Nearly everything in your home can now be linked through Wi-Fi, allowing you to control functions like temperature, music, and security systems through an app. While this type of freedom and flexibility can make your home more convenient and efficient, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the number of smart devices on the market. A few simple things to keep in mind can go a long way toward helping you set up the right smart home experience so you can enjoy all your smart devices.
Connecting devices and making sure they’re working properly can be a frustration for some people. Just being connected is important to millions, for a variety of reasons. A recent survey (bit.ly/3GStNTZ) showed that half of U.S. consumers had an increased need to be connected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s more, 40% have connected a new device in their home since the crisis began. Smart TVs, thermostats, and door locks are popular items.
There are several other home gadgets and devices that people are looking to connect, and making sure they’re connected properly is important to keeping your home as smart as possible. Installation can be as easy as watching a video tutorial, an app, or even a YouTube video from the manufacturer. But before making any purchase, be sure the item you’re interested in is fully compatible with your home’s wiring, furnace, and air conditioning units.
Boosting internet connections
Smart home or connected devices really have no use unless they have a strong internet connection. But what can you do if you have slow or poor internet strength and speed, or if you have a large house and your internet signal doesn’t fully reach all areas of the house?
The first step is to make sure your router is located in a centralized place within your home. Since Wi-Fi signals don’t travel well through dense objects like concrete, metal, and wood, the more walls your signal has to move through, the more strength it loses. Simply moving the router to another location can solve many signal strength and coverage issues.
If you are not able to centralize your router, then there are additional options that can help. If your router fails to provide every corner of your home with adequate Wi-Fi coverage, mesh network systems and Wi-Fi 6 routers are potentially great ways to strengthen your Wi-Fi signal and fix dead spots in your home. But which one is best for you?
Mesh systems are really designed to solve poor signal coverage that can reduce your internet strength. Before making an investment in a mesh Wi-Fi system, though, it’s wise to first check to see if you have any signal-strength issues in the places where you need to use Wi-Fi. There are some great Wi-Fi speed-test systems, or apps like the Ookla Speed Test, that you can use to check your signal strength at various places within your home. You might be surprised how much signal loss you have as you move further away from your router. Based on the speed test results, you can make the right decision for your situation.
Sometimes, your signal-strength issues can be caused by using routers that are out of date and not ready to handle the demands of today’s streaming, gaming, and smart product use. Another great solution is a Wi-Fi 6 router that is offered by many manufacturers. Wi-Fi 6 systems can extend the range in the home, transmit data faster, and, through their multiple processors, they can process signals from different sources simultaneously.
Scott McKinley is assistant vice president, premium technical support, for Pocket Geek Home. For more information, visit www.pocketgeekhome.com.
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