Can Your Network Handle a Smart Home System?
Why Relying on Only Wi-Fi Could Be a Recipe for Disaster
Are you considering making your Florida home ‘smart’? Imagine window shades that automatically rise with the sun—and lighting that adjusts its color and brightness according to your schedule. And with smart security features, you’re always in-the-know about your home’s safety.
But if you want the ultimate smart home experience, you’ll run into challenges if you’re using plug-and-play devices over Wi-Fi. These DIY gadgets aren’t meant to connect to equipment from other manufacturers, and unless your home network is up to par, you’ll experience lagging and unresponsive devices.
Home networking is an essential component to building a smart home. Without a strong network, you lose the foundation necessary for sophisticated automation experiences. If you’re unsure where to start with your home network, read on to learn what you’ll need in your Palm Beach-area home.
SEE ALSO: Control4 vs. Crestron: Which System Is Best for Your Smart Home?
Merging Network Cabling & Wi-Fi
We aren’t telling anyone to give up their Wi-Fi and go back to the wired-in days of “the computer room.” We know how valuable it is to freely use laptops, phones, and other Wi-Fi devices across your house.
But if your thermostats, surveillance cameras, lights, shades, and audio speakers are connected to a smart home controller, you need to ensure they will communicate and respond every time you need them. Wi-Fi doesn’t always travel well across rooms, and without enough bandwidth, you’ll likely find your smart system unresponsive.
That’s why we recommend connecting most of your smart home over an ethernet network. We run Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables to every room and leave open connections for any future additions. This takes a tremendous burden off your Wi-Fi, and your smart home will respond instantly to your commands.
Boosting Your Wi-Fi Signal
There are several ways to improve your home’s Wi-Fi for wireless devices. We recommend installing access points that are hardwired to your router to share Wi-Fi signals to new areas of the house. We should note that access points are not the same as repeaters, which wirelessly redistribute Wi-Fi signals. Access points are always stronger and more dependable than repeaters.
Another fix? Upgrade your router to one that runs on Wi-Fi 6! Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the latest generation of wireless networking technology. It can communicate with more devices simultaneously and offers faster speeds than ever. So, if you’re streaming music over multi-room speakers, a Wi-Fi 6 router can communicate with your phone while simultaneously sending signals to a laptop in the office, TV in the living room, and more.
If you’re interested in smart home technology in the Palm Beach area, Definitive Electronics designs and installs network systems that keep your entire house connected. Contact us here to learn more about our smart solutions today. We look forward to working with you!