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The Best Smart Home Devices of 2017

The Internet of Things lets you automate your home and monitor it from afar. Ready to dive in? Start with the top products we’ve tested for every room in the house.

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What if all the devices in your life could connect to the Internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything: clocks, speakers, lights, doors, , cameras, windows, window blinds, hot water heaters, appliances, cooking utensils, you name it. And what if those devices could all communicate, send you information, and take your commands? It’s not science fiction; it’s the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s a key component of home automation and smart homes.

Home automation is exactly what it sounds like: automating the ability to control items around the house—from window shades to pet feeders—with a simple push of a button (or a voice command). Some activities, like setting up a lamp to turn on and off at your whim, are simple and relatively inexpensive. Others, like advanced surveillance cameras, may require a more serious investment of time and money.

There are many smart home product categories, so you can control everything from lights and temperature to locks and security in your home. Here’s a rundown of the best products we’ve tested for every room of the house.

Hubs & Controllers

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot

The Echo$179.99 at Amazon is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, Amazon’s handy voice assistant. Alexa works with a number of smart home devices directly, as well as with If This Then That (IFTTT) to control plenty of others via “recipes” you can create yourself. It’ll take some work, but you can use Alexa to control most of the gadgets in your house by the sound of your voice. If you already have a favorite speaker, the inexpensive Echo Dot$49.99 at Amazon can connect to it and add Alexa functionality.

Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2

Our current Editors’ Choice for home automation hubs, the Wink Hub 2 works with devices that use Z-Wave, ZigBee, Lutron Clear Connect, Kidde, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It is also for the future. That includes just about everything in the smart home spectrum, from Philips Hue lighting and the Netgear Arlo camera, to Google Home. It’s the most reliable, widely supported hub we’ve tested.

Logitech Harmony Elite

Logitech Harmony Elite

Don’t like talking and prefer controlling things the old fashioned way: by pushing buttons? The Logitech Harmony Elite$298.00 at Amazon is the ultimate universal remote for a reason: it controls a lot more than just TV and stereo. The pricey unit connects with the included Harmony Home Hub to control other Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices in your house.

Read The Best Smart Home Automation Hubs for more options.

Surveillance Cameras

Icontrol Networks Piper <spannv< span=””>

Icontrol Networks Piper nv Security Camera

The Piper <spannv< span=””>$279.99 at Amazon is an indoor-only surveillance camera you can watch remotely from an Android or iOS device, perfect for keeping an eye on the house, the pets, or even the baby. But it’s a lot more than that. It’s also a Z-Wave controller, capable of giving you household control over household gadgets no matter where you are. And the camera itself is excellent, with digital pan, tilt, and zoom functions, plus sharp night vision and two-way audio so you can speak to whoever is under your watch.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor

The Nest Cam Outdoor$189.99 at Amazon is essentially the same camera as its popular Indoor model$192.75 at Amazon, but with a weatherproof enclosure and power cord. <spanotherwise< span=””> it’s pretty much identical in features—it uses Wi-Fi to send a full-time video signal (up to 1080p) you can monitor via the Web or mobile apps. It also provides alerts for motion (in zones you set) or audio. Pay for the Nest Aware subscription and you’ll get days of video stored online that turn into clips you can watch whenever you like.

Check out The Best Home Security Cameras for more.


Locks and Home Security Systems

August Smart Lock HomeKit Enabled

HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock

The big names in door locks have smart home options, but they haven’t pulled it off as well as upstart August. Its easy-to-install, Apple HomeKit-enabled Smart Lock$229.00 at Amazon mounts over your existing deadbolt switch to provide connectivity <spanfor< span=””> your door. It speaks via Bluetooth to your smartphone, granting quick access to you or guests. The latest version integrates tightly with Apple devices, but <spanstill< span=””> has support from other services like IFTTT.

See The Best Smart Locks for more.


Vivint Line Up 2016

Vivint used to be APX Alarm Security <spansolutions,< span=””> but now has a cool name to go along with expanding beyond security into home automation. We gave four stars to the Vivint smart home$49.99 at Vivint, which includes subscription-based remote monitoring by pros that costs $49 per month. If you want pro installation and an extra set of eyes, Vivint is an excellent choice. It can even be controlled with the Amazon Echo.

SimpliSafe Home Security System

SimpliSafe Home Security System Keypad

If you prefer a DIY approach to smartening up your home security, check out the SimpliSafe system$259.95 at SimpliSafe. While it lacks a camera, it makes up for it with reasonable prices and monthly monitoring of a wide range of sensors. It comes in multiple different packages, or you can customize your own so you can get exactly what’s right for your home.


Heating and Cooling

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

Nest 3rd gen

The Nest Learning Thermostat$246.49 at Amazon has built-in Wi-Fi so you can remotely control the temperature from <spanphone< span=””>, tablet, or PC. This latest generation also has a larger display and a few more sensors than its predecessors, in addition to geofencing support and a furnace monitor.

For more, see Nest Tips to Help You Take Control of Your Smart Home.

Ecobee3 Smart WiFi Thermostat

As nice as the Nest is, it’s not our only top pick. The Ecobee3 Smart WiFi Thermostat$257.98 at Amazon is another stylish device you can control remotely. It’s not dependent on just monitoring home temperature from one spot—it checks multiple sensors in multiple rooms.


Philips Hue Bulbs

Want complete wireless supremacy over the lights in your home? The Philips Hue line delivers with bulbs that let you control not only the intensity of the <spanlight,< span=””> but also the color. It can get pricey, to be sure, but the Hue ecosystem has been around long enough that it works with just about every other system out there, from <spanalexa,< span=””> to IFTTT, to Siri (using the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0). Not interested in colorful lights but still want that incredible granular control over an all-white bulb? Philips has the Hue White coming in at an almost bargain price, at least for smart bulbs.

Check out The Best Smart Light Bulbs for more connected lighting options.


Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Wi-Fi

Anova Wi-Fi

If you’re interested in sous vide cooking—where food sealed in plastic is immersed in a hot bath to cook to perfection—you need an immersion circulator to get started. The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker$199.61 at Amazon uses Wi-Fi connectivity so you control it from anywhere, even when you’re not home. A big dial lets you set the desired temperature to within a tenth of a degree, display shows the set and current water temperature, and an app keeps you notified of the cooking process every step of the way. It makes cooking sous vide as simple as can be.

Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef Technology

Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef Technology

When it comes to smoking ribs or other meats in the backyard, you’ve typically got two choices, charcoal or gas, and neither is perfect. It’s possible that the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker$199.74 at Amazon is, since you control the temp remotely, using apps for iOS or Android. You just wait for the app to tell you when the food is ready. Inside there <spanis< span=””> 725 square inches of cooking space on four chrome racks that are easy to clean. Fill the smoker box with wood chips and it will work for nearly seven hours without a refill.

Check out The Best Gadgets for High-Tech Grilling for more.

Perfect Bake Pro

Perfect Bake Pro

The Perfect Bake Pro$99.99 at Amazon takes out the guess work and risk when baking. It’s a baking scale connected to an app to help newbies (and seasoned bakers alike) get everything just right when it comes to kitchen chemistry. Just follow the app as the scale measures everything you add. As long as you can tell salt from sugar, you’re probably going to be just fine.


Neato Botvac Connected

Neato Botvac Connected
Robot vacuums are smarter than ever. Neato’s Botvac Connected$629.99 at Amazon has a laser-guided navigation system that can’t , and its U-shape design means it can get into tight corners and against walls in a way circular robots can’t. It also features built-in Wi-Fi for app control with your smartphone, so you can turn it on no matter where you are and come back to a clean home.

Read The Best Robot Vacuums for more.

iRobot Braava Jet 240

A vacuuming robot isn’t enough these days. Don’t you want your floors mopped clean as well? iRobot’s relatively inexpensive Braava Jet 240$167.99 at Amazon will do exactly that. It’s small, quiet, and perfect for apartment dwellers without a lot of floor space or time to clean it when they get home. It sprays a jet of water to clean deep, and can even do damp sweeping, like a Swiffer.

Check out The Best Robot Vacuums for more.

Health and Fitness

QardioBase Smart Scale


Extending your smart home into making you healthier just makes good sense. For tracking fat, BMI, water, muscle mass, bone composition, and even pregnancy, look no further than the QardioBase Smart Scale$79.99 at Amazon. It shares the info it reads with a smartphone app for your easy access. Plus, it just looks great.

See The Best Smart Bathroom Scales for more.


<spanrachio< span=””> Smart Sprinkler Controller Generation 2

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Generation 2

The second-gen <spanrachio< span=””> Smart Sprinkler Controller$222.00 at Amazon gives you control over eight or 16 zones depending on the unit you get, with a master valve terminal for systems that have one. It won’t water the lawn if it’s raining, and you can turn it on and off remotely with your phone. Plus, it integrates with lots of other services and devices like Amazon’s Alexa, IFTTT, and Nest products.

Robomow RS622


Robomow RS622 profile

Robot lawn mowers don’t come cheap, but they definitely come in handy. Check out the Robomow RS622$1,699.00 at Amazon or one of its siblings for different sized lawns. This model is good for handling up to 23,000 square feet—once you go through the process of setting up a perimeter to let the mower go on its automated cutting pattern. Its dual two-season cutting blades spin at 4,000 rpm, mulching grass back into the soil so there’s no need for cleaning up or dumping bags of grass.