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The Sesame Smart Lock is here for an August retrofit rivalry - CNET

The Sesame Smart Lock throws its hat into the retrofit ring<p><b>The Good</b> The Sesame is reasonably priced and easy to install, and has a fun knock-to-unlock feature for iOS devices.<p><b>The Bad</b> The Sesame doesn't work natively with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri, and more feature-rich competition is …

Home Automation

Startup Eero wants to wipe out weak Wi-Fi

Routers sold as a $300 three-pack are meant to bring fast, reliable network access to all corners of the house. But first Eero will have to convince you your networks need fixing.<p>Eero thinks it's time for a new philosophy to tackle home Wi-Fi: strength in numbers.<p>You may think your home Wi-Fi is …

Wi-Fi

Dial up the brightness with these 100W replacement LEDs

With efficiency rising and prices falling, there's never been a better time to upgrade to LEDs. If you're looking for some extra brightness from your next bulb, consider these options.<p>The lighting aisle at your local hardware store has seen a lot of changes over the past few years, with …

Home Automation

Manything video-monitoring app joins forces with IFTTT

Create your own motion and recording recipes with IFTTT's new Manything channel.<p>Manything is a free, iOS-specific app that lets you repurpose your old iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into a cloud-based video-monitoring device. Yes, you need at least two Apple products for this to work -- one to take …

Home Automation

Eleven LEDs you can control on your smartphone (pictures)

A spotlight on smart LEDs

RemoteAccess

Wink Hub controlling a model smart home (pictures)

Home Automation

Smart home tech that will make Dad's day

Smart Homes

Lutron Smart Bridge review: This Wi-Fi hub bridges the smart-lighting gap - CNET

This Wi-Fi hub bridges the smart-lighting gap<p><b>The Good</b> The $150 Lutron Smart Bridge transforms Caseta Wireless plug-in lamp dimmers, Pico remote controls, and Serena battery-powered window shades into Wi-Fi-enabled home automation products. The app is intuitively designed and more product …

Home Automation

Finally Light Bulb review: Hard to see value in this induction light bulb - CNET

Hard to see value in this induction light bulb<p><b>The Good</b> The Finally Light Bulb offers a familiar design and a quality of light that complements skin tones better than most LEDs.<p><b>The Bad</b> The Finally Light Bulb contains mercury, it won't dim, and it isn't as bright or efficient as much of the 60W …

Light Bulbs

Zyxel Armor Z2

Phicomm Smart Home Wi-Fi router (K3)<p>Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500<p>TP-Link Archer C3150 V2<p>Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite (RBS50Y)<p>Asus AC2900 dual-band Wi-Fi router (RT-AC86U)<p>Linksys WRT32X AC3200 dual-band Wi-Fi gaming router<p>D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi router (DIR-882)<p>Linksys EA8300 Max …

Wi-Fi

SmartThings surges toward connected-home supremacy

With a newly revamped app and a fresh batch of partnerships, there's little doubt that the increasingly popular home-automation system is the smart-home foundation front-runner.<p>The appeal -- and potential -- of the SmartThings connected-home platform was obvious when I reviewed one of the …

Home Automation

ADT partners with Life360 to expand home security beyond the home

With plans for a new app designed for security on-the-go, ADT and Life360 are setting their sights on securing the mobile generation.<p>Home security giant ADT has announced a partnership with family-tracking app Life360, along with plans for joint development of a subscription-based mobile security …

Automation

Why new DIY security tech could replace your home alarm system

CNET's Brian Cooley explains how new security tech is moving beyond detecting intrusion and fire to more wide-ranging home control.

Security

Top five 802.11ac routers (pictures)

Wi-Fi

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug review: This so-called smart plug should be held back - CNET

This so-called smart plug should be held back<p><b>The Good</b> D-Link's $50 Wi-Fi Smart Plug offers remote control of your small appliances, including scheduling and energy usage stats -- a better value than the $60 Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, which has similar features.<p><b>The Bad</b> The Smart Plug isn't …

Home Automation

Cree adds floodlights to its LED lineup (hands-on)

Cree's new PAR38 LED boasts 1,500 lumens, can survive being rained on if used outdoors, and costs less than similar bulbs from larger manufacturers.<p>Cree, the upstart LED lighting manufacturer headquartered in North Carolina, is again expanding its portfolio of bargain LED bulbs. The company's …

Home Automation

Appliances and smart home tech for spring

Home Automation

Lifx review: Multicolor muscle lets IFTTT handle the smarts - CNET

Multicolor muscle lets IFTTT handle the smarts<p><b>The Good</b> Putting out bright, vivid, accurate colors and a full spectrum of natural tones at up to 1,000 lumens, the Lifx bulb boasts impressive lighting qualities. The new IFTTT channel adds some sorely needed smart functionality, too.<p><b>The Bad</b> The bulb's …

Home Automation

Home networking: Everything you need to know

Wi-Fi, access point, router, 802.11ac... networking can be a pain! But it doesn't have to be if you know what you're doing. This is where you start.<p><b>Editors' note:</b> This story was originally published on Dec. 9, 2014, and has been updated frequently with latest information.<p>When it comes to home …

Wi-Fi

Tabu LuMini LED review: A smaller smart bulb that's big on value - CNET

A smaller smart bulb that's big on value<p><b>The Good</b> The Tabu LuMini LED offers the same ease of use, fun factor, and high color accuracy of last year's Lumen LED. It also costs half as much.<p><b>The Bad</b> There are no white diodes in the RGB-only LuMini, meaning that it does a terrible job when it tries to …

Gear & Gadgets

SmartThings adds support for TCP, Quirky, and Ecobee

The fee-free home automation platform is starting to look like a true contender for smart home supremacy.<p><i>EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to include information regarding the recently announced Quirky Channels on IFTTT.</i><p>SmartThings is welcoming some new third-party devices into its smart …

Home Automation

Talking Tech Home Automation | The Connected Home - Consumer Reports News

It’s been a bad day. The babysitter forgot her key. The pizza you’re bringing home is cold, and the washing machine is on the fritz. Fortunately, …

Chui intelligent doorbell knows who you are

Facial recognition in a wall-mounted box means Chui will greet you, work with automatic door locks, and ping you if someone stops by unexpectedly. An early look at what's coming later this year.

Smart Homes

RoomScan app creates floor plans just by tapping walls

Turn your iPhone into a magic tape measure with this surprisingly adept tool.<p>Shopping for furniture? Need to figure out how much paint you need for a living-room makeover? Planning to sell your house? These and other activities can benefit greatly from having a floor plan, but who's got time to …

Apps

Philips Hue Tap review: A finger-powered addition to the Philips Hue family - CNET

<b>The Good</b> The easy-to-use Philips Hue Tap brings practical convenience to existing smart lighting setups. Its wireless, kinetic-powered design needs no battery or electricity, which is beyond cool.<p><b>The Bad</b> The buttons require a little too much oomph in order to trigger your lights. Also, the lack of …

Home Automation

Smart ways to secure your home

Clever implementation of smart devices and a smart lock can allow you to monitor and secure your home remotely. The cast of The Fix shows you how to use these devices to better secure your home.<p><i>Editors' note II: The issue with the site video has been fixed. Thanks for your patience.</i><p><i>Editors' note:</i> …

Communicate

Trendnet Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter (Kit) review: A fast, easy, and cheap way to extend your network - CNET

<b>The Good</b> The plug-and-play <b>Trendnet Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter</b> provides some three times the speed of a regular Ethernet connection. It's affordable, especially when you purchase a kit of two.<p><b>The Bad</b> The adapter is relatively bulky and doesn't have a pass-through power socket.<p><b>The Bottom Line</b> The …

Wi-Fi

Home networking explained, part 9: Access your home computer remotely

CNET editor Dong Ngo points you in the general direction of how to access your home network remotely using a Dynamic DNS service.<p><b>Editors' note:</b><i>This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories.</i><p>If you've been following this series, you'll know that I …

Wi-Fi

Cable modem shopping tips

CNET editor Dong Ngo shares tips on how to best equip your home for cable internet while saving your hard-earned dollars.<p><b>Editors' note:</b> <i>This post is regularly updated.</i><p>If you're looking for the best home broadband speeds, cable internet service is still the go-to choice since fiber optic is only …

Wi-Fi