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6 Essentials for Your Smart Home

With so many devices and home automation available these days, turning your house into a smart home is easier than you might think. But, there are some things to keep in mind when deciding which devices are essential – and what kind of internet service you’ll need to maximize your smart home experience.

  • A home speaker that doubles as a virtual assistant. Current models can answer questions, turn on lights, play video, access virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, share weather and news updates, act as a timer, and play music on demand. Some models even help you shop online.
  • Home cameras. The latest in home monitoring such as Cox Homelife’s security and automation features allow for remote live video viewing from your smartphone, video recording and customizable notifications.
  • Smart lights. Replace existing light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs that can be controlled remotely with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. And, now you don’t have to leave the porch or living room lights on all day when you know you’ll be home after dark. Cox Homelife has an automation feature to turn indoor and outdoor lights on and off from your smartphone, bringing you (and your pet) peace of mind while you’re away from home, as well as saving energy and money.
  • Smart locks. Can’t remember if you locked your front door before you left the house? Or maybe you need to unlock it for a family member while you’re at work? Smart lock features can include voice commands, customized chimes, activity logs, integration with other smart devices, and special codes for friends, dog walkers, and deliveries.
  • Smart thermostats. Programmable thermostats allow you to turn the air and heat in your home up and down, and on and off from your smartphone so you can arrive to a warm house in the winter and a cool one during the hot summer months.
  • Smart Search entertainment. There are many options to watch TV and stream content online, and Cox’s Contour TV service brings smart search options, Netflix and YouTube integration, a voice-controlled remote, and cool apps together into one service that is easy to navigate. Speak into the remote to find the programming you want to watch – use a famous movie quote, the title of a show, a genre, or the name of an actor. You can even say “free movies,” and available titles in the On Demand library will pop up.

Internet Service Key to Smart Home

Just as important as the devices you select is the internet service you choose.

Before setting up your smart home, make sure your internet service is fast, reliable, has strong in-home WiFi coverage, and can handle multiple devices connected to the internet simultaneously.

In San Diego, Cox Communications recently doubled internet download speeds automatically for the majority of its customers at no additional charge. Preferred, the company’s most popular tier of service, is now up to 100 Mbps, while Essential and Starter, which are ideal for lighter users with one to five devices connected to the home network, doubled to 30 Mbps and 10 Mbps, respectively.

For households with multiple family members who want to connect dozens of devices simultaneously, are heavy gamers or have the need for the fastest speeds around, Cox’s Gigablast service provides download speeds of 1 gigabit (1,000 Mbps).

Take a short quiz on the speed advisor at to determine which speed is right for your household.

Turn Dead Zones to Live WiFi Spots in Your Smart Home

Optimizing your in-home WiFi is also key when setting up your smart home. To minimize or eliminate obstruction of your in-home WiFi signals, place your router in an unobstructed location such as on top of high furniture or “line of sight” locations.

In instances where obstructions can’t be avoided, such as between floors or around walls, Cox’s Panoramic WiFi service can help eliminate these dead zones.

Using a WiFi analyzer tool, Cox technicians will physically walk each room in your home from wall to wall to locate dead zones where a WiFi signal is sporadic or non-existent. Once the dead zones are identified, the technician can determine how to best turn that dead zone into a live zone.

For more information on internet service options for your smart home, visit