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Smart Home

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August's compact new Wi-Fi smart door lock is now on sale for $250

August's compact new Wi-Fi smart door lock is now on sale for $250

Smart locks add a level of convenience, as they let you leave your keys behind and grant access to guests remotely. Unfortunately, many of them are bulky, and often use a Bluetooth connection, which could require a separate hub. With the announcement of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock, August wants to address these issues, with a more compact device that connects directly to the Internet.

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68

Everything you've ever wanted to know about smart door locks, and why you should buy one

Everything you've ever wanted to know about smart door locks, and why you should buy one

Our homes are increasingly filled with gadgets that connect to the internet in ways that rightly have us concerned for our privacy and security. But when discussing those concerns, it's important to keep a level head and consider just what kind of privacy and security concerns actually stem from using these products, and in what instances they might actually enhance both for you in real, tangible ways. And like surveillance cameras, we think smart locks fall into such a category: they can actually make your home safer and more secure than a traditional, "dumb" lock, and they do it all while bringing a tremendous amount of convenience.

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4

Google begins requiring two-factor authentication for Nest accounts

Google begins requiring two-factor authentication for Nest accounts

Google started beefing up Nest account security last year after a string of embarrassing but entirely preventable hacks. Part of that effort was mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) for logins starting in spring 2020, and the time has come. Google says all Nest users will begin seeing 2FA prompts this month.

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2

Netatmo refreshes its ugly and stale Security app, adds video quality selector (Update: Dark mode)

Netatmo refreshes its ugly and stale Security app, adds video quality selector (Update: Dark mode)

Netatmo may not be the first brand that comes to your mind when you think about smart home security, but the French company does a lot of things right. Its cameras come with no hidden fees, but offer local storage, backups to Dropbox and an FTP server, face recognition (though not super reliable), alarm detection, Google Assistant integration — perks that usually cost a lot with competitor products. However, in my review of the Welcome camera, one of the aspects I lamented most was the sluggish Android app. Two years later, it's finally received a big refresh.

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101

Google Home finally lets you adjust 'OK Google' listening sensitivity

Google Home finally lets you adjust 'OK Google' listening sensitivity

There's still a little bit of magic every time you say "OK Google" and all your smart speakers, displays, and Android handsets line up to respond with a cacophony of lights and buzzes. But while that makes for a fun little display, sometimes we wish that all these smart devices weren't so sensitive, and that things like Google Home were better about knowing when you were talking to them in particular. Thankfully, it looks like a new "Hey Google" sensitivity setting is about to arrive, letting users control how responsive they want their devices to be.

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46

The best smart light bulbs that work with your Google Home

The best smart light bulbs that work with your Google Home

Smart light bulbs are an increasingly crowded space, and an increasingly confusing one as a result. It's rapidly become difficult to tell which bulbs properly work with your Google Home, Google smart display, or Android smartphone, how well, and whether you should opt for a hub, hubless, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth-enabled bulbs.

We've got some experience with all this stuff, and so we've put together this guide. We think these are the best light bulbs on any budget for your Google Home and Assistant-enabled smart home.

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3

Amazon's Echo Flex wall-mountable smart speaker is down to just $17 ($8 off)

Amazon's Echo Flex wall-mountable smart speaker is down to just $17 ($8 off)

If you think smart speakers aren't discreet enough, mounting them directly on the wall is a good solution. Some accessories let you do that, but they're not necessarily ideal. Thankfully, Amazon has the solution with its Eco Flex wall-mountable smart speaker, which it announced back in September. The product normally sells for $25, but it's now down to just $17.50

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9

Grab a TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug Mini 4-pack for $24 ($6 off) with coupon code

Grab a TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug Mini 4-pack for $24 ($6 off) with coupon code

If you missed out on getting a 3-pack of TP-Link smart plugs for $30 last week, but are looking to get started with smartening up your home, you're in luck: TP-Link has a 4-pack of smart plugs for $24 right now on Amazon with a coupon code. But if you've already got an existing TP-Link setup, you'll want to keep in mind one major catch.

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1

Wyze finally releases add-on Keypad for its smart lock

Wyze finally releases add-on Keypad for its smart lock

Last year, budget-friendly smart home company Wyze announced its first smart lock, the appropriately named Wyze Lock. The company started taking pre-orders for the $90 Lock straight away, and we saw the hardware arrive a couple months back. But though the Lock itself had landed, we were still waiting to get the full picture on the optional Wyze Lock Keypad, which was announced alongside the Lock, but without pricing details or a firm release date. Now it's finally available, landing on the company's store for just about $20.

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29

Google's new Nest Mini is a steal at just $20 ($30 off)

Google's new Nest Mini is a steal at just $20 ($30 off)

The Nest Mini is an excellent compact speaker that lets you interact with Google Assistant, sounds great, and can hear you better than the first generation. Despite its relatively steep price, it was still worth buying, but now that you can snatch one for just $20, there's no reason for you not to get one.

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