Home is certainly where the heart is, but if the home itself were alive, have you thought about its heart health? The home network is the circulatory system that supplies your Audio Video system and your connected devices with the data that keeps them operating. Rather than having inconsistent service speeds or coverage due to lack of planning, organize and understand your home network so its vital signs stay strong.
The anatomy of the home network
Your home network’s heart is the router, connecting by coaxial cable to the Optical Network Terminal (ONT), a box typically in your garage that the ISP technician installs for internet, TV and phone. This device translates the fiber optic signals coming from the ISP backbone to usable data for devices.
A good performing network will involve a wired router coupled with a pair of wireless access points (WAPs). It’s important to invest in a quality router—one that can withstand multiple connections, higher internet speeds, and that has a solid warrantee—and quality WAPs if most of your devices are Wi-Fi connected and you want a strong, far-reaching signal.
Many homes are both wired and wireless, and for good reason. Your desktop computer, closed circuit TV cameras/system and streaming home entertainment equipment require large amounts of data and are best hardwired. Conversely, mobility and remote connections (to say, record shows from your smartphone or answer your new Wi-Fi doorbell) mandate Wi-Fi. And with growing tech like 4K movies or video doorbells that demand more data, the time to thoughtfully design your network platform is now.
What a well-organized home network does for you:
- Keeps your devices in order. Inventory your devices; prioritize devices that can be hardwired and/or wireless by the data they require from your network. Anything that can’t be wired will require Wi-Fi. Ensure the high data traffic devices are hardwired while the devices used for low traffic and mobility are wireless.
- Simplifies connections. No one likes “wire spaghetti.” A good workflow map between devices based on wired/wireless priority also helps you plan your spaces, improving not only aesthetics, but also connection strength (hardwiring high traffic devices to the router and connecting lower traffic mobile devices wirelessly helps your router perform at its peak for all data traffic).
- Improves device continuity. Now that you’re managing the traffic between devices, you won’t use the same data on your smartphone as you would be streaming a movie on your high-def TV. Making your devices “talk” to each other also improves your quality of life inside the home or anywhere else—like viewing your home cameras while on vacation.
Vital signs: Ensuring your network is healthy
A healthy network is three things: secure, running at optimal speed, and reliably connected.
- Security: Protect your network with a firewall and make sure your Wi-Fi has a strong password. You might even consider investing in a router that can capture logs so you can monitor your network upload and download speeds by time of day or using a cloud-based service to collect user data and block suspicious websites.
- Speed: Run speed tests often and be in communication with your ISP if speed varies from the speeds they advertised. If they enticed you to sign up for 75 Mbps, then you should be testing to make sure you are getting what you signed up for. Know the limitations of your equipment— higher speeds may require new equipment.
- Connections: Keep equipment away from light, heat, dust, microwaves, moisture and other environmental factors. A good quality network design will always include a high-quality router, gigabit switch and two or more Wireless Access Points (WAPs) for quality coverage of your home.
Your home network is worth the investment of upfront design time and thought. You’ll get the fastest speed from your ISP and the largest coverage area from your network, making life easier so you can think less about your home’s heart and more about your heart’s home.
Contact Texadia today to schedule a consultation with one of our home networking experts.