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SmartHome technology has come a long way. It’s still not for everyone, but some of the common myths people use to avoid smart home technology aren’t true. Smart homes don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t always listen to you, for example.

Myth: smart homes are expensive

Modern rural house with outdoor lighting at night
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Smart Homes may be expensive, especially if you opt for a custom build designed specifically for your home. But they don’t must be expensive.

It’s easy to start small and then build from there piece by piece. A great way to do this is to pick up inexpensive smart bulbs and see what you think. Then you may want to consider adding a sensor or two. If you’re more comfortable with electricity, you can install smart switches to control multiple light bulbs, and it’s a little more than an inexpensive smart light bulb.

It’s best to keep an eye out for offers. Voice assistants such as Echo and Google Home often go on sale. Even if the cost does increase, it’s easy to spread it out over time, so you feel less of a sting. You don’t have to buy every gadget, and you certainly don’t have to buy them all at once!

RELATED: How to build your first smart home (without getting overwhelmed)

Myth: smart homes always listen to you

Amazon Echo device in listening mode

If you become a Smarthome owner, or at least a Voice Assistant user, you will often hear this. But this is not at all the case, at least not in the way people fear. Voice Assistant devices like Alexa and Google Home are always listening. But they only listen to their wake word (like «Alexa» or «Hey Google»).

This Wake word is processed locally, and until the device hears those specific words, it doesn’t send anything to Amazon or Google. Once they recognize the awakened word, they process the next command and then send it to the cloud for processing. If these devices were to record everything they heard and send it to the cloud, you would see a spike in network usage that would be easy to spot.

How easy? When the early Google Home mini review unit was malfunctioning and recording constantly, the tech reviewer who got it caught on fairly quickly. This was, of course, unintentional, and Google quickly corrected the situation. But the point is that the near-permanent entry is noticeable even to those who are not security researchers.

Amazon and Google also let you view (and delete) every voice command you’ve ever given. Here’s how you can view your history for Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Myth: smart homes are easy to hack

Hooded hacker on laptop computer

It goes without saying that each connected item is an additional way into your home for hackers. But the weak point of your home probably isn’t your smart hub or smart plug. The weak point is probably your Wi-Fi Router. The key to any secure connected home is a secure Wi-Fi network. And almost every vulnerability shown for smarthome devices requires physical access to the device, or at least remote access through your network.

If you can keep potential bad actors out of your home and out of your network, then you’ll go a long way to preventing any trouble.

And always remember. People who want to harm you or steal your things can choose the most accessible route. After all, why crack a smart lock when you can break a window?

Myth: SmartHome is difficult to implement

Stringify control panel showing the complex SmartHome automation workflow

Once upon a time, there was some truth in this myth. But Smarthomes is easier than ever to implement. You can get by with Phillips Hue light bulbs and a voice assistant of your choice. If you’ve ever changed your lock, setting a smart lock is an almost identical process. If you have a bit of technical know-how, you can follow the installation instructions for a smart thermostat like the Nest.

RELATED: How to install and configure Schlage Connect Smart Lock

And if you can replace the thermostat, chances are good that you can install a smart switch. Even if you are not comfortable connecting the switch, the smart plug is very easy to install. You plug it in and then plug your device into a smart plug. Quick setup via smartphone app and you’re done

Voice assistants are inherently easy to set up and use. This is especially true if you’re getting one with a display, like the Google Home Hub.

The key is to keep smart home simple – start small and scale up. Yes, when you add more devices and start thinking about routine and automation things get more complicated. But you will also feel more comfortable with the technology, and expansion will become easier and easier.

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