Smart Home. Tuesday , July 31st , 2018 - 03:12:37 AM
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.
The best part of this new market is that if you are moderately handy or capable of doing some handy work around the house you can set it up and monitor it yourself without too much effort. In order to truly realize the capabilities and energy efficiencies of a smart home there are certain things you should consider before getting started. Where you live, dry climate, humid, temperate etc. What your budget is, not only what you can afford to spend on changes, but also what your highest utility costs are and where you might want to save some money.
What are your DIY strengths, plumbing, electrical, networking (internet, wireless, bluetooth) and what is your overall objective? Are you interested in a Smart Home with Smart Appliances and systems that give you updates, keep track of your utilities, food, turn on TVs and stereos at certain times, touch screens that allow you to program lighting or interactive features around the house. Remote access via an app or the internet, security monitoring with cameras or just occupancy sensors, or any alarm features that you might want for peace of mind. With all that in mind take a look around your house and start to put together an idea of what you want to accomplish in achieving your Smart Home ideas. Prioritize what you want to do first and whether or not you can do it yourself.
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