Smart home technology is no longer a luxury only available to the wealthy or tech-savvy, and the industry has responded with ever sophisticated solutions. Many people are familiar with smart home technology through devices like Google’s Nest or Amazon’s Echo however, the term covers a variety of solutions for your house. This includes everything from remote-controlled lighting and heating to CCTV, home safety systems doorbells, and smart locks. Some of them even let you keep tabs on children elderly relatives, pets and children as well as monitor electricity or water usage, and much more.

Integration is the key to a good smart home system. This is why the best a knockout post products are those that work with other devices and systems to make your home smarter. For instance smart lighting can communicate with a central hub to set your lights according to a predetermined time or turn them off after you leave the house. A video doorbell could alert you to visitors who might be coming in, and your alarm system can call the police or fire departments. Once you’ve mastered IFTTT (If This Then That) it is possible to use services such as Stringify to automate your devices in more complicated ways.

Of course, bringing a whole array of new smart devices into your home is not without its own concerns. CNET works hard to understand the privacy policies of companies, voice concerns and ask questions directly to companies.