Are home-owners neglecting their networks?

Are home-owners neglecting their networks?

Everyone is using more devices in the home and accessing more services for their everyday needs and entertainment – and that’s making it increasingly important to ensure that the performance and consistency of their home connectivity and WiFi networks is up to scratch, says Luke Harley, EMEA Consumer Market Development Manager at Zyxel.

The smart, connected home is no longer an aspiration or futuristic concept – it’s a reality. But while everyone now unthinkingly connects more devices to their home WiFi, they may be overlooking the very real need to make sure that it can cope with the additional workload.

Research by Google suggests that 30% of us now use five or more connected devices. We are turning our homes into technology hubs. Estimates suggest that 25 million households across Europe can already be described as ‘digital homes’. This is expected to rise to 58 million by 2022.

We are connecting laptops and tablets, smartphones, sports watches and fitness bands, games consoles, digital televisions and music players, and voice-activated hubs like Amazon Alexa.

The Internet of Things (IoT) means that even more devices are now making use of home networks. People use IP cameras to keep watch on their property and pets while they are out; digital locks are used to secure doors and windows; smart meters and thermostats help to manage temperature, heating and lighting, making sure energy is used efficiently. Even fridges and ovens can be monitored and controlled from a smartphone now.

Exciting times

This is very exciting for the home users who benefit from all this smart and always-on, always -connected technology. We have come to expect smooth and simple digital connections to the Internet– for shopping and banking, for on-demand video and audio, and for social media and indeed, working at home.

If performance dips, it is soon noticed. That will usually be put down either to a slow or crowded broadband connection or a problem with the online service being used. And while both of these issues might result in a slower response rate, there is another potential bottleneck – the home WiFi network.

Firm foundations

WiFi has now become the de-facto way for all devices to connect to the Internet hub in the home. But the rise in connections puts more and more strain on that wireless network. Just as a house needs a firm foundation to stand upon, all the devices making use of the Internet in the home need a dependable network through which they can get reliable and responsive connections.

Most home users rely on the router with WiFi that was supplied by their ISP when they signed up for their broadband contract. But with so many devices being connected in homes now, the standard WiFi router might not be up to the task anymore. It may not cope if there are too many active connections. And while devices that are close to the hub may be OK, those at some distance from it may slow down considerably.

This is why we are now seeing a lot of interest in our Multy X mesh WiFi system, which provides consistent and even coverage throughout the whole home. With Multy X, two or three hubs are placed in different parts of the house. They are connected wirelessly in a ‘mesh’ with dedicated wireless backhaul connection and separate WiFi for wireless connected devices all in one system to ensure that there is always room for traffic from all connected devices to flow around the network. This means that, wherever they are in the house, all connections will get the same level of performance.

Multy X is not expensive or complicated. But it can make a big difference to WiFi performance around the home. The more devices and services householders connect to and depend upon, the more important the speed and consistency of WiFi becomes. If you want to make sure you get the best coverage for all devices throughout the home, Multy X is the ideal solution.

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