The most important base infrastructure for any automated home is to have an effective wi-fi system. With new devices about to compete for wi-fi bandwidth in the home, it is important to ensure the wi-fi service is effective and reliable.
Modems provided by ISPs are notoriously cheap and cheerful, plus wi-fi extenders¹ are usually less-than-impressive. One emerging trend is wi-fi mesh which provides reliable wi-fi that is evenly distributed throughout the home².
Your wi-fi could be renamed to something the whole family knows and should be given a reasonably secure password that only family members would remember. Another feature with some mesh wi-fi systems is the ability to block adult sites and material specifically from childrens’ devices using a “Family wi-fi” feature. You may also be able to nominate a priority device for a time-period to optimise wi-fi during and important work meetings or where you require high bandwidth such as uploading marketing material etc.
- Wi-Fi extenders typically use some of the available bandwidth for in-band signalling to re-broadcast the wi-fi signal. This tends to further reduce the available bandwidth for use by end devices, especially when placed at the edge of the range.
- Dual band wi-fi systems typically provide 2.4GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. Older devices typically work on 2.4 GHz whereas newer devices support both frequencies. The higher 5GHz frequency can carry a bigger data payload but due to its shorter wavelength, 5 GHz is more vulnerable to signal attenuation and so the range will tend to be less than 2.4 GHz. There is not really much to worry about as this happens automatically in the background. Another benefit of mesh is that the “load” from all the various devices is spread across the various wi-fi points.