Smart Home. Monday , September 03rd , 2018 - 21:27:14 PM
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.
An ordinary smoke detector that gets activated can cause confusion, especially if you have several units at home. If it isn't monitored, there's no way you'll get alerted about a possible fire - unless you have some friendly neighbors looking after your home. For your safety and security, it's best if you can upgrade your smoke detector to something smarter. Most smart smoke detectors today are industrial grade and can last a long time. Some of them even come with dedicated apps to help make monitoring a lot easier. Apart from battery life, they can also tell you exactly which area of the house is showing increased temperature. They can even connect you to your local police and firemen for a quick resolution. These extra features can mean a higher price tag. However, considering that they can augment your home security and initiate a faster response, they can be considered as valuable investments. If you are on a tight budget and investing in new devices doesn't seem feasible at the moment, your next best option is to invest in a device that can turn ordinary devices into smart ones.
When you're building a smart home, your concern shouldn't be limited to the kinds of devices you'll invest in; you also have to take proper measures on how you'll secure everything inside it. Your router is one of your home's weakest spots. Much like your front door, you should strengthen it to keep intruders out. Start by changing your password. As soon as you receive your router, change its default password with something that can't easily be guessed. Refrain from using your birth year or the last digits of your phone number. As much as possible, create a lengthy password and make sure to use alphanumeric characters to make it even harder to crack. It's also a good idea to constantly upgrade your security software to decrease your devices' vulnerability to new threats, like spying tools and viruses. Install a malware protection to prevent suspicious and malicious programs from running on your computer.
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