What is Home Automation?
Is it home automation or home invasion? Before this became popular, home automation was done by a few companies that specialized in it or it was a DIY for the homeowner. In either case, the homeowner owned and controlled the system.
Today everyone wants to get into home automation, your phone and cable company, cell phone provider, alarm system company, and many others.They all offer the same services: the ability to control things in your home through your smartphone or tablet.
I recently saw a TV commercial from my cable company showing how you could control or monitor things like your heat or air conditioner, an open door or window, garage door, what about the water, do you have a water leak in your laundry room, how about your hot water heater is it leaking, these are just a few things that can be monitored. Windows and doors will have to be wired, sensors will have to be installed on your water heater, and in your laundry room, you will have to get new thermostats and new fixtures for your sinks, showers, and tubs.
So let’s say that you wanted this and had all the modifications made to your home, great, now you can control and monitor all those things from anywhere in the world. I hope that this gives you peace of mind, but… let’s look at the dark side.
Whoever is providing the monitoring service for you will know what time you leave the house and what time you return. How long did you stay in the shower this morning, what is your air or heat set to, how many times you do this, etc? I think that you can see that with this type of monitoring service, someone is always watching your every move or you will be in their data too.
Another issue is that your connection will be monitored and someone can see what websites you are visiting, what times of day you are visiting those sites, and yes, who you are calling/texting, etc. How much of this data will they be able to see? Will it cause you problems?
How will this data be stored?- Does the monitoring service come with a backup server to keep the data safe and secure? How is the data transmitted? Will it be encrypted on the server and transmitted to the monitoring company or does it fall into the hands of hackers who then infect the data with viruses, worms, etc.?
Is the data encrypted on the server and how is it transmitted?
Will the monitoring service give you a notification about changes to your home such as breaker timers, plumbing, or security devices? What happens if you change your mind or something goes wrong?
How will the data be handled and shared? Will it be stored on a secure server in your name, will it be stored in the local name of the host facility, is it going to be kept on-site and how is it going to be kept long term?
These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself. Once you have the answers to these questions, you are now ready to look at the services you will need. The next step will be to compare services and choose one that will meet your needs and budget. That is always better than having to replace the service after a few months because you can’t afford it.
When you are looking for home automation systems, make sure you look at the following:
Rugged and Secure Remote Desktops
Rugged and Secure Desktops are the norm these days as many people are pricing out the computers as commodity items and looking to get the most for their money. The idea is to make the investment in a reliable machine that will grow with your business so you can increase profits with the same or improved utilization.
Look for a system that is rugged and remote, meaning that you aren’t connected to the internet directly. The idea is to be able to use the system to its fullest potential without being interrupted in the middle of a project. These will be reliable machines that are kept behind the scenes as much as possible, which allows you the luxury of using your investment in the way you would like.
As you reduce the costs of your office, you have to raise the rent on your equipment. This means that you are leasing space to be able to have access to the technology. The best lease agreements offer monthly payments that decrease over the term.
Some of the major things to look for in a lease agreement are:
- The minimum term of the lease agreement should be 3 years with a 1-year commitment.
- The minimum cash outflow for a lease agreement should be $5000 per year.
- Leasing a system does not necessarily mean that you always have to buy. When total lease payments are $5000 per year, a discount means that you will pay over $1000 annually, even if you just chose the option to buy a system.