Connecting a talking speaker or lock that links to the internet may feel daunting, but you can hire a personal smart home installation services team, which can put together a piece of tech — and make sure you can use it before they leave.
Most won't handle a 9 pm call if the cable goes out, but they can get a product online, installed and make sure a smart speaker, for example, actually talks to the smart thermostat.
People can install any of these products on their own — some as easy as screwing in a light bulb. (Really.) But when you just don't know where to start, or you're staring a C-wire and think, 'No that's not for me,' one of these five are a fine place to begin.
Best Buy will install smart home products — even if you didn't buy them at its storeiStock
Best Buy's Geek Squad is well known for helping customers get up to speed with purchases made from the company. But the brand has extended that service to any smart home product, even if it wasn't purchased through Best Buy.
Installing some devices, like smart thermostats, can take a bit of time and some comfort with the electrical system. Others like smart assistants, however, are really quite simple, involving little more than plugging a speaker or display into an outlet, downloading an app to a smartphone, and linking the two through Wi-Fi. A tech expert may not be necessary.
But if complete hand-holding is requested, buyers can customers select an installation service — even without buying a product — and purchase that through the web site. Best Buy installs a number of products — from smart thermostats to smart door locks — and also will make sure the items are connected to Wi-Fi before they leave.
People can also sign up for voice assistant training, help with installing a smart speaker or connecting to it a wireless network, and the service will give lessons on how to control other connected products. With a membership to Smart Home Services for $199.95 a year, customers pay just $49.99 for each install. Note that tech support later down the road is not included for smart devices, according to the company's web site.
Customers can also pay for a single installation — starting at $99.99 for each device — but keep in mind, that may be more than the product costs itself. Smart speakers, like the Echo Dot, can be picked up for as little as $29.99. So before you decide you want to pay someone to plug in a speaker, you can also find simple installation guides, like GearBrain's How to get started with Amazon Alexa or How to install a second Amazon Echo
You can ask a tech to install a product — and also connect it to your home Wi-Fi before they leaveiStock
Puls is a nationwide smart home tech team, that's reachable online — but makes house calls. The company handles a lot of tech from repairing garage doors, to fixing the screen on a smartphone. But smart home installation is also available, and you pay per device, with prices dropping as you add more products to your installation.
For example. Puls charges $109 to install a smart thermostat, the next one is just $79. The company claims its the "official Google authorized provider for Google Home," on its web site, but will also help install a number of other products including the August Smart Lock, Philips Hue lights, Wemo smart plug, Honeywell thermostat and the entire Amazon Echo lilne, as well as Wink Hubs and Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub. (They don't play favorites.)
The company makes it easy to book online, and the service is available in hundreds of cities, with a team of more than 4,000 techs, Puls says. They don't have a list online, but typing in a zip code will bring up which services are available. We did a quick check on some of the less well-known cities, and sorry but Fairbanks, Alaska, Kona, Hawaii, Sioux Falls, S.D. and Key West, Fla. are not covered.
Smart home installers can set up devices from smart thermostats to connected locksiStock
You can probably find help for nearly any home need on Handy, let alone installing an outdoor Nest camera — but you can get someone to do that too.
The company has a specific Smart Home section, where people can book directly from the site at any time, connecting to Handy's network of techs. Testing the sign up process, we were able to find appointments as early as the next day.
Handy is definitely focused on the smart home space. Co-founder and CEO Oisin Hanrahan talked with GearBrain about smart devices, and the need to support customers who are interested in these gadgets but aren't entirely sure how to get them working in their home.
Handy doesn't offer flat fees for smart home installation, but you can get a price quote before you agree to a service, and you can view requests other customers have made, and see how many hours their specific installation took. Customers are charged by Handy, which takes care of handling payments to techs doing the job.
On its site, the company highlights installations for smart locks, thermostats, hubs, video doorbells, and smart security cameras. Wi-Fi routers are also covered, and there's a separate link where you can describe the device if it's not mention — smart blinds or maybe an outdoor smart sprinkler system — to get a quote on those as well.
Handy has partnerships with Nest and Google Home, operates in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and every city where they have a tech available is listed clearly on the web site. (And yes, Kona, they've got you covered.)
HelloTech works both on site and online — meaning you might be able to get the help you need even if someone doesn't come to your home. The company says it's available to work with customers across the country, but does admit on the site that getting to remote locations "may take a little longer."
Customers can reach someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But at home visits are only made between 9 am and 9 pm, every day of the week. Pricing is per installation, and the company does have only service plans that start at $99 a year, going up to $299 a year. All of them including phone and online support, with the most expensive including three in-home visits, according to its site.
Some of the smart home installs HelloTech supports are Ring doorbells, August smart locks and Nest thermostats for $99. Installing an Amazon Echo device costs $79, which includes connecting three additional smart home products to the smart speaker. HelloTech charges the same price for setting up a Google Home speaker, and connecting it to your Wi-Fi but won't link additional products.
Again, keep in mind you can buy a Google Home Mini for as little as $29, and GearBrain may be able to help you install these on your own. You can check out GearBrain's YouTube channel, and the video on What you need to know about Google Assistant Devices, or read our detailed guides on how to change Google Assistant's voice, create routines, control lights or even make phone calls.
Angie's List does help people connect to smart home specialists through its siteiStock
Founded in 1995, Angie's List has been around long before anyone was really talking about building a smart home. That doesn't meant the company doesn't offer some smart home support, connecting customers to professionals who can install smart devices for them.
You do need to have an idea of what kind of service you need when scrolling through Angie's List. This is definitely the place to come to for opossum control or for some Feng Shui advice, but finding smart home techs takes a bit more digging. We found support for installing Nest thermostats and Wi-Fi routers, but little else dedicated to smart devices. That's not to say that a Commercial locksmith couldn't install a Yale smart lock, but you'd need to ask.
Angie's List doesn't make the appointment or act as a middle man. Instead, it's honestly a list of service providers who can do a specific job. You can see how many ratings a specific company has had from Angie's List members, and you can request a quote directly through the site.
The site is available across the U.S. in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and once you're a member (joining at the basic level is free) you can find which services are in your area.
Best Motorized Blinds for Your Smart Home in 2019 www.youtube.com