With the growing complexities in today's home automation landscape, the residential network is seen as the foundation for a fast and reliable smart home. Far too many Homeowners underestimate how important this is and simply accept the cable company provided all-in-one WiFi router or do not realize there are better performing options. This couldn't be further from the truth, especially when you have devices and systems that rely on the strength of the network on a daily basis. What was considered business/enterprise grade networking equipment years ago is now commonly being used in even the most basic of home automation systems. This is due to the fact that many key components of these systems rely on the network for streaming services, communication, remote management, and much more.
As technology grows at an exponential rate, today's smart home equipment is becoming more and more IP based. This means that the main function of a device is rooted in the network in which it resides. You can view the home's router as a traffic cop. It determines where to navigate all data and communication between all networked devices in the home. How many items do you think are using your network at any given time? Phones, Laptops, Tablets, Televisions, etc. The average smart home has roughly 30+ devices on the network at one time, so you can understand how important it is to have a high quality reliable router. Each additional device can drag down the speed and performance of your network system.
The two types of network equipment that allow your devices to access the Internet and talk to other devices on the network are Wireless Access Points and Network Switches. Both have a very similar task, however one connects to your devices with a wireless connection and the other requires a hardwired connection. Wireless Access Points produce a 2-way wireless signal that most people refer to as WiFi. Having a qualified company engineer a wireless network system that meets both you and your home's needs will prevent many headaches in the future. Likewise, the network switch or switches (depending on your home's requirements) need to be of high quality and performance to ensure you get the most out your hardwired devices. If you’ve been watching Netflix and it pauses or the picture deteriorates then you have experienced a poorly designed network system.
The days of going to RadioShack and buying a $99 WiFi Router are long gone. The level at which today's smart home depends on your home network is at an all time high.
Written by: Christian Nacke, Sales & Design