Kerrie and I sat down at the table and had a conversation about technology.   Here are some of the basics we talked about:

Wi-Fi
Your WiFi system is the hub for connecting everything together in your home. It is important to have a system you trust will keep you safe while allowing you to access the world.  I recommend using the Google WiFi Mesh Network system. This system is easy to set up and you can use one for a smaller home or expand the system with more devices to cover a larger home.

Voice Assistants:
Voice assistants will continue to gain popularity as their feature set grows.  Almost every major tech company now has a voice system. I use all of them but I believe the Amazon Echo is one of the smartest voice assistants at the moment. You can use it for simple tasks such as reminding you when to take the cookies out of the oven or ask it to do math equations for you.  You can connect these assistants to other smart devices to control everything from your lighting to tv. They can even read you a bed time story!

Home Entertainment:
As more people cut the cable tv cord, small home entertainment devices like the AppleTV have become the new cable box.  These devices allow you to select the services you want to pay for and ultimately save you money. Your family may only want to subscribe to Netflix and watch movies.  Another strategy is to purchase a subscription to Hulu which now delivers live tv for a smaller fee than traditional cable companies.  These devices also allow you to download apps and play games. My personal favorite is the Apple TV.

Security:
It is important to use longer secure passwords on all of your devices. Using the word ‘password’ as a password does not cut it. Even if you do something more sophisticated like ‘samthegoldfish1’, your password can be easily hacked. If you can remember your password, it probably is not a great password. Most of my passwords look like this: ‘xjih-ek$2-ekci’. These passwords are very difficult to hack. 

I strongly recommend using a system that generates random passwords and saves them.  This way you only have to remember one password and the system will log you in and automatically fill in the passwords for the rest of your apps/subscriptions. If you are using an iPhone, the Apple Keychain system is free and works great. Another app I recommend for those using multiple devices or Windows is 1 Password.

When it comes to security for the home I recommend using the Nest Cam to keep an eye on things while you are away. The Ring Video Doorbell is another great security tool. This will replace your regular doorbell. When visitors ring the doorbell you will be alerted on your phone. You can see a video of the person at the door and communicate with the person regardless of where you are physically at. This is a great way to prevent a robbery when you are not home.

Summary:

Technology can be fun and make our lives better. It is important to wisely choose products that will enhance your home while keeping you safe.

Links to all items discussed:

W-Fi/Home Router
Google WiFi

Voice Assistants:
Amazon Echo
Google Home
Apple HomePod

Home Entertainment:
Apple TV
Roku
Harmony Hub Remote
Nintendo Switch

Home Security:
SimpliSafe
Nest Cam
Ring Video Doorbell

Password Managers:
Apple Keychain (included on Mac OS)
1 Password
Last Pass

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