: May 06, 2020, 04:07:50 PM »
Of course the Alexa audio is sent to Amazon, how do you think they do the NLP (natural language processing)? It's very computationally intensive and is done in the cloud. Further, recent news shows Amazon mined the data of their retail customers to find good product ideas to compete with their own customers. So their track record is not good.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #74 on: May 09, 2020, 07:47:46 AM »
Of course the Alexa audio is sent to Amazon, how do you think they do the NLP (natural language processing)? It's very computationally intensive and is done in the cloud. Further, recent news shows Amazon mined the data of their retail customers to find good product ideas to compete with their own customers. So their track record is not good.
This.
Was in an AWS NLP workshop recently, their SageMaker API, plus other cloud tools/services, make NLP much cheaper, faster, easier. This is why I don't trust any Amazon devices in the house, they are data feeders, I won't have one even if given for free.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #75 on: May 15, 2020, 11:02:37 AM »
I have roost's leak detector and a garage door sensor (looks like a 9V battery and tells me if the Garage door is open or closed, but cannot open/close the door).  I'm less a fan of cameras or anything that will actually open or close a door/lock.  I have no amazon/google smart speakers in the house, and I've disabled the mic on my phone to everything except skype and the phone app.  I do not use Siri.  I'm still unhappy with the degree of tracking on me, and don't care to bring anything that tracks me unless there is a benefit (like telling me there is a leak in the house and finding it before I have significant water damage).

Could you share the garage door opener make/model? I like simple sensors like this and the suggested laundry machine sensors.

We have porch lights that come on at dusk and switch off at midnight. We have smart bulbs/outlet that we once used to light the house when we typically arrived at home.

These days with older kids someone is always home now. Not as important. We do have the aforementioned Honeywell thermostat with timers to kick the temps up and down a little in an effort to save some money.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #76 on: May 15, 2020, 01:49:26 PM »
I used to have an Arlo camera set-up back in 2017 when I was having problems with a vandalizing neighbor.  After that was resolved by moving away, the Arlo cams were no longer worth the effort of keeping them active.  The inconvenience of recharging the batteries and deleting videos of birds flying by, etc...

jinga nation

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2020, 09:41:44 AM »
my neighbor has cloud connected webcams, but they're battery powered. His car was broken into. Camera facing the driveway had sent out low-battery messages a week prior which he ignored. Camera dead during break-in.

I'm leaning towards a cloud-connected but wired power (AC/DC/POE) home camera system, I'll need a minimum of 2 cameras, but prefer 4.

FINate

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #78 on: May 19, 2020, 10:13:53 AM »
my neighbor has cloud connected webcams, but they're battery powered. His car was broken into. Camera facing the driveway had sent out low-battery messages a week prior which he ignored. Camera dead during break-in.

I'm leaning towards a cloud-connected but wired power (AC/DC/POE) home camera system, I'll need a minimum of 2 cameras, but prefer 4.

Check out the UniFi Dream Machine Pro. It combines the UniFi security gateway, network controller, switch (non-PoE), and video security NVR in a single unit. Add a PoE switch for the Protect line of cameras and one or more of the excellent UniFi WiFi access points and you're set.

The Protect videos are hosted locally, but accessible via cloud (no subscription).

The UniFi line isn't consumer grade hardware, it's designed for SMB and so requires a higher level of tech ability to configure (basically, you need to be comfortable with defining TCP/IP networks, services, firewalls, etc.). The price, though, is comparable to consumer grade mesh products but way faster and way more reliable.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #79 on: May 19, 2020, 10:20:23 AM »
my neighbor has cloud connected webcams, but they're battery powered. His car was broken into. Camera facing the driveway had sent out low-battery messages a week prior which he ignored. Camera dead during break-in.

I'm leaning towards a cloud-connected but wired power (AC/DC/POE) home camera system, I'll need a minimum of 2 cameras, but prefer 4.

Check out the UniFi Dream Machine Pro. It combines the UniFi security gateway, network controller, switch (non-PoE), and video security NVR in a single unit. Add a PoE switch for the Protect line of cameras and one or more of the excellent UniFi WiFi access points and you're set.

The Protect videos are hosted locally, but accessible via cloud (no subscription).

The UniFi line isn't consumer grade hardware, it's designed for SMB and so requires a higher level of tech ability to configure (basically, you need to be comfortable with defining TCP/IP networks, services, firewalls, etc.). The price, though, is comparable to consumer grade mesh products but way faster and way more reliable.

It also has 10Gbps ports if you want to have a higher bandwidth switch uplink.  I have a single 10Gbps link to my POE switch and then run everything off of that - access points / hardwired devices and at some point this year I'll replace the antiquated camera system (was already here when I bought the house) with modern POE cameras.  It is much more expensive than consumer-grade unmanaged gear, but punches way above its price point when compared to enterprise hardware.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #80 on: July 01, 2020, 01:51:26 PM »
I invested a small windfall into my smart home. (under 250€)
Simply Ikea Tradfri, combined with the bridge and Google Assistant.

It's great for turning off the light when I'm in bed... I also like the fact that I always have a remote for a group of lamps, I don't have to use the app/VA always.

It's a good start, maybe I will add stuff, but for now I am satisfied.

scottish

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #81 on: July 01, 2020, 06:31:40 PM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2020, 05:53:23 AM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

Uninterruptible Power Supply, or something else?

jinga nation

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #83 on: July 02, 2020, 09:17:39 AM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

deploy a pi-hole on your home network. I'm running it on a RaspberryPi but you can run it on other Linux operating systems.

More in an old post here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/pi-hole-in-my-home-network/

I work in Cloud and cyber security engineering for a govt agency; I don't have any "smart" devices or cloud-connected webcams in my house.

Next step (long overdue) is to get a VPN account and deploy PiVPN on the RaspberryPi.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #84 on: July 02, 2020, 10:46:31 PM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

deploy a pi-hole on your home network. I'm running it on a RaspberryPi but you can run it on other Linux operating systems.

More in an old post here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/pi-hole-in-my-home-network/

I work in Cloud and cyber security engineering for a govt agency; I don't have any "smart" devices or cloud-connected webcams in my house.

Next step (long overdue) is to get a VPN account and deploy PiVPN on the RaspberryPi.

Are you running any kind of in-house cloud storage or RAID? I have a pile of external hard drives backing up everything I have. It's tedious.

scottish

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #85 on: July 04, 2020, 07:53:35 PM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

Uninterruptible Power Supply, or something else?

It was a uninterruptible power supply.   It can be connected to your system via USB and there's a monitoring program.    Which was scanning my entire hard drive on startup.

scottish

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #86 on: July 04, 2020, 07:56:44 PM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

deploy a pi-hole on your home network. I'm running it on a RaspberryPi but you can run it on other Linux operating systems.

More in an old post here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/pi-hole-in-my-home-network/

I work in Cloud and cyber security engineering for a govt agency; I don't have any "smart" devices or cloud-connected webcams in my house.

Next step (long overdue) is to get a VPN account and deploy PiVPN on the RaspberryPi.

Are you running any kind of in-house cloud storage or RAID? I have a pile of external hard drives backing up everything I have. It's tedious.

Yes, you can firewall it in various ways.   

In my case, I was experimenting with an IOT camera.    The *only* way to access the imagery from the camera was via the manufacturer's servers, using their smart phone app.   That one got crossed off the list pretty quickly.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2020, 08:17:25 AM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I'm pretty reluctant to connect "smart" things to my home network ever since the Sony TV that scanned all the computers on my network for media files and then uploaded the metadata about them.    come to think of it, I caught my UPS doing the same thing on the local computer.  WTF?  a UPS?

deploy a pi-hole on your home network. I'm running it on a RaspberryPi but you can run it on other Linux operating systems.
More in an old post here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/pi-hole-in-my-home-network/

I work in Cloud and cyber security engineering for a govt agency; I don't have any "smart" devices or cloud-connected webcams in my house.

Next step (long overdue) is to get a VPN account and deploy PiVPN on the RaspberryPi.

Are you running any kind of in-house cloud storage or RAID? I have a pile of external hard drives backing up everything I have. It's tedious.

Look at NAS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage

I have two older examples. I keep them unplugged until I need to back up something. Each has a pair of hard drives inside.

Once upon a time I would leave them turned on and they would sleep when not in use. However they were sleeping most of the time which I figure represents a little wear and tear. And an opportunity for someone to hack their way inside to copy our files. Can't hack a device that is not powered on.

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Re: Home automation/ smart homes
« Reply #88 on: July 15, 2020, 07:24:11 PM »
How to you folks feel about your home data being relayed through, and often stored, on the manufacturers servers?     Is this a privacy concern to you?   

I wouldn’t put a Ring or similar camera inside my house.

Outside?  Meh. Knock yourself out if you want a glimpse of my driveway, backyard, or neighbor’s house (via my doorbell camera)