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Smart Home Reviews

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Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight review: Bright lights, big value

For all of the genuinely useful smart-home products Arlo offers, sometimes it feels like the company's got a bit of a blind spot when it comes to combining them. Cameras have always been its bread and butter, but when Arlo introduced its first doorbell in 2018, it was audio-only — we'd have to wait another year for the Video Doorbell. And while Arlo's had its wireless Smart Light for years, it's only now that the company is taking one of its lauded cameras and integrating it with an extra-bright exterior light: the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight.

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Kami Wire-Free Outdoor Camera review: Promising hardware, good value, regrettable app

When you're looking to secure your home, family, and property with the help of a wireless camera, you've got a lot of options to consider. Devices run the gamut when it comes to features and pricing, from the likes of budget-friendly Wyze to the premium polish of an Arlo. While there's a lot to like on both ends of that spectrum, I've been interested in finding a good middle ground. Would the $90 Kami Wire-Free Outdoor Camera be up to the task?

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38

Wyze Lock review: Affordable, robust smart upgrade for your existing locks

Installing a houseful of smart home upgrades gets expensive fast, which is why we're always excited when budget-conscious Wyze releases a new device. From internet-connected cameras, to security sensors, to smart outlets and even lightbulbs, Wyze has managed to prove itself in new product categories time and time again (well, with the occasional hiccup along the way). Now it's tackling the smart lock market, with the release of the aptly named Wyze Lock. How will it compare to more expensive solutions? Let's take a look.

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24

Arlo Video Doorbell review: This nicely equipped, solid value keeps getting better

How are you going to call yourself a smart-home company, one with a huge focus on video, and not have a video doorbell? That's a question Arlo had no doubt been asking itself for some time, and while it launched its Audio Doorbell with matching wireless Chime back in 2018, that one was largely meant to be used with the company's existing video cameras. It took another year for the follow-up effort to arrive, but in late 2019 we finally got a proper Arlo Video Doorbell.

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66

Firewalla review: A powerful solution to monitor and protect your home network (Update: 4 months later)

Security and privacy are at the heart of our concerns with technology now. With every breach, hack, and vulnerability, we discover how frail this digital footprint we've created is. To protect ourselves, we make sure our devices are always updated with the latest security patches, we try to avoid suspicious sites and apps, we keep our eyes open for phishing attempts in our inbox, but that still isn't enough. If you have smart home gadgets or if you don't control every device in your household, you need network-level protection. Some Wi-Fi routers offer this, but the feature is usually tied in a monthly subscription.

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106

The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Spring 2020)

Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.

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6

Roborock S6 robotic vacuum review: Super-fine controls for cleaning your smart home

Robotic vacuums used to be a luxury product, but they've trickled down into the mainstream. For lots of folks, the math just works out: It costs less than the value in saved time, and those extra moments can be spent more productively. So if you want a high-end model with more granular controls, room mapping and detection, and Assistant integration, then the Roborock S6 might be a good choice. That is, if you can stomach the $650 price tag and a few noteworthy drawbacks.

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Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt review: A lock this good is 'key' to smartening up your home

Some smart home gadgets seem like solutions in search of a problem, shoehorning IoT connectivity into something that was working just fine without it — unless you're that one guy who really needs to talk to Alexa while playing the keyboard. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, you've got the smart lock, an early leader into the world of the connected home that managed to reinvent a "dumb" product with some genuinely useful new functionality.

There's no shortage of smart lock options out there, running the gamut from fully integrated replacements to add-ons that quickly attach to existing locks.

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Lenovo Smart Display 7 review: Not dethroning the Nest Hub any time soon

If you haven't already bought a smart display and you aren't skipping out over privacy concerns, you really should pick one up. They're a lot more than just a "digital photo frame," providing all the same utility as a smart speaker, plus piles of extra interaction from a touchscreen. But you might want to be careful about which smart display you buy. Lenovo's newest Smart Display 7 might have an attractive design, but it's got piles of little problems that might make the identically-priced (and often discounted) Nest Hub a better choice. Sadly, it doesn't quite live up to the high standards set by Lenovo's previous models, either.

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TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Strip review: Voice-controlled RGB lights for your furniture

Light strips are pretty great. They can brighten up dark corners of your home, like under kitchen cabinets or inside closets, or they can bring ambiance to your furniture. What could be better than a light strip, you might ask? How about a smart light strip?

TP-Link announced the Kasa Smart Multicolor Light Strip (KL430) all the way back at CES 2019, and it was finally released last month. It packs 16 individual color zones and 10 preset animated lighting effects. I've been not-so-patiently waiting for the Smart Light Strip to arrive, and I'm not disappointed — even if some of the promised functionality isn't live yet.

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