Smart Home Devices

Smart home devices might make you think of George Jetson’s robot Rosie. While we may not be living in Orbit City with The Jetsons quite yet, devices are already making our lives at home easier in terms of chores, comfort and security.  Because the term “smart home” refers to devices connected to your Wi-Fi, we’d like to rundown some of the most popular options with a look at how they consume data and tips for helping you save data.

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells or video doorbells make it possible for you to see who’s at your front door when you’re not even home! According to Strategy Analytics, 16% of homes in the U.S. now have a video doorbell. Video doorbells provide added security and the ease of not having to peep through a peephole. Popular brands include Ring, Google’s Nest and Skybell.

Video doorbells do connect to your home Wi-Fi to capture video clips to their respective apps. After initial set-up, a video doorbell will use data when a push notification is activated, motion is detected by someone ringing your doorbell or if you turn the camera on using the live viewing mode on the application. The more this happens, the more data being used. The amount of data used will increase depending on how sensitive you set the motion detection on the doorbell. The more sensitive your setting, the more alerts you’ll get, which increases data usage. Setting your video doorbell to record video in 720 HD or SD (standard definition) instead of 1080 HD will also save on data usage.

Wi-Fi Connected Security Cameras

The next generation of security cameras is here with Wi-Fi connected cameras. Depending on the type of cameras you buy and how you use them will determine the amount of data you will consume. The easiest way to save on data is to purchase security cameras which not only work on Wi-Fi, but also work with a local storage option. Local storage means the footage is being recorded onto an SD card instead of being uploaded to an application or the cloud using Wi-Fi.

Here are a few models we found which offer local storage:
1.) eufyCam E 1-Cam
2.) Wyze Cam v2
3.) Zuminall Rechargeable Cam

The camera’s resolution along with the frames per seconds (FPS) record rate will have an impact on data usage. The higher the resolution and the higher the FPS rate, the more data being used. Most models offer ways to monitor your home or business using a lower resolution and a lower FPS rate.

If your Wi-Fi security cameras are set to upload video content 24/7, you will use more data. Some Wi-Fi cameras do offer the ability to only record and upload video clips when motion is detected. Experts say recording on demand, in HD will use about 10 GB – 30 GB per month. A constant recording with a 24/7 video upload feature will use up to 400 GB per month, at the highest quality settings, on average.

Keep in mind, the more cameras you have, the more data usage. Wi-Fi cameras are a great addition to your home’s security, just remember to take small steps to ensure you won’t use an amount of data you weren’t planning to use.

Smart Thermostats

Controlling your home’s temperature while you’re away is a smart way to keep energy costs down and to make sure you arrive home to comfort. There are plenty on the market today, from the Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat  to the Nest Thermostat E.
Experts say smart thermostats use little data. On average about 50 MB per month, which is about .05 GB or about one cent worth of data.

Smart Household Appliances

You might start noticing a common theme when it comes to smart home devices. Those that use video are going to be your biggest data consumers. Those that don’t will use minimum data. Appliances like smart washers, dryers, vacuums, bulbs, and smart home hubs will use on average and depending on the brand, less than 1 GB per month.

If you’ve upgraded to an internet fridge which is capable of showing you the inside with an internal camera, this will use data every time you check it. Also an appliance featuring the ability to display video will use data comparable to a smart TV when streaming services are involved.