Tue. Jul 16th, 2024
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Choosing a smart device for your home

Smart technology is more prolific than ever, with 57% of UK homes now containing at least one smart device. For those with a growing number of devices, the logical next step is an operating system that ties everything together. Here, we compare two options – Control4 and Google Home – for their features and compatibility.

How do Control4 and Google Home work?

While Control4 and Google Home have a similar function, each system focuses on a specific requirement. Google Home is about accessibility, providing an affordable and user-friendly introduction to home automation. It’s compatible with a variety of technologies and brands, enabling homeowners to control devices via the Google Assistant smart speaker, or with the tap of their smartphone.

With Control4, the emphasis is on customisation. The system is best set up by a specialist Control4 installer, and delivers a fully-integrated solution that’s tailored to the user’s exact needs. It’s more sophisticated than Google Home, enabling homeowners to control an astonishing array of devices at once with the touch of a button. As well as being compatible with major brands from Sony and Lutron to Hive and Yale, Control4 offers its own range of entertainment, security and lighting products.

Pros and cons of Google Home

Google Home is one of the most popular smart home solutions thanks to its plug-and-play simplicity. Its benefits include its user-friendliness, its compatibility with a range of products, and its affordability. However, there are some drawbacks to consider. It doesn’t offer the same level of customisation that a more professional solution such as Control4 does. It also comes with certain privacy and security considerations. Google Home admitted a security error in 2020 which resulted in devices recording despite not being prompted with ‘wake words’ such as “OK Google”. The system has also been subject to hacks in the past, meaning personal data could be compromised.

Pros and cons of Control4

Control4 has a vast array of benefits. Not only is it fully customisable to your needs, it is also built for consistency and durability. It requires installation by an authorised professional, meaning it comes with a level of service and maintenance that’s not available with a plug-and-play solution like Google Home. What’s more, security is tighter, with a range of specialised tools such as encrypted communication protocols and two-factor authentication helping to protect your system and data from hackers. Added to this are 24/7 monitoring for threats and regular system updates, all of which happen behind the scenes for your peace of mind.

The quality and professionalism of Control4 means its main drawback is the price tag. Most households will be looking at a starting cost of £7,000 for a full automation system, with prices reaching upwards of £20,000 for a 4-5 bedroom property with multiple connected devices.

Whether you opt for Control4 or Google Home depends on your personal circumstances, budget and requirements. For full automation with reduced security risks and greater customisation, it’s worth speaking to a Control4 specialist in Kent for a quote. If, however, you need a fast, simple solution at an affordable price, Google Home is a great option.

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