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A Guide to Wi-Fi for Smart Home Owners

The Basics of a Home Network Installation

A Guide to Wi-Fi for Smart Home Owners

Many Charlotte, NC smart home owners have a limited understanding of the terms and equipment associated with Wi-Fi and networking. Understanding how your home network is setup and operates is the first step towards ensuring your smart home performs reliably and effectively. Then, you need a trusted home network installation partner to provide the essential pieces of equipment and services you need to ensure a secure connection in your house. Our goal is to educate our customers and clients on all things related to home technology, and the network is a large part of that discussion. Read this guide on Wi-Fi to learn about the basics of a network in a smart home.

See Also: Reasons to Consider a Wireless Networking Professional

The Essentials

What pieces of equipment do you need for a reliable connection? We start this guide on the smart home network with a look at some the essential components that make up a robust Internet connection. You probably already have some of these pieces of equipment in your home already, but do you have an understanding of their purpose and how they work? 

Routers and Access Points: We use wired routers to establish a strong connection in your home and wireless access points so you can get a signal at any location. Access points work by connecting to the network cable and converting it into a radio signal. That signal is picked up by network cards in your wireless devices in order to connect to the Wi-Fi. Routers need to be upgraded regularly—both the hardware and software. Work with a local professional like us to find the right one for you.

Antenna: The antenna is what transmits the radio signal coming from the router. Some routers will have an internal antenna while others will be external. Some antennas transmit in one direction while others transmit around a certain area. Whether you have an internal or external antenna, you may need to replace or supplement with an external add-on to get the best results.

Mesh Network: If you have a large home or are experiencing any dead zones, a mesh network might work best for you. This is a collection of access points that extends your signal throughout the smart home. That way you can stream movies on the TV in any room with no interruption.

The Terms

How much of the terminology surrounding your home networking system do you understand? In order to have a conversation about your Wi-Fi, it can be beneficial to know the following key terms.

WEP, WPA, WPA2: Each one of these words represents a type of encryption. You may have seen each of these as options when providing your password on your smartphone or tablet. Each scrambles your signal making it difficult for anyone to access your network who doesn’t have the password. Make sure that your router has some type of encryption. Selecting the correct one depends on several factors which a professional can help determine.

802.11a/802.11b/802.11g: These numbers represent three of the most popular standards of Wi-Fi compliance that help your router communicate to your devices. Using each has its positives and negatives. For instance, 802.11g can reach the fastest speed but has more potential for interference.

We hope this guide was informative. If you have any questions or need a home network upgrade, contact us online.