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Zigbee vs Z-Wave vs WiFi vs Bluetooth: What’s Best?!

A diagram showing how Google's Wi-Fi router and points work, and how they extend your house's WiFi coverage (even to outdoor WiFi products).

I remember when I first started getting into smart homes. I was happily running a few (WiFi based) Echo speakers, but I started to hear terms like ‘Zigbee’ and ‘Z-Wave’ thrown around too. I was also (obviously) aware of Bluetooth, but I’d mainly seen it used in headphones and mobile phones: so it seemed odd … Read more

Is Ring Alarm’s “Professional Monitoring” Worth It? (Why I’ve Changed My Mind)

SpaceX staff working in their control centre during a launch, with lots of computer monitors at each desk each

Even though I’m only 31, I always feel old when I start a sentence with “Back in my day, things were so much better”. However you can’t blame me for thinking this when Ring used to only charge $10/month for Professional Monitoring, right? Actually, let’s back up a bit. Ring released their smart alarm system … Read more

Managing LOTS Of Smart Home Devices (App Vs Smart Hub Vs ?)

Screenshot taken of the desktop view of Home Assistant's demo.

When you have dozens (or even hundreds) of smart home devices – from smart speakers to smart bulbs, and smart plugs to cameras – you might be struggling to manage them all. After all, they’re probably all from different brands – meaning that you’ll probably have 10 different mobile apps! And even if the devices … Read more

Can Ring’s Smart Cameras Trigger Ring Alarm?

The Ring Alarm base station mounted on a wall above a shelf, with a Ring stick-up cam sitting on the shelf.

Ring’s devices can be linked together to provide closer integration, and it’d be nice if motion detected on a Ring camera (especially an outdoor one) could trigger the Ring alarm to sound. But is this possible? I’ve always been curious about this so I wrote this article to find out. It’s not currently possible for … Read more