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Internet of Things – What is It, and How is It Useful for You?

By now you’ve heard something about IoT or the  “Internet of things.” If you’re like many of us, you may have dismissed it as something that doesn’t relate to you, or that it’s for people who know a lot about technology. But IoT technology has become surprisingly common in many households.

IoT Defined

So what exactly is IoT? Basically, the term “Internet of things”, or IoT is referring to anything that’s connected to the internet. The term is mainly used for devices that you wouldn’t normally expect to be connected to the internet, like a lightbulb for instance. While IoT devices can be controlled and/or programmed by using your smartphone or computer, your smartphone and computer themselves are not considered IoT devices.

The Internet of things are objects or devices that can communicate with a network without direct human action. The first IoT device was created in the 1980s when some college students set up a way to remotely monitor the temperature and contents of a campus soda machine. Today, IoT devices are used in ways you might not notice or expect, like to monitor foot traffic in public places to determine when an area might need to be cleaned.

What IoT Can Do for You

So how does IoT relate to you or the people in your neighborhood? Digital assistants – like Alexa or Google Home – can respond to voice commands to find information or play music. Doorbells with cameras can show you who’s at the door. Security cameras can allow you to keep an eye on your pets while you’re away at work. Smart thermostats can let you know your house is too cold so you can turn up the heat before you get home.

IoT Security 

So with all this new technology collecting and sharing information in our homes, there have been some concerns about security related to IoT devices. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from security concerns associated with IoT devices. Among the most important steps you can take is to always use unique, strong passwords and to enable two-step authentication. It’s also important to have a secure WiFi network. DUO Broadband can help with this. We offer the most advanced router to help protect and manage your network.

Accessible Home Benefits

IoT technology is exciting and useful – especially for those with limited mobility and disabilities who can benefit greatly and have improved quality of life thanks to the ability to control objects in their environment remotely with a smartphone or voice command. Plus, many IoT devices are very inexpensive and easy to install and use.

A smart-home demonstration area will soon be available at our Jamestown store. We will have IoT devices right in our lobby to show you some of the possibilities available for your home!


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