Keeping Up with Smart Homes

Keeping Up with Smart Homes

  • Zita Billmann
  • 11/16/20

We are living in a truly connected and modern world, where we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips regardless of where we are. Smart phones have changed many aspects of our daily lives. Searching for information, shopping, conducting business, and even just relaxing are all handled differently today than they were even ten years ago. The widespread adoption of not only phones but other smart technologies has allowed for a more connected world. As where you used to have to sit down in front of a computer to compose an email message, you can now type out while standing in line at a store. Your favorite TV show or movie is only a few clicks away. Voice recognition assistants allow us to take notes and compose messages even when our hands are already full. These technological advances are small enough to be held in the palm of our hands, and yet have managed to fundamentally change so much of our world.


The truth, though, is that it’s only the beginning. The technology of connectivity has turned your trusty smart phone into a de facto universal remote, the stuff of science fiction fifty years ago. Smart devices now include everything from entertainment devices, to appliances, and even home climate control systems. Smart fridges give you a camera’s look into how much milk you have left at home. Smart ovens allow you to preheat the oven while you’re on the way back from the store. Smart thermostats can be controlled from the warm comfort of your bed on a chilly morning. The list of potential devices is staggering, ranging from grills and security cameras to floor cleaning robots and security systems. If you ever wondered if we’re living in the future, the answer is yes!


Perhaps your biggest concern about all this connectivity is making sure the new features remain accessible at all times. If you can’t access these devices through your phone or tablet, is there really much to differentiate between a smart fridge and the one you had twenty years ago?


If you want to turn your house into the ultimate smart home of the future, you’ll want to start by making sure you have the Wi-Fi infrastructure to support all that technology. “Dead spaces” are places in your home that aren’t reached by a normal router. You might be surprised at how easily a signal can be stopped, with factors such as the construction of your home, physical distance from the router, and even using the microwave can interrupt. While some of these blockers can only be mitigated so much, the most common cause of connectivity dead spaces is a simple distance between the router and the device you’re trying to connect.


This is where mesh networks come into play. Instead of relying on a single router and antenna to broadcast your Wi-Fi signal through the entire house on its own, a mesh network uses multiple devices to accomplish complete coverage. While you’ve likely heard of signal boosters, extenders, or repeaters, these devices are separate from a true mesh network. Mesh networks comprise of a several separate units, each offering their own source of dedicated Wi-Fi signal, rather than simply taking your existing signal and trying to send the signal out again. Each time you boost or repeat that original signal, you’re stretching it like a rubber band, adding more and more strain to the system until you eventually suffer from decreased speeds and higher latency- meaning a worse connection, and a greater likelihood of your devices disconnecting. 


A mesh network allows for a single Wi-Fi network to remain strong throughout a house, greatly benefiting not only your personal smart devices, but also appliances in the home. Mesh networks have been well received in office environments and are a great option for home owners looking to integrate a wireless smart network into their own home. Whether you want a robot to mow the lawn or lights that turn off automatically when you’re ready for bed, the 21st century smart home is here and ready to help you connect with a better tomorrow!


If you’d like to read about some of the coolest smart devices out there today, check out this compiled list of the hottest devices on PCMag.

Whether you embrace the technological advances coming out daily or if you are more of a “wait-and-see” kind of approach, there is no denying technology is here to stay.

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