Jake WidmanFreelance contributor, TechHive

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

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.

Speaker/lights

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.

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.

on techhive.com

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.

Smart home tablet

How to keep your connected home safe: 7 steps you can take to boost home security

Making your home smart could also make it insecure. We'll show you how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

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.

UbiSpeak user interface

UbiSpeak combines voice and text messaging in a single app

Developer of the Ubi voice-controlled computer announces a free Android and iOS app that lets you create text messages with your voice.

Ubi voice-controlled computer

Ubi review: This voice-controlled computer is too obtuse for the modern smart home

Only the most patient of tinkerers will want to talk to Ubi.

Back-to-School Tech Guide 2012