With the advent of smartphones, smart TVs, and even smart homes, it was always on the cards that that stalwart of the kitchen, the refrigerator, would ‘wise up and join the smart crowd. Why do refrigerators have Wi-Fi?
A refrigerator needs Wi-Fi to notify you when the door is not closed correctly, if you’re about to run out of milk, etc. It can also provide you with notes you have left on the fridge door or inform you that the temperature inside the fridge is too low or too high, all remotely, via Wi-Fi.
At first, the thought of owning an appliance that talks back to you might seem a little cavalier, and I indeed turned my nose up at the concept when I was given this assignment, but really, who doesn’t want efficient help in the kitchen?
No more soured milk, no running out of items, and one unit will even heat water for your morning beverage.
Here is a list of smart refrigerators on Amazon.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator?
Simply put, a smart refrigerator is a refrigerator with Wi-Fi. It is connected to the cloud, and it can communicate with you wherever you have Wi-Fi.
Conversely, if your pocket doesn’t gasp when required to fork out an extra $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 for the added feature, and if the convenience of getting information from the refrigerator while sitting in a coffee shop beside the supermarket is just up your alley, it’s worth it.
You will save time, fuel, and stress, by getting accurate, up-to-date info on what your refrigerator contains – and in what condition – before you even leave the store.
Why Refrigerators Need Wi-FI
Not all units have the same features, but some offer unique features. There are cameras mounted internally in some models, so you can see precisely what your unit contains.
Some have touchscreens, and you can receive and send notes, comments, etc., to this screen and access the calendar facility.
These touch screens allow you to look up recipes, a great feature on a high-quality refrigerator-door screen, and even watch TV. Since it’s wifi-enabled, you will be able to read your favorite blogs, play music, and access YouTube. It can also let you know:
- When ice is running low
- Coordinate schedules for family
- Grocery lists
- Heat water when required
- Energy monitoring
Some provide a door-in-door feature, which allows you to reach for oft-used items without opening the main fridge, but I guess that’s more a refrigerator feature than one specific to Wi-Fi.
Smart Refrigerator With Wi-Fi
Currently, this is limited to the usual suspects, with Samsung and LG leading the pack, along with GE, whose Café brand has joined the fray. Presumably, Hisense will be launching their Wi-Fi model in the next few months, though it’s all very hush-hush.
The Family Hub range offers a two, three, and four-door option, very stylish in a Stainless-Steel finish. It has three built-in cameras inside and, apart from many other features already mentioned, offers a meal planner service, where you can plan meals based on the food inside the unit.
Preloaded with dozens of features, Samsung claims you can run all aspects of your life directly from your refrigerator.
There are To-do Lists, Memos, Calendar, Whiteboard, and Gallery on the touch screen that is standard in this range, and there is even a Trivia setting to keep the kids out of mischief while still encouraging family time.
There is a Morning Brief app to help you plan your day, and you can order an Uber service – and pay for it – via your refrigerator.
Go to the Samsung website for complete details of this range.
The InstaView door-in-door range provides some significant innovations for keeping your food cool and saving on energy costs, though if you can afford this system, I doubt the price is high on your list of criteria. You knock twice on the glass front, which becomes transparent, rather than opening the door whenever you want to select something. Voila.
The Door-In-Door feature is also where regularly required items are accessed without opening the main compartment.
Find these LG Smart Refrigerators here.
These refrigerators use the SmartHQ app and offer hot water models for that early morning cuppa but do not have a touchscreen, opting to go for solid features and not those they consider gimmicky.
They tend to focus instead on the maintenance side and ensuring solid updates but still have the more standard features, like door-open notifications, icemaker alerts, etc.
Find GE Smart Refrigerators Here
How Much Do Smart Refrigerators Cost?
Smart refrigerators cost between $1,250.00 and $5,500.00
How Much Power Do Smart Refrigerators Use?
In 1980, a typical refrigerator would consume around 1280 kilowatt-hours per year. In 2020, it was under 500-kilowatt hours per year, thanks to improvements in materials and the appliances’ gasses.
Most are from 22 to 30 cubic feet (625 – 850 liters)
Being a smart unit, your refrigerator will, of course, be equipped with software that the manufacturer can update, so it should not be quickly outdated.
Choose a manufacturer carefully, so this feature does not become an issue later. Is the company known for updating software where necessary on other appliances, etc.?
Are Smart Refrigerators With Wi-Fi Safe?
In 2000, the Kaspersky Anti-virus Company warned that a ‘net attack might well enter a home via a refrigerator or other appliance, even citing a possibility that the refrigerator’s door might be made to swing open in the middle of the night.
Proofpoint Inc announced in 2014 that an attack had indeed entered via a smart refrigerator and that the hacker then sent out hundreds of thousands of malicious emails.
Always configure your modem or router with proper security and use complex passwords to ensure your refrigerator’s safety and all other Wi-Fi devices in the home. As a password, your son’s birth date might seem complex to you, but it’s more like an invitation to enter to a hacker.
Learn more about refrigerators below.
Is a Smart Fridge Worth It? Here’s The Truth!
Smart refrigerators can be a lot of fun. They can also be handy, particularly for the busy shopper who does not have time to waste on anything, let alone make several trips to the store instead of just one.
It’s also a genuine security risk and may allow malicious hackers – not just the kid next door- into your entire home, so be vigilant if you decide to proceed.
The price is still reasonably high, as is always the case with newer technology (although LG introduced the first smart refrigerators back in 2000), and there is an easy way to know if your cream is fresh. Taste it. Is the door still open? Close it.
A refrigerator with Wi-Fi can be a great tool. Still, to justify the cost, you have to use its full capabilities, and simply having constant ice for Gin & Tonics, while admirable, is not enough reason to take the plunge.
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For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.