Spring is usually a busy season for home improvements and upgrades. This year, with so many stuck at home, the urge to spruce up your house or beef up your electronics is greater than ever. To meet the need for DIY home upgrade projects, Best Buy has kicked off awith attractive deals on devices from Arlo, Google, Nest, Netgear, and more. The standout? A Linksys Velop Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi System for $330, down from the usual $400.
If you’re equipping your home so you can control lights and appliances with voice commands, you can’t have too many smart Wi-Fi plugs. TP-Link’s Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is small enough that it doesn’t block adjacent outlets and it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. No hub is required and you can set up schedules to control all of your home electronics with Kasa plugs.
The cost of entry for smart homes is amazingly low — all you need is a single smart speaker. The second-generation Nest Mini, with the Google Assistant digital voice assistant, responds to commands that begin with “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.” You can use the Mini to play music, tell you the news and weather, answer any questions you might otherwise type in the Google search engine, and control a wide range of compatible smart devices. At 40% off, the Nest Mini is a great buy at $30.
The Nest Mini above is a good starting point, but if you want higher quality music, make the jump to buy the Google Home Smart Speaker with Google Assistant. The Google Home is functionally equivalent to the Mini, but the bigger and better sound is what it’s all about. Because Google Home is being offered with a drastic 50% price cut, with this sale, you can upgrade to the Google Home for just $50.
Home security is one of the biggest draws for smart homes, and that starts with smart security cameras. The Google Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera is deservedly one of the most popular models. You can view live 1080p HD video 24/7 with this camera, and built-in motion and sound sensors cause the Nest Cam to begin recording video while it sends an alert to your smartphone. The camera has two-way talk capability so you can converse with people near the camera or simply listen. Setup is simple with no hub required, just connect the Nest Cam to your home Wi-Fi directly to get started.
Homes with active internet participants need fast, reliable internet connections. The Netgear Nighthawk Dual-Band AC1900 Router is a two-in-one device that includes a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a fast Wi-Fi router. Compatible with most major cable internet providers, the Netgear Nighthawk supports up to 1,900 Mbps throughout so that multiple family members can stream content at the same time. In addition to Wi-Fi networking, the Nighthawk has four gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port for wired connections for gaming consoles and backup drives.
If you install the Nest Hello Video Doorbell, you’ll never miss a visitor, a delivery — or an intruder. This smart video doorbell senses motion, sounds, and people and will send you an alert at the same time it begins to record HD video and audio. You can use the Nest Hello for 24/7 video streaming if you wish and capture a rolling 3-hour video snapshot of what occurred. You can view live video and recorded clips with Google Assistant or Alexa-compatible displays, and on your smartphone or tablet with iOS and Android apps.
Nest’s third-generation Learning Thermostat keeps track of temperature settings and the times when you change them to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle and preferences. You can “go green,” and the Nest display will show a green leaf that indicates your settings are energy efficient. After you connect the Nest Learning Thermostat to your home Wi-Fi and heating system, you can monitor and change settings remotely, whether that means at your office or halfway around the world. The Nest Thermostat’s long list of features also includes energy-history reporting, alerts when components don’t function properly, and system adjustments to account for changes in the weather.
If your household includes one or more extremely heavy bandwidth users, such as a video producer or extreme gamer, or multiple people who stream audio and video, your bandwidth will be likely to choke on a regular basis, unless you don’t take extra measures. This 3-pack of Linksys Velop Tri-Band wireless mesh networking routers will do the trick. The Velops, especially when they work in concert, with two or more in the same location, can manage your bandwidth using the best of three wireless frequency bands. The Linksys routers adjust as needed to your Wi-Fi usage and movement throughout your home. If you want to operate a game console at another part of the house, for example, the Velops routers recognize the device characteristics and adjust to the new locations. Rated to supply excellent coverage up to 6,000 square feet, the Amazon Alexa-compatible Velops routers can also allow you to monitor and manage your network from any location.
If you are in the market for a powerful multi-camera security camera system, this Arlo Pro 2 4-camera system deserves a close look. The four full HD cameras are suitable for indoor or outdoor use and can run on AC power or via included rechargeable batteries. Install the Arlo Hub inside near your wireless router, and the hub can manage up to 15 cameras, any five of which can stream video simultaneously. The Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-compatible Arlo Pro 2 system cameras have night vision, 2-way audio, and adjustable motion sensor activity zones. You can view live video or recorded clips stored in the cloud for no charge.
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