Brett Jurgens

Brett Jurgens is the Co-Founder and CEO of Notion, the complete home awareness solution powered by a multi-purpose IoT smart home sensor.

Smartphones have revolutionized how people communicate and serve as powerful tools that help make lives easier and more convenient, and with every new advancement in technology, their capabilities become even more impressive. So, it makes sense that the next big step would be for these technologies to take up residence in homes. Installing multiple Internet of Things (IoT) devices to make your home “smarter” is a significant new trend in the world of digital innovation, allowing homeowners to take control over their homes’ safety, improve accessibility and reap the rewards of energy-efficiency cost savings.

If you’re a new homeowner, now’s the perfect time to get your house outfitted with the latest IoT devices, and making sure they are properly installed is the first step. Here’s how:

Step 1: Make sure you have high-speed Wi-Fi that extends to all areas of the home.

• Don’t let connectivity issues slow you down. Since all IoT devices require an internet connection, it’s important that Wi-Fi speeds are top-notch, especially if you have multiple devices, like a smart thermostat, smart lock, smart light switch or doorbell camera, installed throughout your home.

• Check your internet speed. Ask your internet service provider (ISP) what an appropriate speed would be for all your devices to perform at optimal levels, and be sure to scale speeds to the size of your home. As a baseline, speeds of at least 250 megabits per second are recommended for small to midsize homes.

• Go big. Another smart move would be to invest in mesh Wi-Fi products for your home to ensure that all of your IoT devices are capable of connecting to Wi-Fi. A mesh system is made up of a primary router connected directly to your modem and various beacons that you place around the house. The router sends signals to each beacon, which extends the Wi-Fi connectivity range, allowing users to access Wi-Fi signals in historically difficult locations, like the basement or front patio. This will help to maximize internet speeds and make the most out of your IoT devices.

Step 2: Take advantage of discounts.

• Save money and stay comfortable. Another benefit of having an IoT-device-friendly home is that many insurance companies and service providers offer discounts or rebates simply by using them. For instance, Colorado residents can enroll in Xcel Energy’s AC Rewards Smart Thermostat Program to be eligible to receive a $25 credit for each year they participate.

Step 3: Leave the installation to the experts.

• Execute expertly. Don’t fall victim to porch pirating because your doorbell camera wasn’t properly installed. Consulting a home installation expert can alleviate the frustration and stress of doing it yourself and ensure all devices are installed and positioned within your home properly, making the entire process as easy as turning on a light — from your phone.

• Call in the crew. Everyone has that one tech-savvy friend who has a knack for installing everything from computers to printers and, yes, IoT devices. But if they aren’t available, I recommend using services like Angie’s List to find an installation professional. (Full disclosure: Angie’s List is the parent company of one of my company’s partners.)

Humans crave connection, and IoT is changing how people interact with technology by making them feel even more connected, not only to each other, but now to their homes. Reap the rewards that having a smart(er) home affords — from cost savings to safety and convenience — by making sure your new home is IoT-device ready. It’s a smart move.