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A quarter of UK households now contain a smart home device

New research reveals a huge jump in ownership of smart home products, such as smart hubs and smart plugs, as the UK gets more connected

Convenience and peace of mind are the two driving forces behind the 135% year-on-year increase in smart home device sales, according to a new survey by technology retailer Maplin.

Smart hubs and smart devices designed to make homes safer, such as smart plugs and wireless security cameras, are popular buys, with the survey revealing that 24% of UK homes now contain a smart home device of some sort.

But this surge in interest doesn’t mean we all understand what these products are for. The vast majority of people surveyed had heard of smart home technology, but 55% admitted they didn’t fully understand it.

Our guide on smart home technology gives you the low-down on what it is and whether it could make your life easier.

Should you buy a smart hub?

Most smart tech is controlled by an app on your smartphone or tablet. A smart hub has its own app, but rather than just controlling one device, it will control any compatible technology.

The prospect of controlling several smart devices through a smart hub is clearly popular, with 38% of people in the survey planning to buy a smart hub in the next six months.

Voice-controlled smart hubs, such as the Amazon Echo Hub and Google Home, will be on many people’s wish lists. These hubs respond when you talk to them, so there’s no need to open an app at all.

But before you invest in a smart hub, make sure you check that any smart device you already own is compatible with the hub you fancy, because not all of them are.

If you want to get fully connected right now, read our in-depth smart hub reviews to find out which ones have impressed in our tests.

Can smart home devices make your home safer?

Convenience isn’t the only reason smart home products are becoming more common. Some 56% of people in the survey said they bought a smart device for safety reasons.

A growing number of smart products are designed to give you peace of mind. Smart plugs are increasingly popular, for example, because they enable you to switch off the power while you’re out and about – ideal if you often worry whether you’ve left the iron on.

For security, a smart door bell lets you speak to visitors via an app before opening the door, while smart cameras can be set to notify you if motion is detected in your house while you’re out. You can also view or record live footage on your smartphone.

If you want to find out which cameras you can rely on to give the best quality footage then head to our Best Buy wireless security cameras.

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