Is cheap expensive when it comes to smart home? Smarthome has a reputation for being very expensive at times. This makes it a bit less accessible for many consumers. In the smarthome trends article from last year we therefore called on manufacturers to provide more affordable products. Smarthome will only really become a success if it is accessible to every target group. Not only financially, but also in terms of convenience. Over the past year, we’ve seen several affordable smarthome products. A nice step forward. Then the question remains. Is cheap expensive when it comes to smart home?
A brands, B brands and C brands
In order to distinguish it is important to look at the different brands. We all see brands such as Philips Hue, Arlo, Ring or Harman Kardon as well-known premium brands. Certainly not always cheap, but you know what you are getting with these brands. It is already something different when we talk about the own brands of Kruidvat, Lidl, Action or HEMA. We cannot label these as A brands, even if there is little wrong with the smart home collections of these retail chains. Finally, we sometimes also see products from unknown brands lying for a bargain in outlet stores or other cheap providers. Brands that we have never heard of and that you might want to skip. In such a case, cheap can be expensive. And you don’t want that.
The best security starts with you
A smarthome stands for comfort and convenience. Yet in the world of IoT (Internet of Things) you have to deal with data flows. Images or other information are stored in the cloud, on the servers of the manufacturer or elsewhere. You cannot always influence that. All those devices with microphones and cameras on board can hear and see everything that is going on in your house. What if data falls into the wrong hands somewhere or turns out not to be stored in such a secure way?
First of all, it is of course important that you have security in order in your own home. Choose a strong password (not welcome123). A handy way to choose a strong password is by pasting three completely different words in a row, changing certain letters to numbers (for example the 4 instead of a or a 3 instead of an e) and capital letters and characters. like a #, ! or ? to add. In addition, always ensure the latest updates. Is there an update available for your device? This update may close an important vulnerability. From 2021, manufacturers will be obliged to provide updates for smart devices thanks to a new law.
Reputation is at stake
In the past, of course, things have gone wrong on the part of the manufacturers. Google and Amazon have already been reprimanded. You may be reluctant to use a product from a large company. Nevertheless, you have to take into account that these companies are always under a magnifying glass. And we should be glad about that. These companies also have a reputation to uphold and will certainly improve the processes in terms of data processing and storage in the event of problems. Reputation is on the line and solutions will soon be found when things go wrong.
But what if you buy a C-brand on vacation or at an outlet store for a few euros? A brand you’ve never heard of? You may search for the company in Google, but you will also find little information there. So you have no idea what you actually buy, what the company does with your data and where the company is located at all. So you can imagine that such an unknown C brand is not really under a magnifying glass in the media. If it goes wrong, you actually have no idea. You actually do not know at all whether they have everything on their side in terms of data processing. Therefore, be sensible and skip these unknown brands.
Is cheap expensive purchase?
In the past year, many affordable products have appeared that are certainly not as obscure as the C brands and are therefore a nice alternative to the more expensive A brands. And even the premium brands have excellent affordable products in their range. Below we provide an overview of affordable smart home products. Then we still have to answer the following question: Is cheap expensive? You can, but not if you make wise choices. Affordable products can also be a good choice, but know what you are buying.