Revolv, but no Wink hubs at my Home Depot

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I took a trip to my local Home Depot last night to check out how it’s “innovation aisles” of connected devices are getting set up. The retailer had said it would put a lot of effort and shelf space toward connected products for the home, including an end cap and products associated with the Quirky-Wink hub.

revolvendcap

However, when I visited, I saw a Nest end cap, a Revolv end cap, and some smaller displays inside the aisles for Quirky’s non connected gear and Honeywell’s thermostats. But I didn’t see any Wink hubs or Wink-ready connected gear in my survey of the aisles. I asked two people working the floor and one went to search for the Wink hub online before coming back to tell me he couldn’t find it. It is online, and according to the inventory on the web site, there were two in stock at my store, but I didn’t know that going in. Plus, I didn’t want to argue with someone who is only trying to help me.

I asked two people, but this was all the Wink gear I found.

I asked two people, but this was all the Wink gear I found.

While I didn’t find the Wink in store I did find a nice deal for the Philips Hue light on the web site for those looking to add some color to their homes. Home Depot is offering a starter set of the Hue BR30 down lights and a free fourth bulb for $199.97 bringing the cost of a Hue bulb to $50 instead of the normal $60. But in store, I was dismayed by the lack of Wink gear and any educational effort. Although the Revolv Hubs are apparently pretty popular as the photo above can attest.

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medienprofis

These look like great products, but what gets me going is that there’s a bigger issue that nobody talks about.

None of these devices that come into our smart homes and make the “Internet of Things” have security built in. We all talk about how we need to secure our data, have two-factor authentication etc. and then we buy devices that almost invite cybercrime.

Truly cool gadgets like these (thermostat, smoke detector, adjustable lights, even your TV box etc.) are all really amazing. But they open up the consumer’s home network to being hacked.

They’re electronics made for mass-production. Security is not a competency of these companies and is usually only included as an after-thought. If at all.

This is a problem with the entire consumer electronics industry and ironically also applies equally to wireless routers.

There are many devices consumers have attached to their home networks which run an embedded web server or other service that is exposed to the public Internet via DMZ or port forwarding. Vendors almost never push out patches to fix security holes. Maybe some do, but the majority are busy designing the next gen version and don’t even bother updating last years’ model.

Today, more than ever, there is a real need for true Intenet security in the consumer market.
Consumers have almost no reliable, easy and affordable way of protecting their home Internet against attacks and cybercrime. Regular consumer routers are no match against today’s threats, anti-virus catches only things that are already on your machine. And even the low-end business firewalls are too expensive and too complicated for an average consumer. And they come with expensive subscriptions tied to them.

Plug: we will soon launch a product that changes all of this. It will bring affordable, comprehensive and easy-to-use home Internet security to everyone. Stay tuned.

But aside from our own product – it’s really about time we think what we install on our home networks.

There’s a reason why the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Independent Security Evaluators invite everyone to hack routers: http://sohopelesslybroken.com – b/c it’s ridiculously simple and incredibly dangerous for us consumers.

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