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I've been resistant to using smart appliances like speakers, plugs, lights etc due to security and privacy concerns. Plus, I have no issue with hitting a light switch when I walk into a room, I think it's a pretty natural UX.

Now that I've moved to an apartment that doesn't have very good light switch setup, I've decided to try using smart plugs and Dash buttons to simulate a light switch.

As I tried to optimize for privacy (not purchasing plugs/lights from Amazon and not using an always listening voice assistant) I found out the smart plugs I bought are made by a Chinese company that grabs all my data, including my wifi network name and password. I was having a little fun playing with these switches, buttons, and a Pi but things aren't as customizable as I had hoped (I can't make the dash toggle the lights, only on or off) and the privacy issues make me want to scrap this whole smart house thing altogether.

Anyone have similar experiences? Is there currently a way to maintain privacy and have functional smart appliances or will they all report back to some big brother somewhere? Seems like I should just be able to use devices that just talk over my local network (or even a web server I maintain) but maybe that's naive thinking.

What is your smart home setup?