6 Additional Advanced Home Automation Security Tips

Home automation makes your life easier, gives you more control over your home, and increases security. However, you must also secure the home automation system itself. Here are six more advanced tips on how to use home automation securely.

6 Additional Advanced Home Automation Security Tips

Install Updates Regularly

You should always be updating your home automation applications or the entire system whenever a new update comes out. Updates often contain security patches that are designed to fix vulnerabilities that were present in previous versions.

Check the Privacy Policy

Every home automation system comes with a privacy policy; make sure to read it. What is being done with your data? You want to make sure that your data is in trusted hands and will never be shared with any third parties. That’s why it’s so important to get your system from a company that you can trust.

Secure Your Camera

Make sure that your camera isn’t vulnerable to an attack. First, change the default IP port on your camera. Additionally, check your camera’s IP logs on a regular basis and make sure that no suspicious activity is present.

Use 2FA

Using 2FA (two-factor authentication) whenever it is available will help secure your network from intruders. Two-factor authentication will require you to enter a code (sent to your mobile phone or email address) in order to log in to an application, in addition to a password.

Disable Features You Don’t Need

If you aren’t using a feature, turn it off. This can help reduce vulnerabilities. For example, if you never need to use remote access, turning it off will reduce the risk of someone remotely accessing your system unauthorized.

Buy From the Right Company

It’s important to only purchase a home automation system from a company that has a track record, a good reputation, and that you can trust. Contact us today for more information.

4 Important Home Automation Security Tips

The global smart home market is exploding and is expected to reach $53.5 billion by 2022. Home automation and smart homes come with many benefits, including increased security and control. However, it’s important to make sure that your smart home is secure from hackers and cyber attacks. Here are four important tips to help you secure your home network.

4 Important Home Automation Security Tips

Get a Secure Router

Not all routers are created equal. A hardwired internet system is harder for hackers to enter, but if you are using wireless internet, make sure to get a router that is secure. In addition, change the default name of the network. Even better, hide the network so that it doesn’t appear when external devices are searching for a connection.

Create a Secure Password

You’d be surprised by how many people use unsafe passwords such as 12345678 or even “password.” Make sure to create a complex password with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, digits, and symbols. Write it down somewhere so that you won’t forget it. Also, change your password on a regular basis.

Create Separate Networks

If you have a smart home system, you should create separate WiFi networks for your personal devices and the smart home devices. There is no need to mix the two together; it will just increase the risk of an attack. If possible, create a third guest network for any visiting guests and friends.

Don’t Use Public WiFi

If you are accessing your home automation applications remotely, never do so from a public WiFfi network. Always use a trusted and secure network. If you need to use remote access and don’t have a WiFi network that you can trust, use mobile cell phone data instead, which is generally more secure than public WiFi.

It’s also important to buy from a company that makes security a priority. Contact us for more information.

5 Ways Touchscreen Home Automation Makes Your Life Easier

Having a touchscreen smart home system is a great way to enhance your day-to-day living experience and make your life easier. Here are five benefits of installing an automated home system.

5 Ways Touchscreen Home Automation Makes Your Life Easier

Protect Your Pets

Having an automated home system lets you protect your pets from harm. You can watch them through your monitors to make sure they are not getting into any trouble. Another great benefit is the ability to provide your pets with comfort even when you are not home. You can easily regulate the temperature and lighting in your home so that your pet does not have to suffer in the cold, heat, or dark just because you were held up at work.

Increase Home Value

Having an automated home system will increase the value of your home. If and when you sell or rent your home in the future, you will get a better price.

Save on Homeowner’s Insurance

If you have an automated home system with security features, you can save sometimes up to 10 percent on your homeowner’s insurance since your home is more protected that way.

Improve Physical and Emotional Comfort

Having an automated home system will increase both your physical and your emotional comfort. It will let you control the lighting and temperature in your home easily from wherever you are. It will also give you peace of mind when you are not home, knowing that your home is safe and secure.

The Ability to Customize It

You can customize your automated home system to fit your needs exactly. Whether you want to be able to have the same music or podcast playing in every room of your home at the same time or you simply want the lights to turn off at a specific time every day, we can help you out. Contact us today for more information.

2 Ways an Automated Home Helps You Manage Your Time

Automated homes save you time. You can turn on your phone to check if the garage door closed all the way. You can integrate your media so you don’t have to spend time searching and fast-forwarding when you switch between devices. You can even use smart home systems to lower your expenses so you don’t have to spring on that next overtime opportunity. But a good home automation system doesn’t just save you time, it helps you track your time. Here’s how:

2 Ways an Automated Home Helps You Manage Your Time

Get a Better Examination of Your Media Consumption

The Internet is full of time trackers you can add to your browsers to see how much time you’re spending on Netflix and social media. But that minute count is always incomplete: it doesn’t take into account your other devices, other distractions, and when you get caught up in other people’s shows. But a house-wide media system captures all of the details, even for media you consume when you’re not at home. Because all of your devices sync up, you can really get to the bottom of how you’re spending your hours.

Set a Schedule

Schedules are hard to follow, especially when they rely just on your willingness to follow them. Instead of trying to push through and stick to a schedule through alarms alone, incorporate your schedule into your home system. If you want to be up at a certain time, program the lights to slowly start brightening 15 minutes before when you should be up so you wake up more naturally. Set your usual work routine into your thermostat so the temperature rises and falls based on how many people are supposed to be in the house. Set the sockets to power down ‘vampire devices’ during the day and make sure the power needs a quick password to be overridden. This still allows you to make changes to your day, but it makes those changes deliberate. Not only does making your house an active part in your schedule motivate you, it takes away the small tasks that could add to inertia.

Go to Audio Video Solutions to find the right home automation system that fits your lifestyle.

Home Automation: 3 Things You Can Automate in Your House Right Now!

You know how in the 1950s everyone was convinced that the home of the 21st century would be fully staffed by robots? While some of us are snickering about that, others have realized that ideal isn’t all that far off from what’s happened. Today, if we want to, it’s fully possible to live in the idea of the automatic home. Here are just a few things we’ve automated in order to make our home lives that much simpler.

Home Automation: 3 Things You Can Automate in Your House Right Now!

#1: Shades

You never really think about the shades on your windows, until it’s time to pull them. And it’s only when you pull them that you remember how much of a pain it can be. Automated shades, though, can be opened or closed to any degree you want with the simple push of a button. Sometimes you don’t even have to get up, making them a huge convenience you didn’t even know you wanted.

#2: Home Security System

Home security has become a huge concern, and thanks to the advent of the smartphone it’s now possible for homeowners to change their settings whenever they want to. If you want to make sure your security light comes on at seven p.m., you can make that happen. If you want your alarms to automatically be engaged at a certain time, you can make that happen too. It’s safety on your schedule.

#3: Lights, TV, and Video Games

If you want to make sure that your kids go to bed when they’re supposed to, a simple automated timer can cut off power to a TV or video game system when curfew rolls around. That way there’s no need to sneak up to listen in; you know beforehand that distractions are eliminated when the timer runs out. In fact, if you want to make sure you go to bed like a mature adult, you could put one of these automated timers in your own room, too.

To talk to the experts about automating your home, simply contact us today!

Simplify Your Media Technology with Integration and Automation

One of the most common problems with previous home theaters is that they were too complicated. Not only were the speakers bulky and too technical to modify, each new part of the system came with its own remote, instruction manual, and limiting quirks. But not only are home theaters designed now to integrate with your previous media equipment, you can adapt control to a central device or give it to all users with integration.

Simplify Your Media Technology with Integration and Automation

How does home automation simplify your home theater?

  1. You can control everything from a single device, and that device can be your phone. Home systems from electrical use and heating to security cameras are accessible on your smart phone, and home theaters offer the same functionality. You can dim the lights, select a movie and adjust the volume all with a tap on the screen.
  2. Crestron’s interface standardizes how you control each system’s setting. Even with a universal remote, you might have had to deal with different settings menus that all have a different system of organization and a different way of getting to key features. But Crestron’s apps give you control of every device’s features without you having to remember how each one is different.
  3. You can give different levels of control to different users. Not only can everyone in your household have a playlist of favorite songs or some in-progress shows waiting for them, you can control overall access. This control can range from making sure the volume never exceeds a certain limit in the morning and evening to blocking R-rated material entirely.

Automating your home gives you an infinite array of options but without all the clutter of multiple remotes or multiple operating system quirks. Go to Audio Video Solutions to get started.

Three Ways Home Integration Provides A Seamless Media Experience

We’ve all sat in the car until a song or segment is over. But it’s getting too cold outside to sit without a heater and technology is too in-sync to not be able to carry the sound with us as we move. How can a home automation system help? Here are three ways home integration can provide a seamless media experience.

Three Ways Home Integration Provides A Seamless Media Experience

  • Integrating your home theater means never losing your flow. Just like with different reading and work devices, sometimes it’s better to use a tablet and other times a laptop is better. If you’re listening to an audio book in your car on the way home and you’re not at a good stopping point, a good home integration system can switch the audio over to your home’s speakers without missing a beat or a plot point.
  • It also means never losing your place. If you watch half a movie on your phone, you shouldn’t have to remember what minute you’re on to keep watching it once you’re at your television. With synced devices, you can pause a movie and pick it up from where you left off on a different screen.
  • Make your audio follow you throughout the house. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to music or the news through the air instead of through a set of headphones. Keep your sound with you as you move from room to room by installing connected speakers throughout your house and by integrating the central home theater system with your iTunes, podcast feed, and favorite stations.

Because handheld devices provide a great deal of our daily media, keeping a separate system between your home theater and your family’s devices can be too limiting. Integration lets you access your shows, news, and music across devices and across locations without a hassle. Look at the best options for your home at Audio Video Solutions.

Control Your Home Through Your iPhone Part II

Programs and apps help us run our lives. Whether it’s a banking app on our phone so people can monitor income and spending, a home surveillance system so you can monitor your home’s security while you’re at work, or a timer so you can see how you’re spending time online, every facet of our lives is integrating into our phones and devices to give us more information about ourselves. Here’s how you can do the same with your home theater and automation systems:

Control Your Home Through Your iPhone Part II

  • You can add functionality to every smart system in your house. Whether you want to use the app solely to navigate your home theater system and arrange a playlist or you want to change the lighting, climate, and security settings in your home, the Crestron app lets you do that wherever you have wifi. You can program daily or weekly schedules of lighting while you’re away on vacation to deter potential crime or let someone in if they forget their key. And if you have an Android device instead of an iPhone, Crestron has an app for you, too.
  • Evaluate your home systems through collected data. Systemic change in your habits requires data, and if you record calories or track your spending you know how valuable seeing your habits on a daily, weekly, and monthly scale can be. Use Crestron’s integration platform to measure energy usage, monitor your media consumption, and see what tweaks you can make to optimize your life.

If you’re thinking about syncing up your home but aren’t quite sure how it will fit into your lifestyle, download Crestron’s home integration app here to give it a try, and then contact Audio Video Solutions when you’re ready to try it with your own home’s home theater system and automated controls.

Control Your House Through Your iPhone

We spend a lot of time away from our homes. Whether it’s school, work, or all the commutes in-between, there are a lot of opportunities for you to worry about if you locked your doors, if you turned off the stove, or if the A/C is on too high with no one home. But home automation systems are making it easy to find those answers without you having to imagine the worst, and Crestron, in particular, integrates with Apple devices so you can change whatever you want with a swipe of your finger.

Control Your House Through Your iPhone

How do home automation systems integrate with your iPhone or iPad?

Crestron offers hardware that works with your devices so you can access media and control your home automation system. Their Network Stream Players wirelessly hook up to your iTunes and your podcasts so you can listen to them in your garage, in your kitchen, or anywhere in the house. You can create playlists, dedicated access to different family members for individual lists, and have units throughout the house so anyone can get crystal clear audio even if someone’s listening to the TV in the next room.

Crestron also has docking stations for whichever Apple devices you want to use to access your automation system’s control panel. These docking stations charge your device as you pull up information about your energy use, your watering schedule, and even a daily report of changes in your home. Because these stations are designed to form a sleek silhouette, they even integrate into the look of your home theater system and home’s design.

Whether you have multiple music-lovers in your home or want to make sure you can easily monitor your home and control your house’s settings, adding Crestron hardware to your home theater system is a great way to interconnect. Contact Audio Video Solutions here to ask a specialist how we can modify your existing system or create one.

What Are the Key Advantages of Lutron Home Automation?

Homes are becoming more and more automated, and they sync up to our devices for easy control and monitoring. With so many systems available, it can be difficult to pick the one that offers the best service for all of your different devices, systems, and family’s preferences.

What Are the Key Advantages of Lutron Home Automation?

What does Lutron offer that makes it the best fit for your home automation?

  • You can pick from a wide range of integrations to make a custom automation plan. There’s nothing like being able to prepare your home theater from your phone as you’re making the popcorn or walking up to the door after work. It means you don’t have to fiddle with settings or wait for anything to boot up.  But if you want that same readiness to extend across your house, with air conditioning control, lighting adjustments, and even the ability to open or close your blinds with a push of your screen, a Lutron system can offer that, too.
  • You don’t have to restart your technology collection. If you like syncing up your devices for cross-functionality, you already know the headache of having an iPhone but also a Windows computer, or an Android phone and a Mac. but Lutron’s home integration system doesn’t demand that you stick to a certain brand or operating system. It can connect and work seamlessly with a wide range of third-party devices and ecosystems.

Home automation systems are designed to be convenient, and that means giving you full control over your home’s technology to work seamlessly for you. Go to Audio Video Solutions to learn more about Lutron’s features and custom solutions. Whether you are interested in lighting control, home theater control, or combining all of your home automation needs, we can help.