Everything You Need to Know About Smart Home Networking

Right now, as you kick back on your couch and daydream about your next smart home upgrade, you may not realize it, but you’re awash in data. From Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats to Bluetooth-accessible door locks to Z-Wave-connected alarm sensors to Zigbee-networked lightbulbs, there could be an array or wireless signals criss-crossing your house.

Why do we need so many different technologies that essentially do the same thing?

On the face of it, that’s a reasonable question, but it’s also analogous to asking the difference between a ball-peen and a sledge hammer — both are used to bang on things, but you wouldn’t drive a fencepost with a mallet. Likewise, the various wireless networks that make up a smart home each have their own use.

And just as those networks are invisible in the real world, solutions like Logitech’s Harmony Home Hub, which can talk to a database of more than 270,000 connected devices, are trying to make them invisible to smart home owners by controlling all these separately-networked smart home products — everything from connected coffee makers to smart window shades — through one interface. But until you get a home hub solution like the Harmony, it’s worth knowing why smart home product designers choose the networks that they do:

Read more: http://time.com/3745059/smart-home-wireless-networks/

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