The Connected Home

From thermostats that can learn how you like to heat your home, to doorbells that show you who’s standing at the your front door on your smartphone, smart devices just seem to be getting smarter and smarter. Here are some of the best.



Ring is a home security startup that’s best known for making HD video doorbells that let you see, hear and speak to visitors on your doorstep from your smartphone. The doorbells can also be connected to a network of smart security cameras that send you alerts when motion is detected around your home.

The Bottom Line: Amazon recently spent a billion dollars to buy Ring. Considering the possibilities offered by its products, it’s not hard to see why.

Price: From $100









Nest Learning Thermostat


The third-generation smart thermostat from Nest has built in Wi-Fi, which means you can control your home’s temperature from you smartphone. As well as the addition of this game-changing feature, it now works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice control, and also comes with a larger, sleeker display and more sensors than its predecessors.

The Bottom Line: The original smart thermostat just got a whole lot smarter.

Price: $250

Amazon Echo


The latest generation Amazon Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control compatible smart home devices, and more. The speaker comes with Dolby processing that fills the room with immersive, 360-degree omnidirectional audio, and delivers crisp vocals, deep bass, and clear highs at louder volumes.

The Bottom Line: A high-quality, feature-packed smart speaker at a great price.

Price: $100

Phillips Hue


There are several wireless lighting systems on the market at the moment, but the Hue range of smart bulbs are easily one of the most user-friendly. You can easily control the intensity and color of the bulbs in your home using your smartphone. And unlike many of their competitors, they can also be linked up to a host of other smart devices and systems, such as Amazon’s Echo speaker and Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

The Bottom Line: It might not be the cheapest smart lighting system around, but in terms of ease-of-use and cross-platform compatibility, the Hue is hard to beat.

Price: From $140