I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “gadget girl”. I love any kind device that saves time, money or just makes life easier. Sometimes I like the newest gadget simply for the coolness factor.
These are my 5 favorite and highly recommended tech-savvy products the home that we’ve had for at least six months. I’m sure you’ll find one that would make a great gift for that special gadget enthusiast in your life.
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1. Circle with Disney
Out of all the purchases I’ve made for my home this past year, this one has been my favorite. It quickly became my boys’ least favorite. 😉 Circle with Disney is a device that manages the wi-fi usage and content in your home or business. You set up a profile for each child which includes any device they use to hook up to the wi-fi signal. First, you set parental controls according to the age of the child. Then, you set time limits for internet usage and bedtime. You can even block certain websites such as YouTube or pause the internet for each child.
Now, this is where it become a game changer in our household…
I purchased it right at the beginning of summer vacation. When the boys would run out of internet time, I’d hear footsteps coming down the hallway followed by, “Mom, what chores can I help you with?”. Never before had my boys been so adamant about wanting to help me around the house in exchange for internet time. Another wonderful thing about the Circle is that it has been a great time management tool for myself. I set time limits on social media (including Pinterest) and get so much more done on my days off. Otherwise, it’s so easy to become distracted!
When I was shopping for a home security system, it had to be easy to install myself, not need a landline, and have low monthly fees with no contract. Simplisafe was the perfect option. Instead of using a landline, it uses a micro cell phone to send out the signal. The company offers standard monitoring for $14.95 per month. I highly recommend the interactive monitoring for $24.95/month. Interactive monitoring allows you to use an app on your phone to control the system or view the wireless security camera. You also get text messages when alarms are activated and you can customize the settings online. I even get a text message when the power goes out and comes back on. The equipment, itself, is also less expensive than the competition. The Simplisafe website now has a coupon code for 10% using the code 10HOLIDAY.
3. Programmable Wi-Fi Thermostats
Our programmable wi-fi thermostats have definitely paid for themselves. We have the Honeywell Smart Wifi Touchscreen Thermostat upstairs and the Honeywell RET97E5D1005/U Wi-Fi Thermostat downstairs. Since they’re both from Honeywell, I can use one app to control the temperature and set the schedule for each unit. The upstairs unit is the more tech-savvy of the two units. If you have an Alexa-enabled device like the Amazon Echo, you can control the temperature through your voice. A couple of other features are: it shows the outside temperature and you can change the color of the screen. What sold me on the unit is the password protected touchscreen. This is perfect when you have kids who like to turn the temp up to 90 degrees in the middle of the night. It happened quite a few times before we bought it!
4. Keypad locks
The most-used of all these products in our home are the three sets of keypad keyless entry knobs we’ve purchased for the home and garage. I can’t imagine worrying about getting locked out of the house or fumbling for door keys again! Each member of the household has their own four digit user code. It’s easy to set up and delete temporary codes for guests. The Flex-Lock feature allows you to switch between unlocked or automatic re-locking with the turn of a latch. The backlit display turns on at the touch of a button so you can see it at night. These features make it well worth the peace of mind you get from owning these keypad locks.
If you have wi-fi range issues, you need a wi-fi range extender, like this affordable Netgear N300, installed in your house. A wi-fi range extender acts as an extension to the router. We actually have two of them. One is for upstairs and the other extends the signal to the backyard and detached garage. They were very simple to set up and connect to.
One last thing…
This product’s not on the list but it’s so important.
Eaton 109420 Ultra Surge Protection 3Rd Edition
I can’t stress enough how important it is to protect all the electronics in your home with a whole-house surge protector like the Eaton 109420 Ultra Surge Protector.
If you have any questions about any of the products I’ve discussed today, please feel free to ask!
Share with us something that’s made your home more tech savvy and/or simplified your life?