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Your guide to setting up a smart home

Setting Up a Smart Home

Control your lights with your voice. Activate the vacuum using your phone! Discover all the essentials, from Wi-Fi advice to security tips.

The National Broadband Network (nbn®) is playing a key role in making smart homes a reality across Australia. With high-speed internet becoming increasingly available, it’s easier than ever to set up smart home technology. This connectivity not only transforms homes into smarter, more efficient spaces but also greatly enhances convenience.

This 13-point guide will discuss how you can seamlessly set up a smart home to create a connected and intelligent home environment.

TLDR summary:

Quick tips to extend your Wi-Fi:

1. Choosing a smart home platform

2. Setting up your smart hub

3. Connecting to Wi-Fi

4. Smart speakers

5. Installing smart lighting

6. Automating temperature control

7. Smart refrigerators

8. Voice activated vacuums

9. Smart home security

10. Smart plugs and switches

11. Routines and automations

12. Maintenance and updates

13. Integrations

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1. Choosing a smart home platform

Tip: A smart home needs a smart home platform, so when selecting a smart home hub, consider the devices you already own or plan to purchase, ensuring compatibility with the hub.

Popular options include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. Your choice will influence which devices are compatible with your system, so consider the technology that best integrates with your current devices and personal preferences.

2. Setting up your smart hub

Tip: By using a smart home hub, you can control smart lights, thermostats, locks, cameras, and more, all from a single interface! 

A smart hub acts as the brain of your smart home, allowing you to control all smart home products from a single app, wall-mounted panel, or voice commands through a compatible smart speaker. Some smart speakers and displays also function as hubs. 

Set up your hub according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually involving downloading an app and following setup prompts.

3. Connecting to Wi-Fi

Tip: Check that your Wi-Fi network is robust and reliable, and centrally located in your home or business to maximise connectivity.

Ensure your Wi-Fi network is robust enough to handle multiple smart home products. You might need to upgrade your router or invest in a mesh Wi-Fi system to extend coverage throughout your home.
You can check out our guide to extending your Wi-Fi range here, or our guide to speed up your Wi-Fi here.

4. Smart speakers

Tip: control other devices in your home with just your voice and place the smart speaker in a central location.

More than just a speaker for music, a smart speaker will answer your questions, tell you the news, traffic and weather, schedule diary appointments, and act as a hub to operate other compatible devices.

For example, using a Google Home, you might say, “OK, Google, turn on the lights”.

5. Installing smart lighting

Tip: Before purchasing smart bulbs, verify that they are compatible with the smart home ecosystem you’re planning to use.

Smart bulbs are an excellent starting point for your smart home. 

Smart bulbs, or smart lighting, refer to advanced LED bulbs that can be:

  • controlled remotely through a smartphone app
  • controlled via voice commands
  • automated through your smart home system
  • set on schedules, and 
  • even adjusted for custom colour and temperature. 

Replace your standard bulbs with smart bulbs and pair them with your smart home platform.

6. Automating temperature control

Tip: You can create an automation to lower the temperature when no one is home, using your system’s presence detection.

Smart thermostats learn your schedule and preferences to optimise heating and cooling, saving energy and money. 

Install the thermostat following the manufacturer’s guide, then connect it to your smart home system for remote control and monitoring.

7. Smart refrigerators

Tip: by adding your refrigerator to your smart hub, you can conveniently place grocery orders when you run out of something!  

A smart refrigerator connects to Wi-Fi and offers functions like alerting you to foods nearing expiry date, a camera so you can see what’s in there while you’re at the shop, and the ability to search Google for recipes featuring ingredients you have.

If the kitchen is the heart and soul of your household, a smart fridge can be equipped with screens that serve as an information hub in your kitchen, displaying news, weather, or even streaming music and videos. You can also display family calendars, notes, and photos.

8. Voice activated vacuums on stand by

Tip: ensure your vacuum comes equipped with HEPA filters to trap allergens and fine dust particles, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

Voice-activated vacuums represent a leap forward in the integration of smart technology into household cleaning. These innovative devices, always on standby in a smart home environment, are ready to spring into action at a simple voice command, making floor cleaning an effortless task.

You can program your vacuum to do the vacuuming while you are out, or set your vacuum to clean at specific times on certain days, ensuring your home is cleaned even when you’re busy.

A great feature is to set no-go zones, which are virtual barriers in the app to prevent the vacuum from going near pet bowls or delicate rugs.

9. Enhancing smart home security

Tip: utilise motion detection features to customise alerts.

Smart security cameras, doorbells, and locks can improve your home’s safety. 

Select products compatible with your smart home platform, then install them at key entry points.  Most smart security devices offer motion detection with adjustable sensitivity settings, which can be tailored to minimise false alarms caused by pets or passing cars. 

By configuring these settings, you can ensure that you receive alerts for only the most relevant activities, keeping you informed without overwhelming you with notifications.

10. Adding smart plugs and switches

Tip: group related appliances together and turn them all off when not in use, helping to save power.

Smart plugs and switches can make any appliance smart by controlling power flow. Plug in devices like lamps, fans, or coffee makers, then connect the plugs to your smart home system for remote control and scheduling.

Many apps allow you to group several smart plugs together so you can control multiple devices with a single command. This is useful for controlling all the lights in a room or setting the scene for activities like a movie night or dinner time.

Turn devices on or off from anywhere using your smartphone. This feature is especially useful for moments when you’ve left the house and forgotten to turn off an appliance.

Set schedules for appliances to operate at specific times. For example, program your coffee maker to turn on just before you wake up or your lights to turn on and off at sunrise and sunset, mimicking your presence for added security.

11. Creating routines and automations

Tip: streamline your busy morning or evening with automations that create routines.

Most smart home platforms allow you to create routines or automations that trigger multiple devices with a single command or action. Use the platform’s app to set up routines like “Good Morning” to turn on lights and adjust the thermostat, or “Good Night” to secure doors and turn off appliances.

Most smart home platforms allow you to create routines or automations that trigger multiple devices with a single command or action. Use the platform’s app to set up routines like “Good Morning” to turn on lights and adjust the thermostat, or “Good Night” to secure doors and turn off appliances.

12. Ongoing maintenance and updates

Tip: keep your smart home devices up to date and running on latest versions.

Keep your smart home devices updated with the latest firmware to ensure they remain secure and function correctly. Regularly review and adjust your routines and automations to match your changing needs and preferences.

13. Integration with your smart home system

By connecting your smart devices with popular smart home platforms such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit, you can achieve a more cohesive and intuitive smart home experience. 

Here’s a general guide on how to connect your smart products to some of the more popular smart home systems.

For Google Assistant

  • Open the Google Home app, tap “+” or “Add,” select “Set up device,” and choose “Works with Google.” Find your smart devices manufacturer in the list and follow the prompts to link your accounts.

For Amazon Alexa

  • Open the Alexa app, select “Devices,” then tap the “+” icon. Choose “Add Device,” select the type of device and find the device’s brand. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your accounts.

For Apple HomeKit

  • Open the Home app on your iOS device, tap “+” to add a new accessory, and use your device’s camera to scan the HomeKit setup code on the device or its manual. Follow the prompts to complete the setup.

What internet speed do I need for a smart home?

The ideal internet speed for a smart home depends on the number and type of devices you have, along with how you use them. Here’s how to gauge the internet speed you might need.

Small to medium smart home setup

Your smart home is set up with a few devices like smart bulbs, plugs, a thermostat, and streaming devices like a smart TV.

What internet speed do you need?

A plan with 50 Mbps download speed is recommended.

Advanced smart home setup

Your smart home is set up with multiple streaming devices, smart appliances, several smart cameras, gaming consoles, and more.

What internet speed do you need?

100 Mbps or more is advisable. High-definition video streaming, online gaming, and multiple smart cameras can demand a lot of bandwidth, especially if these activities occur simultaneously.

Extensive smart home setup

Your home is equipped with extensive smart home devices and you have high internet usage, including 4K streaming, multiple cameras, online gaming, large downloads and uploads.

What internet speed do you need?

500 Mbps or 1,000 Mbps. This ensures that multiple devices can operate efficiently at the same time without affecting performance.

Check out our gigabit internet plan with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.

Get faster internet

You may find that your existing internet plan simply isn’t fast enough for your internet needs, so the solution is to upgrade your plan.

Hear from happy customers!

Ready to make the switch?

Explore our nbn® plans or our Fixed Wireless plans here to find the one that’s right for you.

Why choose Swoop?

  • Awesome value internet, 30 day money back and no lock-in contract!
  • The best internet performance with one of Australia’s fastest growing, Fixed Wireless networks
  • Reliability and peace of mind with high capacity, exclusive Swoop networks and locally-hosted content 
  • Seamless nbn® performance with no data caps and no overcrowding

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