Why Your Smart Home Devices Won’t Connect, and How to Fix Them

infuriating Smart home devices? We’re here to help 

Smart home devices
Person Controlling Light With App On Phone

Even if you follow product guides step-by-step, chances are you will have some problems connecting your smart home devices. Despite unifying initiatives, many smart home devices just don’t play well together, yet. Promises have been made but, a smart home that works in harmony can be evasive. The average homeowner is unlikely to navigate troubleshooting on their own or even spend the time doing it. ClickAway smart home technicians are here to help on site. In case you want a DIY solution, here are our tips for resolving common problems with smart home devices.

Resolving connection issues with smart home devices

It seems every major appliance, from ovens to refrigerators, TVs, dishwashers, and microwaves, comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. Buying appliances without smart home features is difficult to find. The smart home can be magical. But just how do you get your home to be enchanted without pulling your hair out? 

Despite improvements, smart home technology is still too complicated. It’s full of jargon and incompatible standards. Device makers are not upfront about this, so we end up fidgeting with devices for days if not years. The basic goal is to control smart home devices from a single hub or app. For most people, that hub is typically a smart speaker like Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Home Pod. All these devices allow you to control smart home products with your voice as well as a single app on your phone. However, most of us end up with incompatible products. And it’s annoying to switch between different apps to control each light bulb. 

Finding compatible smart home brands

To avoid as much pain as possible when setting up your smart home, you need to choose a set of brands that work with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit. For smart lights, try replacing light switches with Lutron Caseta. If you want automated blinds, invest in Lutron’s Serena shades which will connect to the same system. For lamps, Philips Hue is mostly compatible.

Planning doesn’t mean you’ll be immune to the pitfalls we’ve described. Let’s say you already own a few Kasa smart plugs. Ironically, these aren’t compatible with HomeKit, and therefore, unable to automate in the Apple Home app to work with your other devices. Or perhaps your house came with a Samsung smart fridge and oven that also aren’t compatible.

Most of us wind up getting Homebridge to make them work in harmony. But be prepared to fiddle with it and trick devices into working as if they were officially supported. That alone may be a hard stop for most casual smart home shoppers.

Hope on the horizon for better smart home setup

There is hope on the horizon, with large smart home companies jumping onboard a new connectivity standard called Matter. This promises to provide a “foundation for connected things” by ensuring they can all talk to one another, regardless of which brand you have. Matter, which is an open-source standard, says it will fix smart home “interoperability” by leveraging Thread, WiFi, Bluetooth and Ethernet to enable cross device talking locally, without the need for a cloud. Matter is being developed by Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung. 

The goal is to have the first Matter-certified devices available by the end of this year. Software updates for existing products will hopefully enable Matter to function as well. Matter promises to make automation work between all of your devices regardless of what you buy, but also easier to move between hubs such as from Amazon’s Alexa to Google Home.

For the foreseeable future, however, the smart home remains fragmented and confusing for most people beyond the basic setup. Until it improves and a standard like Matter solves the cross-device communication breakdown, the smart home will continue to cause headaches. ClickAway is happy to do the trouble shooting for you in the mean time. 

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