Smart Home Devices That Will Change Your Life

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It’s 2022 and we’re finally living in the future! No longer do you need to walk around your home cleaning and turning things on and off like it’s the olden days – there are devices for that now.

If you are equipped with a high-speed internet plan (NBN or high-speed wireless), then you can find a smart device to take care of (almost) your every need!

We’ve compiled a list of the most life-changing smart devices that will make you wonder how you ever got by without them.

  • Smart speakers
  • Streaming device
  • Wireless home security
  • Smart thermostats
  • Robot vacuum cleaners
  • Setting up my smart home

Smart devices perform best with fast, reliable internet. Give CheapBills a call and we can compare NBN plans to make sure you’re getting the best value for your needs. If your area doesn’t have an NBN connection, we can find you super-fast internet by comparing 5G plans.

Smart speakers

Love them or loathe them, we have no choice but to put our new best friends Siri, Alexa and Google at the top of the list. 

Each of these smart home assistants works in a similar way, with a similar range of uses, so the “best” choice really comes down to the tribe you have subscribed to, and far be it from us to try to convert an Apple enthusiast to Google. 

Smart speakers

Choosing a smart device that you can easily integrate with your existing tech will make your experience much more fulfilling, so if you’re an iPhone and Mac household, choose Siri, while Android users can opt for Alexa or Google.

How it works

Smart speakers are voice-activated devices that run through your internet connection. You can program them to respond to specific voice commands or they are pre-programmed to perform certain tasks in response to certain words. There can be some fun and games in the early days while you get to know each other!

You can connect your smart speakers to any other smart devices in your home including your phone, television, smart lighting, smart plugs, heating, smart locks and security system.

When they work, smart speakers will make your life much easier – you can get almost anything done just by shouting a command to the room.

But be wary, it’s not uncommon for your smart speaker to join in a dinner party or a family discussion when it thinks it has heard a command, and plenty of people find the fact that they are always listening more than a little unnerving!

You will need a stable internet connection and plug socket to set up your smart speakers.

How much does it cost?

Smart speakers are surprisingly affordable. As with any technology, you can spend more to get more features or choose a basic model for a lower price. The different brands are comparable in price, with Apple the slightly more expensive in the group. The prices below are from Officeworks and are correct for August 2022:

  • Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker with Google Home – $69
  • Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen with Alexa – $74
  • Apple HomePod Mini – $139

Streaming device

With so many streaming services now available – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple and Foxtel Binge to name a few – smart TVs can feel clunky and hard to navigate as you switch between apps and live TV.

Streaming device

That’s where streaming devices come in. They put all your content in one place, so there’s no jumping between apps, and serve you personal recommendations on your home screen. It should be noted that some brands only enable access to their own content and that of their partners, so make sure your favourite streaming services are available before you commit to a device.

Streaming devices can also be controlled with a remote or voice-activated so there’s no more time-consuming typing into your TV’s on-screen keyboard.

How it works

Your smart device plugs into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, then you simply log in and you’re ready to go. You will need a fast and unlimited internet connection to get the most out of your streaming experience.

How much does it cost?

You can expect to pay around $100 for a streaming device, with Apple TV slightly more expensive. The following prices are from JB Hi-Fi and are correct for August 2022:

  • Google Chromecast with Google TV – $99
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max Alexa Voice Remote with TV controls – $99
  • Apple TV HD 32GB – $200

Wireless home security

Long gone are the days of Big Brother-style pivoting CCTV cameras to protect our homes. Home security can now be a sleek doorbell or a barely visible fixed camera.

Wireless home security

Wireless security connects to your internet allowing you to watch in real-time and record video or sound from the cameras. Most security devices are motion or sound activated, so you can set up alerts on your phone to tell you when something has been detected.

Some devices also allow two-way communication, so you can talk through them, set off an alarm or even contact the emergency services.

How it works

Smart home security devices are usually run through an app on your phone or device. You simply install the camera where you want it, then follow the steps on the app to get connected. The devices run through the internet, so you will need a fast NBN, 5G or broadband connection to get the best experience.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the brand and system you choose. Video doorbells are generally the cheap option, with security camera systems topping the price list. The below prices are from Officeworks and are correct for August 2022.

  • Kangaroo H0008 Smart Doorbell – $68
  • Google Nest Cam – $325
  • Eufy Security Cam 2 Pro 2K Home Security System 4 Pack – $1,245

Smart thermostats

The ever-increasing cost of energy might mean that a smart thermostat is more of an essential than a luxury item.

A smart thermostat lets you control your heating and cooling through your phone or by voice control, and some devices will learn your daily routine and create a heating/cooling schedule to match.

Smart thermostats

This can significantly increase the energy efficiency of your household and save you some big money on your energy bill in the process.

How it works

The way a smart thermostat works depends on the make and model you choose, plus the current set-up of your heating and cooling system. The smart thermostat will replace your current thermostat on the wall. While this can be done yourself in some instances, we recommend getting it professionally installed because there are a lot of variables that affect the steps you need to take.

Once installed, you can use your phone or voice to control the temperature and program the thermostat to heat or cool certain areas at certain times of the day.

How much does it cost?

The price of your smart thermostat depends on the features you choose. The most basic models enable temperature control from your phone, while the high specced models include smart learning, humidity detectors and even geofencing, where the system can track your phone and prepare your house for arrival when it sees you are on your way home!

The below prices are from The Gadget Collective and are correct in August 2022.

  • Wyze Smart Wifi Thermostat For Home – $189
  • Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat, 2nd Gen – $356
  • Google Nest Learning Thermostat – Programmable Smart 3rd Generation – $462

Robot vacuum cleaners

If anyone out there has time to do the vacuuming, we want to know your secret! For the rest of us, a robot vacuum cleaner is a dream. These nifty devices can be time programmed to keep your floors sparkling clean at all times – no more scrambling to look presentable when the in-laws are on their way! Some of the newer models can even do the mopping for you at the same time.

Robot vacuum cleaners

A robot vacuum is programmed through your internet connection and can be controlled with an app or a smart speaker, depending on the model. 

How it works

When you first get your smart cleaner, you use its app to teach it the layout of your house, create any no-go zones and set a schedule. It will take care of the rest itself!

You will need to make sure it is connected to a stable wi-fi network and is regularly emptied so it can do its job well, although some of the latest models are self-emptying so you’ll never have to lift a finger again!

How much does it cost?

Robot vacuums don’t come cheap, but can you really put a price on happiness? Prices range from $400 to almost $3,000, so a mid-range model is comparable with a standard vacuum cleaner. The prices below are from The Good Guys and are correct for August 2022.

  • Ecovacs DEEBOT U2 Robotic Vacuum – $399
  • iRobot Braava jet m6 Robot Mop – $794
  • iRobot Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum – $2,899

Setting up my smart home

The extent of your smart home comes down to your personal preference and your budget. Once you have decided on the devices you want to incorporate into your lifestyle, it’s as easy as checking that your internet connection is suitable and plugging in your new device.

Next steps

If you’re not sure if your internet will support your new devices, or if you are looking for the best NBN providers to save money on your bills, talk to one of our experts and we can recommend the best option for your needs.

Our NBN comparison service is 100% free and tailored to your specific internet needs.

Some of our favorite plans are below (prices are correct for August 2022).

For households looking for an NBN plan comparison

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  • Belong Premium Plan
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For 5G networks

  • Optus 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast
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For households looking for an entertainment/internet bundle

  • Optus Internet Family Entertainer
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    • Typical evening speed: 50Mbps
    • Netflix subscription
    • $99 per month ($89 per month for the first 6 months)
  • Foxtel deals – Unlimited broadband and Foxtel Plus bundle
    • Unlimited data
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    • Netflix subscription
    • Foxtel Plus channel pack
    • $124 per month ($49 per month for the first 2 months)

For the best deals on 5G or NBN compare with CheapBills today! Call 1300 786 045 or enter your details online.

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