Wireless and Home Automation

Since the start of the year, I have noticed the increase in enquiries from people looking to implement a home automation system. The idea being, to centrally control their many entertainment systems, lights, heating and in some cases security and window blinds, around the home. When it is first implemented, they see the shiny apps on their tablets and mobiles, and the possibilities of doing everything from the sofa while having a lazy duvet day unfolds in front of them.

Fast forward a few weeks and we get phone calls from customer who have this installed but are running on basic ISP given routers, which aren't able to handle that number of devices constantly requiring connection for their next order, as well as having your kids watching Netflix while you're off checking your emails. The support of the installation company can only go so far, so they have to explore the options of upgrading the residential wireless network.

Where these ISP routers are good enough to manage the usage of a normal household, with a few devices in use at any one time, they are always trying to complete the job of three separate devices (router, switch, and access point), meaning they soon get overloaded and cannot cope with the new density required. Sometimes, dependant on the type of size of property, you may require more than one device distributing wireless in order to provide the right coverage to all areas of the house, as well as balancing the load of connecting devices to help ease the pressure on each access point.

The first advice we can offer is to future proof your home with a suitable wave 2 access point. Many manufacturers now have a range of Wave 2 products now available rather than having to spend all your hard earned cash on the most expensive products. As more wave 2 compatible devices come on to the market, they can utilise the MU-MIMO (Multi User - Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology to further avoid any density issues that you may be facing from having the thermostat, door locks, Hue lighting, light switches, an audio system, a few Tvs, laptops and mobiles and the occasional games console all fighting for the attention of your wireless network.

After the density of the environment is covered, the coverage needs to be determined to make sure that all devices are able to find a route back through the network. Typically, we would always like a site survey, but appreciate for deployments of this variety, it is not always a possibility. This would always be considered to ensure that a solution is tailored to the situation.

If you are thinking of installing home automation, or already have one installed and find that the performance is slowed by your ISP router, give us a call and we are happy to talk through the options to ensure you get the experience you dreamed of.