Smart Home. Wednesday , August 01st , 2018 - 23:28:33 PM
A newer perk of smart homes is leveraging your network to control the home - your lights, curtains, heating, kitchen appliances, air conditioning and more. The technology is basically a receiver and actuator - such as a WIFI radio with motors for the curtains, or Bluetooth radio and switches to control your lighting. You can use a phone, tablet or sensor as the input, perhaps even using the Internet to control your home from outside. Previously restricted to the high-end, keep your eye out for devices such trickling down to the budget market.
The two main components of a smart home are the controlling system i.e. Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a user friendly device such as a trigger or remote. The Central Processing Unit is installed at the central place inside the home with which user can communicate through remotes or other handheld or palm devices. A user can communicate with controlling system from any remote location anytime via internet.
While technology is becoming more and more "distributed", a central server is the standard and perfectly future-proof solution for your home. By "server" we mean a system comprising a processor, file storage and networking. The range in servers is huge - you could have a single USB drive connected to the network and call it a server, or a powerful computer with massive storage. For most people, a system with at least one hard drive and a processor less than five years old is adequate. Of course, the server should be wired directly into your network at the fastest possible connection speed. You can purchase a "DLNA" server, "NAS" server (for several hundred US dollars) or high-end system to control your entire house (several thousand or more US dollars). But in fact any personal computer, laptop or even a capable Internet router will suffice. Some internet routers have a USB port that you can connect a USB hard drive to, and the router's processor can handle the media streaming, provided the router has appropriate software installed, such as a DLNA server. You can install free DLNA or other server software on a Windows or Mac PC in minutes. Basically you can re-use an old computer to act as a home server, or buymake a new computer specially. Many networking devices run on Linux, so if you see something like a NAS or DLNA server for sale, just remember you can install Linux on an old computer and easily replicate or surpass the supposedly high performance dedicated servers for sale today. When choosing your server, make sure a) It's networking speed is at least 100Mbits b) It has plentiful storage space c) The processor is at least less than five years old. Normally, providing the network speed is very fast and the processor quite recent, spend as much money as possible on the storage, such as multiple, high-capacity hard disks.
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