What is home automation technology?

Home automation has evolved a lot with the appearance of new technologies. Gone are the PLCs, programmable controllers and the necessary wiring to automate a home. Currently, new wireless connectivity technologies have replaced those old protocols, and virtual assistants have made interaction much easier. In this article you will learn more about home automation and the Smart Home…

What is home automation?

Home automation is used for the automatic control of electronic devices in your home, be it lighting, appliances, or other technological devices. These elements will be connected to a network, either to the Internet via WiFi or via Bluetooth or any other transfer protocol, in order to be controlled or monitored remotely.

With home automation, you can manage all your devices remotely, even if you’re not at home. For example, you can schedule the lights to turn off when you normally go to sleep, or you can have your thermostat turn up the air conditioner about an hour before you return from work so that the house will be at the desired temperature when you arrive.

In short, it makes life more comfortable and even allows you to save money, for example, in electricity or gas, making a more efficient management of all resources. Home automation can also lead to greater security for all residents, whether through camera surveillance systems, smart alarms, flood or smoke sensors that can save you from a catastrophe.

The Internet of Things or IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the fact that any device can be connected to the Internet, such as household appliances, heating, lighting, vehicles, etc. Currently, the IoT and home automation overlap, since many of the home automation devices are also IoT, since they have network connectivity to be more intelligent and to be able to be controlled from wherever you want.

How does home automation work?

Home automation works through a network, either wired or wireless. This network interconnects devices that must be monitored or controlled with other devices that are responsible for controlling or monitoring them. At present, wireless communication protocols such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoRA, among others, are used above all. Through electronic interfaces, devices can be remotely managed through controllers, be it a voice assistant like Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant or an app for mobile devices.

It can be said that home automation works on three levels:

  • Monitoring: Users can remotely monitor devices via an app. For example, someone could view your home live from a smart security camera on your mobile screen while traveling or at work.
  • Control: The user can also control these devices remotely, such as remotely move the camera to view other areas, capture the image, open the door if it is known that the “intruder” is really a family member who comes to shower the plants etc
  • Automation: On the other hand, automation means configuring devices to be smarter. They generally consist of a sensor and an actuator. For example, a gas sensor can be used to detect gas leaks, at the moment in which there is a leak, it can notify you with a notification to your mobile so that you can take the appropriate measures and an accident does not occur.

Advantages and disadvantages of home automation

Like everything in life, home automation has its pros and cons. Therefore, you should know them to know if you are interested in domotizing your home or not:


  • Remote access: thanks to home automation, you can have remote access to a multitude of devices, which allows them to be controlled or monitored from wherever you are and with the comfort that this implies. You won’t have to move from bed or sofa to activate or see certain parameters, or you can manage the climate before you even get home, maybe turn on the lights, raise the blinds when you’re traveling so that you don’t feel objective for thieves etc.
  • Energy efficiency: as there are smart devices, such as thermostats, Netsat, Google Nest, etc., you will be able to have greater control of the air conditioning, saving a lot of energy and also reducing the gas or electricity rate. And the environment will also thank you for this, since it will be a more sustainable home.
  • Security: finally, there are many smart security products that can increase the security of your home, such as door and window sensors, security cameras, motion sensors, smoke sensor, water sensor to prevent flooding, video intercoms, gas leaks, smart locks, etc.


  • Costs: all this technology to automate a home represents an investment. In addition, the maintenance and repair of this equipment is also something that must be taken into account. On the other hand, these additional devices also have an electricity consumption, unless they are solar, and having a broadband connection also implies payments. Therefore, it can be said that a smart home is more expensive than a conventional one.
  • Security issues: Cybersecurity threats have caused IoT and intelligent systems to suffer. Therefore, a home with home automation may be more susceptible to this type of attack to obtain information. In addition to that, it must be taken into account that the devices themselves, such as virtual assistants, usually collect information from their users, such as the recording of certain conversations, etc. Therefore, if you are paranoid about security, it is better not to automate your home, or do it with more secure protocols that do not need to be connected to the Internet.

Is home automation safe?

With some IoT devices, digital security can be compromised. Since everything is connected, especially certain critical elements of a home, cyberattacks could occur that could steal sensitive information or compromise the security of your home. Therefore, it is important to take into account some considerations and take precautions. If you do this, you should have no problem using these types of devices in your home.

  • Common Sense: Common sense and caution are important. For example, do not use a surveillance camera in places like the bathroom or bedroom to prevent them from capturing intimate scenes. Also, do not use IoT toys with cameras or microphones for the little ones in the house.
  • Secure router: You can choose a router from a trusted brand, such as NETGEAR, TP-Link, Lynksys, etc. Although this does not seem to affect security, it does, since these devices use firmware that could contain vulnerabilities. Instead, these brands usually update it frequently, patching these possible vulnerabilities as soon as possible. A serious problem are the routers offered by Internet companies, since they are usually not the best.
  • Privacy Policy: It is important to read the privacy policy and license agreements. It is very tedious, but when it comes to a particularly critical system, it is best to do it so you know what you can expect.
  • Router name: use a different name that does not give so many clues in your router, that is, change the SSID.
  • Encryption: Choose a strong encryption method for your WiFi, such as WPA2 or WPA3.
  • WiFi Password: Make sure your WiFi password is really strong and don’t share it with anyone who shouldn’t have access to it. Remember that a strong password should have more than 8 characters, and be made up of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
  • Isolate: if you are not going to use a connected device, it is best to deactivate it. This way you can avoid problems in case of attacks that use that device as a vector.
  • Device Configuration: It’s important that you spend some time configuring devices to avoid factory settings. Sometimes, even with certain vulnerabilities, if the default settings are not used, the attack can be avoided.
  • Software and firmware updates: you should always have the software and firmware used by your connected devices up to date, be it mobile apps, the system of some devices or their firmware. This will make it have the latest security patches in case vulnerabilities have been detected.
  • VPN:Finally, it is better that you use a VPN installed on your router, so that all the devices connected to it can use a secure tunnel for communication. With the encryption offered by these VPN services, you can prevent third parties from accessing sensitive information, since it will not be transferred in plain text. On the other hand, VPN also involves hiding your real IP, so it is also an additional security barrier.

Remember that no system is 100% secure, but with common sense and these recommendations you can achieve a fairly safe and reliable Smart Home. Soon more products for Smart Home security will begin to be seen, such as certain IoT services that are already beginning to appear, such as cloud-based antivirus solutions, etc.