Jake WidmanTechHive

Jake Widman is a freelance writer in San Francisco and a regular contributor to Computerworld, PCWorld, and TechHive.

Peq connected-home system

Peq review: A robust, DIY connected-home system

Nothing demonstrates the connected home becoming mainstream more than being able to buy the components at Best Buy.

Dog & Bone and Master Lock Bluetooth padlocks

Keyless padlocks reviewed: Dog & Bone LockSmart Bluetooth vs. Master Lock Bluetooth Smart 4400

These smart padlocks have no keys to lose or combinations to forget, but one is significantly better than the other.

Home Inventory

6 free home-inventory apps that will help cover your assets

If you’re paying for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, these tools will help you recover the value of insured possessions lost due to theft or disaster.

SimpliSafe gallery

SimpliSafe Home Security review: This system lives up to its name

If you don’t need lighting controls, door locks, a thermostat, a camera, or other connected-home features, SimpliSafe offers a good deal.


MiPow Playbulb Color review: Great light, crap sound

The price and the light is right, but we've heard AM radios sound better than this.


LED lights that play music: Great idea or practical joke? We review four connected lighting/speaker combos

Combining a speaker with a light bulb isn’t as nutty as you might think, but not every manufacturer does it well.


Sengled Pulse review: JBL speakers don't lend the audio advantage you'd expect

These speaker/lights deliver bright light, but surprisingly muddy sound.


IAV LightSpeaker review: Best light, best speaker (but it's not the best speaker/light)

You can deploy up to 16 of these speakers, but they're limited to replacing recessed lighting fixtures and the controller/transmitter must be hardwired to a source.


AwoX Striimlight Color review: Solid hardware, but iffy software

White and color light with very good speakers.

home security

How to secure your home like a pro: 20-plus expert tips and strategies for DIYers

We picked the brains of home-security professionals to learn which devices and tactics deliver the most bang for the buck.

Abode system

Contracts are optional with this DIY connected-home system

Abode is designed like a product from ADT or Vivint, but its service plans are very different.

connected home target

Many connected-home devices lack robust security features, security firm claims

Veracode warns that many connected-home devices lack basic security features, leaving consumers wide open to sophisticated thieves.