Can Your Home Network Handle the Latest Technology?
Video Streaming, Smart Devices Place New Demands on Your Wi-Fi
You're all set for your weekend movie marathon. You've got your blanket, popcorn, and you’re ready to go. And then that buffering icon shows up. Now you're stuck fiddling with your phone, trying as hard as you can not to finish all the popcorn before the movie even gets going.
Are you still relying on your internet provider’s standard installation and equipment? With the new demand brought on by video and music streaming, as well as all your smart home devices, it's time for a much-needed wi-fi upgrade. In this blog, we'll explain why your network needs an upgrade and how our residential networking services can help.
Why Do You Need a Stronger Network?
Initially, home networks had a simple task. Connect your computer to the internet. Then they had to deal with multiple computers and smartphones latching on. As time goes on, more and more connected devices are relying on your network too.
According to a study by Statista, by 2020 there will be over 30 billion connected devices installed worldwide. And the biggest threat to your network is high-definition video streaming which not only requires a strong signal, but a reliable and fast one as well.
It All Starts With Your Internet Provider
No matter how good your installation, your network speed is only ever going to be as good as what your ISP is beaming into your home. Netflix recommends at least 25 megabits per second to stream 4K video. And that’s not considering all the other devices your TV will be competing with every day.
We recommend packages that use fiber optic cables to deliver speeds of over 45 Mbps. This way, the entire family can enjoy their TV shows and movies without having to fight for bandwidth.
Once you’ve upgraded to the best available plan, it’s time to give it a boost with the right equipment.
Lay the Foundation with a Strong Router
The modem and router are the foundation of all home networks. The modem brings your ISP’s signal into your home and translates it into a digital signal. Your router then distributes that signal to all your connected devices.
In all our residential networking installations we work to optimize the most important part of your network: your router.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a router:
- Bandwidth: You need enough bandwidth to get Ultra 4K HD signals to your displays without leaving other connected devices like speakers, thermostats, and lights with nothing. In many cases, router manufacturers will specify routers that can handle HD or Ultra HD signals.
- Speed: Your router should always be able to handle speeds equal or higher than what your internet service provider is offering.
- Dual Bandwidth: Look for routers that offer both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. Let high-volume traffic use the higher bandwidth and send smaller signals (like e-mail or smart home devices) on the lower bandwidth.
- Traffic Control: Some software lets you prioritize traffic based on its function. Prioritize AV signals when watching a movie, and security camera feeds when you're not home.
Extend Your Signal with Wireless Access Points
The easiest way to ease the load on your network is to limit the number of wireless devices. A wired connection will always be stronger and more reliable.
Due to the nature of some devices or space limitations, wireless connections are necessary sometimes. In that case, you need to ensure your Wi-Fi covers your entire home even if you're far from your router.
The solution: wireless access points. Ethernet cables connect these to your router and relay the signal to every corner of your home. You can even install WAPs outdoors to stream video or adjust the lights from your smartphone while sitting by the pool.
There are two primary wireless access points: omnidirectional and directional. The former is great to strengthen a general area. Directional ones help you target a specific room or problem areas where the router or WAP can’t be centrally installed.
If possible, you should be using the same manufacturers for all your residential networking devices to ensure they’re compatible.
Don't let a lagging signal ruin your next Netflix marathon. Reach out to Western AV for a state-of-the-art installation that will allow you take full advantage of all your connected devices. Call us at (877) 747-9447 or fill out our online contact form.