internet of things

Does My Router Have 2.4 GHz Band?

Spectrum

Episode 1776

George from Santa Monica, CA

George is trying to set up his smart home hub to turn on his lights and he's having issues that his WiFi router won't take 2.4 GHz, only 5 GHz. Leo says to double-check that the router is only 5 GHz because Leo says that's an odd one. It's possible that Spectrum may have just turned the 2.4Ghz off. If so, he can always turn it on. But if not, then it's time to get a new router. And he will save money on rental fees in doing so as well.

Amazon's New Idea ... Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk

Episode 1750

Wanting to offer a neighborhood-based wifi network, Amazon has announced Amazon Sidewalk, which uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) radios to connect everyone from house to house. You can get motion alerts from your security cameras, track your pets if they should run away, and even notifications when the mailman leaves you mail. As long as one device sees the other, it can pass along connectivity with a promised small amount of bandwidth. 

Is the a smart device that can control my circuit breakers?

Leviton LB120-S 20 Amp Circuit Breaker

Episode 1722

Jeff from Cedarville, CA

Jeff bought some smart plugs to install into his house. Is there anything like that on the breaker side? Leo says that's an interesting idea, but he doesn't know if you'd really want to do that. You have to be very careful what's on your circuit and you wouldn't want to install it yourself. But it's a great idea for making your home smarter and more controllable remotely. Here's one by Leviton.

Why do my Philips Hue lights disconnect from WiFi?

Philips Hue Lights

Episode 1716

Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ

Jonathan has a Philips Hue lights and uses the Wiz App to control them. But they keep disconnecting. Leo says that's a common problem, and he says that using the Home Hub will make WiFi connection to the lights more consistent. But Leo also thinks that the smart lights are more of a gimmick these days and really more hassle than they are worth. And they are expensive too. 

In general, smart home IoT as a technology still has a long way to go. 

Why is WINK charging me to use their device now?

Wink

Episode 1694

Jeff from Laguna Beach, CA

Jeff says that WINK is now charging people $5 a month to use his WINK Home Hub. Leo says that they've changed the conditions of being able to use their product, especially since it costs over $100. It's not unheard of to charge to store data, but it would be like Amazon charging $5 a month to use the Echo devices out of nowhere. And it's even more frustrating because WINK sold their device with "no fees" as a feature. Now they're charging fees. But if they don't, they'll go out of business.

Are my older Hue Lights secure?

Philips Hue Lights

Episode 1684

Alan from Charlton, MS

Alan wants to know if Philips Hue Lights would work as lights for a video webcast. Leo says since they can change colors, they can look really good on camera. But he also hears that older Hue bridges are being placed into its end of life. Leo says they are depreciating the older models, but that doesn't mean they won't continue to work. But the problem is, any bulb that is connected to the Internet may result in a security issue for your network. That's the main thing. It's important to get all the patches you can. But in most cases, you'll likely be fine.

Are Smart Light Bulbs Secure?

Feit smart bulbs

Episode 1657

Kevin from San Diego, CA

Kevin bought some Feit smart bulbs from Costco. Leo says that LED light bulbs can be controlled by mobile phones. But he's concerned about security because they connect to his network. Leo says that's a concern with IoT devices. But if he can keep it up to date, he'll be fine. But the risk is there. He's also been using an Apple Airport. Leo says Apple isn't supporting the Airport anymore and he wants a WiFi 6 router. Leo recommends the TPLink Archer A7.

What baby monitor is the most secure?

Eufy Baby Monitor

Episode 1653

Darcy from Winnipeg, CAN

Darcy and his wife recently had a baby and he's looking for a good, and secure, baby monitor. Is there one that's really secure? Leo says that they are if the company keeps them up to date. Although RING took it on the chin with a hacker who hacked a Ring Camera in an 8-year-old's office, it turns out that this was due to a simple password that the mother had used with other devices. If you use a difficult password, then the RING Camera is a good option. Or, you can get a standard model that isn't internet-connected and is broadcast over a limited range.