Back now with our special, “The Internet of Things.” An in-depth look at how today’s technology is transforming the American home, and your entire real estate experience.
We’re going to wrap up this hour of the show with a question, about one of the most fundamental parts of our connected world. And that is what happens if you lose Internet?
Just think of it. Many homes in 2018 are literally alive with internet-connected devices. Starting with your router, which sends Wi-Fi, and hard-wired internet throughout the house.
The router provides connectivity to your computers, your smartphones and your tablets.
And you know not too many years ago that was about it. But now all that has changed. Because you have Smart TVs, you have streaming boxes like Apple TV, Roku, and the Nvidia Shield.
You may have connected DVRs either from the cable company or TiVo or some other manufacturer. And then the latest and biggest development of all: the Amazon Echo, Google home, or the Apple Home Pod. Voice recognition speakers and displays that control the connected devices in your house.
Smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart door locks, and on and on and on.
Not to mention, many people who have cut the landline telephone cord, now have VoIP telephone service – voice over Internet Protocol…in which you do phone calls over – the internet.
And it’s important to remember that none of this is really unusual. Because plenty of people have all this stuff, or at least a lot of it.
So what happens to your home if the internet goes out? It’s an important question that has to do with safety, as well as your ability to connect to the outside world. So let’s take a quick look at that.
Let’s start with your communications. If the internet at your home goes out, then chances are in most cases you will still be able to use your cell phone to make calls. And you can also use your cellphone as a WiFi hotspot to get your PC and your tablets online.
So that’s good.
But that Voip telephone line? That won’t work, until the internet comes back on.
Next how about your entertainment? What if you’ve truly cut your cable TV altogether, you would not be able to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime. Your boxes like the Apple TV the Roku and the Nvidia Shield would not work.
But – if you have cable TV, chances are it would still work. And all the shows you had recorded on your DVR? You can watch them even without any internet.
Now – as for smart home tech – here’s a quick rundown.
First of all your smart lighting. Now this is good. Because smart light bulbs like the Philips Hue system will operate just like a traditional light bulb if there is no internet. You turn the lamp on you turn the lamp off they work just like old-fashioned bulbs. So you will not be in the dark. But you can’t control them with your voice, or your cell phone.
Now if you’ve installed smart door locks, well you will either need a key, which many smart door locks include. And, some smart locks work with your smartphone using bluetooth – no ‘net required. And that’s a really good development. Of course, some of the features will not work without internet, like being able to unlock or lock your house from hundreds of miles away. But if you’re in your house and the Wifi goes down you’ll be ok.
The same thing is true of most of today’s smart thermostats. If the internet goes out, they will still be able to turn your heating and air conditioning system up and down. But obviously you will not be able to control them from your smartphone.
In all this raises a really interesting observation. It seems that most if not all of the companies that are investing in Smart Home Tech have carefully considered how the device will work if the internet goes out. In most cases the devices will still work, in a minimum way. But that’s better than nothing.
And finally, as we wrap up this hour of Real Estate Today, remember – if you’re listening on the radio? You don’t need any internet at all.