Home Assistant is awesome, but can be confusing and overwhelming for a beginner user.
Here are the most recommended steps to take right after you’ve finished the installation and your home assistant is up and running.
We recommend creating a new user for each of your devices, so you will have full control of them and will enhance the security – i.e. create a user for your wall tablet, your phone, your spouse phone, children etc.
It’s strongly advised to have a single admin user – and keep all the rest with basic privileges for their needs.
It will also assist you with showing certain parts of the system to specific users, like tabs or add-ons.
Time, location, locale
Set up your timezone and local for home assistant to be able to run your automations and keep the log entries with the right time.
Configure your location in order to have your home radius for automations, so HA will know you are home/not at home and other cool stuff.
Backup before you mess up
Auto-backup is STRONGLY recommended as HA is under heavy development, it can and will break! So keep your backups up to date, preferably with Google Drive backup add-on, so you will be able to access your backups anywhere even if your disk is dead or caught on fire while over assisting 😉
Let’s access some files
File editor / Visual Studio Code
Editing your configuration.yaml is also something you will find yourself doing sooner or later.
We recommend VS Code add-on as it’s the most comprehensive add-on for browsing and editing your system files. If you just want the basics, you can use the default file editor add-on.
Access to files is essential, whether you just want to edit your config, manual backup or add some files to your installation. Also – if you are locking yourself out of your system, you can unlock yourself through editing some files.
We recommend SAMBA share as it’s the easiest way to browse your HA installation through your PC, and it has an official add-on.
If you’re a sysadmin, a programmer or just a normal geek, you will need to have access to your machine via SSH if you don’t have access to a screen on your machine all the time. It’s also convenient as you can work from your PC. Some things like HACS and more integrations requires you to have access to the console, sooner or later you will find yourself needing this option.
A domain name of your own! For free! No need to remember your IP, you won’t even need a static one. Bonus: SSL certificate is free by Let’s Encrypt using the official Duck DNS add-on.
Remote access through VPN
If you want to access your HA without opening your ports to the outside world, you can remotely access your entire local network with VPN. This will also allow you to see and control all of your devices remotely, including your router.
We recommend WireGuard as it’s free, secure and can be installed and configured through HA add-ons.
A BIT of Security, someone?
Use Strong passwords
Use Two-factor authentication
- Use nginx Reverse proxy