Smart home tech is transforming our lives. It is improving security, helping people to save money and the planet. As well as enabling the elderly to live independently for longer. It is transformative tech.
But to get the most out of it you need good connectivity. If you do not have that, most smart tech that is available will not work well enough for you to use it in your home.
Why good connectivity is essential for smart home tech
Without a strong Wi-Fi connection, most smart technology cannot function properly. They are not designed to be constantly turned on and off, which is effectively what happens when a device loses its connection to the software that controls it.
So, before installing smart devices, homeowners first need to set things up so that they have the strongest possible internet connection and Wi-Fi. This guide will help you to do that. As well as provide you with some tips that you can use to keep anything you set up running properly.
Buy the right broadband deal
Top of the list is signing up for the right type of broadband contract. It is important to resist the temptation to buy the first deal you come across or the cheapest one. Instead, look for broadband deals for connectivity, make getting enough bandwidth and speed your priority. Here are the main things you need to consider before signing a new broadband contract for your smart house.
Upload speeds matter
If you use smart devices that capture a lot of data, you will need a good upload speed. Examples include video doorbells and CCTV cameras which capture video or images and store them on a server or hard drive. Typically, these devices need around 4Mbps to work properly. You may even need to contract a little more than that.
Bear in mind how others are using the bandwidth
This is because it is likely that most of the day much of the upload and download bandwidth will already be in use. If your child is playing a video game and you are streaming a TV show, that may not leave enough bandwidth for your smart devices to work properly. So, before signing a new broadband contract, list out all the devices in your home that use the network and identify how many Mbps each one needs to work properly. Most manufactures provide the details you need to be able to do this, on their websites.
Then, work out how much bandwidth your family needs when internet usage is typically at its highest. For example, Friday night when everyone is at home playing games or watching streamed content. This article explains several relatively easy ways you can do this.
But don´t go overboard. Most people have the kind of smart home security cameras that are only triggered when there is movement. The fact that they are not recording constantly means that they are only drawing on your bandwidth now and again. So, factor this in when deciding how many Mbps to contract.
Download speeds for smart devices
For most IoT devices the download speed is not so important. But you should still check the manufacturers’ guidance and tot up what you need.
Make sure your router can handle the extra work
If you are being offered a router as part of your broadband deal double check that it can handle all your smart home devices. This 20-minute YOUTUBE video tells you all you need to know. It explains the difference between Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and HomeKit routers and how to make sure that all your smart home devices will be able to communicate effectively with the network.
Secure your network properly
Regardless of what you are using your home network for, you must make sure that it is secure. Use a good antivirus and antimalware package. One that will enable you to set things up so that your devices will not be blocked. Here are details of 5 packages that are specifically designed to work with smart home equipment.
Learn how to troubleshoot your devices
Even when you have a decent broadband connection and router, you are going to occasionally have problems. So, it is a good idea to learn how to troubleshoot the most common issues. This in-depth article explains how to handle most smart home connectivity issues.
Try not to rush when deciding which broadband provider to use. Instead, do your research, ask plenty of questions. Only sign-up once you are sure that they can provide you with what you need.