Wi-Fi connectivity is at an all-time high, with more than 20 devices consuming precious bandwidth throughout the day. Smart kitchen appliances, TVs, music systems, tablets, smartphones, computers, and more—they all need a strong, solid Wi-Fi connection to perform well.
If not, elegant dinner parties and lively cocktail gatherings could lack the all-important ambiance that dimmable lighting and streaming audio deliver. The vibe you intended to create is lost. Consequently, home networks have become as much a part of a home’s design experience as the furnishings, materials and finishes.
An enterprise-grade network precludes these problems, letting the home design shine and providing a solid foundation to support additional Wi-Fi-enabled devices that might be added along the way. This means the technology and the design in kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces will never go out of style.
What’s more, with proper planning and collaboration between designers and home tech professionals, the smart devices connected to a network, as well as the networking equipment itself, can blend beautifully with the home environment. So here are some considerations for when these smart appliances present themselves in a space.
Figure Out How the Space is Going to be Used
To achieve this level of uncompromised level of design and connectivity, it’s best to plan for a networking system early in a home’s design phase. By collaborating with a skilled, experienced systems integrator and utilizing a portfolio of trusted solutions and design services, you can rest assured that connected technologies enabled by a high-caliber networking system function flawlessly and help accentuate the home aesthetic.
Gauge the construction and layout of a home and the intended use of Wi-Fi devices. Commonly referred to as a “site survey,” a systems integrator visits the home to evaluate the property, uncover possible problem areas, measure Wi-Fi coverage and signal strength throughout the residence, and devise a basic plan.
Site surveys aren’t long or terribly involved, but they’re vitally important to a pleasing end-result. A systems integrator understands which products to use and where to put them to yield the best Wi-Fi connectivity without compromising the home aesthetic. For example, if there’s a weak spot on the deck an outdoor access point can be added. Or maybe there’s a concrete fireplace blocking signal reception.
A systems integrator can specify the right devices to work around the obstacles. Once all the components have been installed, a systems integrator can conduct a validation survey to make sure the network is performing as expected.
This information is valuable later, too. Redecorating, remodeling, and other changes in the home design or Wi-Fi usage often necessitate additions and/or modifications to the original network configuration. These can be handled quickly and conveniently by referencing existing documentation.
Figure Out What the Demands of the Smart Devices Might Be
Equally useful to the design, installation and configuration of a home network is an audit of the household Wi-Fi devices—how many, what type, and intended use. A single person who lives with one smart TV, has a modest, infrequently used office space and owns a few handheld devices will require a network much different than a family of five that connects to the Internet almost non-stop from a wide assortment of devices.
The frequency and duration of Wi-Fi usage and the number and type of connected devices will influence not only the choice and layout of networking products, but how the system software is configured. For example, a home with an office used full-time may benefit from a “sectorized” network, which involves establishing separate VLANs: one for the office and one for the rest of the house. This gives the home office priority to ensure that it has the bandwidth it needs regardless of who and what is connecting in the rest of the house.
Additionally, a separate guest VLAN can be set up for those who entertain frequently, and greater cybersecurity protocols established.
Ultimately, It All Comes Down to a Customizable Approach
Customization, whether it’s the interior of a car, the fit of a suit jacket, or the design of a home network, always yields a better, more enjoyable experience. It takes a clear understanding of the conditions in and around a home, the requirements of the users today, and their expectations for the future to create a solid networking infrastructure that supports every possible connection.