Welcome to the second and final installment of 2017’s Fall Series. This time I’ll briefly touch on my favorite and least favorite smart home products of the year. As the weather gets even cooler in our nation’s capital, I’ll be spending more time indoors stewing about these selections and delving more deeply into how I use them. Get those fireplaces roaring, and let’s meet again in the winter! Oh, the picture is of my backyard after installing one of my Arlo Pro cameras, featured below.

This was a big year for my smart home. Lots of time and money invested in connected products to help secure my home and to make things more fun and enjoyable. The buzzword was “connected,” and I tried hard to apply this to every tech. product we bought.

Some winners:

  1. eero Pro WiFi System
  2. Arlo Pro Wireless Security Cameras
  3. Ring Video Doorbell 2
  4. iHome Wireless Outdoor Smart Plug
  5. WiOn Wireless Outdoor Smart Plug (two sockets)
  6. Wink Hub 2
  7. Sonos

P.S.: No referral links above. Click away!

Eero fixed me WiFi speed issues since upgrading to a gigabit line with FiOS. AirPort Extremes underperformed, unfortunately. Arlo lets me keep an eye on my home when I’m gone, and enables some great integrations with smart lights. Same goes for Ring 2, which I upgraded to from the original Ring. Huge image quality boost, fewer false motion alerts, excellent battery life. Outdoor smart plugs are my new jam — holiday decorations + automation = bliss. Finally got the new Wink Hub 2, which I needed for the switch for my outdoor porch light. Sonos stepped up, integrating with Amazon Echo, making it WAY easier to play music throughout my home. Interesting: Over half of my favorites are outdoor smart home products.

Some losers:

  1. Google Home
  2. Apple HomeKit
  3. Apple HomePod

Google Home sucks. I said it. A firmware update required that I remove and re-add every smart home product… by design. It literally voice prompted me to do this when I tried to control my lights after the update. HomeKit feels like it doesn’t exist. I have many HomeKit-capable products, but never think to ask Siri to use them. Finally, WHERE IS MY HOMEPOD?

What’s your favorite smart home product or integration?