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Nest Hello Doorbell: 18 Questions/Answers You Need To Know

A marketing image of a black Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell (on a white background).

The Nest Hello Video Doorbell was released in 2018, and whilst it’s sold decently well, Ring still rules the smart doorbell market. This means that whilst people have lots of questions about the Nest Hello doorbell, some of these questions go unanswered. Other answers are incomplete. Hence I wanted to create this FAQ which answers … Read more

New Video – Smart Thermostats Are Pointless (11 Reasons Why)!

YouTube thumbnail showing Tristan, a Nest thermostat and the text "Pointless?" and "A waste of money".

I have posted a new video on YouTube covering 11 reasons why I think that smart thermostats are pointless and can potentially be a waste of money, which is the video version of my ‘11 Reasons Why Smart Thermostats Are Pointless‘ article: Video Transcript Hey YouTube, it’s Tristan from Smart Home Point here. As you … Read more

Why I Chose The Ring Doorbell Pro For My House

A Ring Doorbell 2 and Ring Doorbell Pro side-by-side, showing how the Pro is much smaller than the '2'.

I live in a new build development, and due to a few initial teething issues with the property developer, we all setup a Facebook group to keep each-other informed. A year ago, one of my neighbors reported that someone was trying their door handle at 3am – i.e. an opportunistic thief. Other neighbors said this … Read more

Smart Plugs: The Surge Protection & Power Strip Guide

Close-up shot of a surge protected UK 'extension cable' (power strip) using SurgeGuard technology, made by Masterplug.

Smart plugs are plugged into your wall sockets, and then you plug devices into them. The smart plug’s power can then be controlled with your smartphone app (or Amazon Echo/Google Home), meaning that you can turn the plugged-in device on/off with ease. But these smart plugs typically control just a single device, and often don’t … Read more

Ring Doorbell With Narrow Installation: Here’s What To Do

A narrow door frame with a wall jetting out, which would block a lot of a Ring's video capture.

The Ring Doorbell is easy to install (according to the marketing): attach the mounting bracket, hook the doorbell over it, fit the security screws – and you’re done. Simple. Then the wide angle lens will capture a full view of your visitors, including their faces. Great. But what happens if you have a narrow or … Read more

Smart Thermostats With Geothermal – What To Be Careful Of

Rolls of conduit/UPVC pipework on the edge of a building site.

The Nest Learning Thermostat proudly talks of supporting 95% of heating systems, whilst Ecobee also says that it supports “most” systems including geothermal. But do they work properly with geothermal, the green heat pump-based alternative? A properly sized geothermal heating system shouldn’t need frequent changes to its thermostat. Smart thermostats make constant changes to the … Read more

Getting started with Connected Home over IP

Zigbee Alliance Connected Home over IP webinar screenshot, showing how multiple leading smart home providers have "converged" to help make this standard.

An announcement in December 2019 was welcome news to many in smart home circles: that all the major smart home manufacturers and developers were getting together to produce a standard way for smart devices to speak to each other. This is called Connected Home over IP. Connected Home over IP will see Amazon, Apple, Google, … Read more

Is The Google Mini Dual Voltage? (And Why This Matters)

Official UK power adaptor for Google Nest Mini 2nd generation, showing: "AC adapter Model G1030 Input: 100-240V-0.4A 50-60Hz Output: 14V=1.1A LPS"

If you are travelling or you bought a cheap Google Mini from abroad, you might be wondering whether you are safe to use your Google Home device in another country. Yes, the Google Mini is dual voltage – it supports input electricity from 100V/120V (depending on model) up to 240V. Therefore you should be fine … Read more

Why does my Amazon Echo make random noises?

Phone screenshot showing all activity on registered Amazon Echo/Alexa devices.

Having a smart voice assistant like the Amazon Echo is great due to all the smart home features it offers, but sometimes it seems to ‘wake up’ by itself and play a random noise or sound. Sometimes this sounds like a genuine notification (even though there’s no reason for the notification), whilst other times the … Read more