Wiring, wireless, automating homes, etc?


Christian Gamers Alliance Amazon Store Manager
Staff member
Hey all,

I was curious on this with some questions.

I know age-wise we skew a little older but with that is all of the rights, responsibilities and cool things we can purchase and do in our homes XD

That being said, are any of you using NEST or home automation things? Echo dots? Alexa, Google home devices etc?

Also, has anyone tried running cat6 cables through their chimney from the 1st floor fireplace to the 2nd floor fireplace? (We dont use ours so I'm considering it for the steamlink)

But do you even need hardwiring ? I'm running a linksys wap4410n with injected POE.

But I've also thought about doing some Ubiquity equipment too before getting too many linksys WAP style units in the house.

I also have a sophos firewall box that I've been extremely pleased with but I wish I could make it smaller. Its a micro-ATX computer

Super old school imo for stuff, but what are other people doing to optimize their home?
I had plans years ago to punch a hole in the wall and run cables connecting my computer in bedroom to the TV in the living room.

Then I bought a Steam Link and shelved that plan.

Then I barely played any Steam games on the Link in the last year. Glad I didn't punch a hole in the wall after all.

My Steam Link and computer are both connected directly to the router using network cablescabl usually work fine together, but sometimes I have to reboot my PC to get the Link to work properly.

I'm of no use on the other stuff, though. I'd love to explore smart home hardware in the future, but will probably wait until we get a bigger house.
I have a Nest. I also have a home lab for running malware and VPNs, complete with pfsense, Bro, and a dedicated network tap.
I have a Nest. I also have a home lab for running malware and VPNs, complete with pfsense, Bro, and a dedicated network tap.

Do you find you use your nest alot? like has it been valuable? do you use a bunch of apps? baby cameras?

Baby cameras is the next step im trying to figure out, whether to buy a whole system or use pi cams everywhere
I only have the Nest as a smart home feature. I might invest in security cameras and a garage door in the future. I use the Nest a lot; it's super convenient from the phone, especially when we wake up in the middle of the night and need to turn the fan on. It also gives the weather and energy reports.
I don't own a home, and I can't do much to my apartment. However, I just recently got an Amazon Echo, and Alexa is a borderline cyberpunk personal assistant (especially with IFTTT), especially when you start adding in Alexa wearable devices. If only she was socially conversant...

So no Nest stuff for me, however I am looking into getting a Logitech Harmony Hub so I can control my entertainment system with Alexa commands.

When I do eventually get a house, I am definitely making it a smart home. Having been dropped headfirst into AWS Cloud development and some associated IoT research for work, the stuff you can do is mindblowing. Like, using DeepLens to automatically open the garage door for you when it recognizes your vehicle's license plate coming up the driveway.