Tips and advice

Smart home WiFi, routers, and modems : You should know this

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The way in which your smart home communicates with your connected devices is via WiFi, among other things. Wifi saves you drilling a lot of holes in the walls to lay wires. In this article, we will explain what to pay attention to when setting up your Smart home WiFi, routers, and modems and how you can best configure the network to achieve the best WiFi signal in your smart home.

Wireless communication via wifi

There are several Wi-Fi standards in circulation. The most commonly used is currently wifi-n. This standard works at a speed of 150 mbit / s, or about 18.75 MB / s, since 1 byte is 8 bits. WiFi-ac is the latest WiFi standard and the successor to the n-standard. WiFi ac achieves speeds of up to 433 mbit per second, which results in a total speed of almost 1300 mbit per second, divided over three antennas in total. Enough speed is therefore available in both standards. If you decide to purchase a new router, make sure that the router or wifi ac is available to use it. This is useful for streaming media, such as Netflix or Spotify, to your multimedia setup.

In order to use these high speeds, it is advisable to use the frequency at 5GHz. This bandwidth has been on the rise in recent years because it has much less intervention than 2.4 GHz, the most widely used wavelength of previous generations. Devices such as a microwave and Bluetooth devices also work on the 2.4 GHz frequency, which means that there is a lot of interference on this frequency. 5 GHz is not affected by this. Because the wavelength is shorter than 2.4 GHz, the range of a 5 GHz is shorter. A strong router is therefore recommended for a solid 5 GHz network. Make sure that your devices can handle the 5Ghz frequency. This is not always the case, but it is easy to find out via the specifications. 5Ghz is also referred to as “dual band”,

Find the right channel

Another factor is adjusting the right channels to avoid as many local residents’ networks as possible. As a result, you will also experience less intervention, which ensures a faster and more stable WiFi signal. Via an app such as Wifi Analyzer for Android or a program such as inSSIDer you  can see for both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz frequency which networks are playing jammers.

Choose the channel with the least interference and set this on your router. Such apps do not work on Apple devices because Apple does not provide access to the Wi-Fi antenna.

Get the perfect signal everywhere

If you cannot achieve a strong enough network with one router, you can choose to use an extra router or repeater. An extra router is most convenient to use in remote places from the first router, for example in the attic, where there is no reception at all. Run a wire from the modem to the router and set up your new router with the same network name and password as your first router to create one large network. This is also called an access point.

Another option is a homeplug. This works via the power grid. The best result is achieved with a Homeplug AV2 standard, which can achieve higher speeds than the previous generation. A homeplug makes pulling cables superfluous, which is necessary with an access point. In addition, a homeplug is a better alternative than a repeater, which only amplifies the signal from the router wirelessly.

So if you can use a repeater halfway up the stairs, this will ensure a better signal upwards. With a weak or bad signal, a repeater is of little use: you have a strong signal, but a low speed. In such situations use an access point or a homeplug, where you do not have this problem.

Just make sure if you use homeplugs that you buy them from the same brand. If you buy multiple homeplugs, they can communicate with each other to create an even larger network. If you are going to mix brands, it may be that they get along well.

Other protocols such as Zigbee and Z-wave

For the typical Smarthome, Zigbee and Z-wave are an increasingly popular network protocol. These wireless connections work alongside your existing Wi-Fi network and are suitable for transmitting small amounts of data over long distances.

There are also routers that have Zigbee and Z-wave as standard, such as the Almond + smart router from Securifi.