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15 smart home gadgets you can set up in 15 minutes or less

Hate hour-long installs? These devices might be for you.

David Priest
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
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1 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Anova Precision Cooker makes sous vide just a little easier. You can use the device straight out of the box without bothering to set up a single app.

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2 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

The Pantelligent does take an app setup, but you can be cooking one of dozens of guided recipes within five minutes of unpackaging the pan.

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3 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you want a smart smoke detector without removing the devices already installed at your house, just get the Roost Smart Battery. Any time the alarm goes off, your battery will send a push notification to your phone.

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4 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

If security is your concern, the Nest Cam Outdoor can be up and running in around five minutes. Just download the app, scan the QR code on the device, and affix the magnetic base of the camera wherever you want it.

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5 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Nest Cam Indoor works the same as its Outdoor counterpart, magnetic base and all.

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6 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

If you don't want to shell out the cash for a smart cam, you can always repurpose an old phone when you upgrade. Manything, an app for iOS and Android, allows you to download an app and turn that old phone into a security camera in minutes.

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7 of 16 Josh Miller/CNET

If you use Android, Salient Eye is the best app available for retooling that old phone.

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8 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

For more security, you can always get the August Smart Lock. Sure, it'll take close to 15 minutes to retrofit onto your existing deadbolt -- but that's way less time than pretty much any smart alternative.

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9 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

To protect against floods, D-Link's Wi-Fi Water Sensor is your best bet. It doesn't need batteries or a hub. Just download the app, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and plug it wherever you want to monitor. Setup complete in 5 minutes or less.

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10 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

For voice control, your best bet around the house is the Amazon Echo. It works with tons of gadgets, and it only takes a few minutes to set up your Alexa app.

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11 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Google Home is similarly plug-and-play. It'll take less than 5 minutes to set up.

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12 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

For another 5 minutes, you can install the Chromecast. Combined with Google Home, you'll be able to "cast" YouTube videos (and soon videos from other platforms) onto your TV. Just start with, "Hey Google."

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13 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

For smaller scale automation, you can always use a smart plug. Most plugs are comparable these days, but the iDevices Switch is one of the easiest installations around. Just scan the code with the iDevices app, and the device will automatically pair with your HomeKit setup.

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14 of 16 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Likewise, LIFX takes only a few minutes to install. Just screw a bulb into a lamp, pair it with the app, and you can control your lights with the press of a button.

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15 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

If you have multiple fixtures to automate, you can use a smart switch. But for all their usefulness, in-wall switches require a lot of effort to install. Enter Switchmate, a device that magnets onto a light switch and lends it a brain.

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16 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

Once attached, Switchmate can add scheduling and remote control to your standard lighting setup.

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