The back-bone of any modern smart home is a good, solid network; it makes all the difference when trying to get all of your devices running together smoothly, without glitches.
If you have the internet at home with a wifi router and a couple of connected devices, you already have the start of a basic home network. You will use this network to access the internet and you might already use it to share files and data between those devices.
The home network is no longer just used to access the internet. We can stream music and video throughout the house, access data stored on network drives, send documents to the printer from your smartphone, see who’s ringing the doorbell or change the lighting or heating.
Some networked devices are portable and others remain in a fixed position in the house:
- Small wireless speakers
- Universal remote controls
Permanently Positioned Devices
- Desktop computers
- Network printers
- Network attached storage (NAS) or Media servers
- Smart TVs
- Video streaming devices
- Games consoles
- Music streamers
- Smart speakers
- Internet radios
- AV receivers
- Security cameras
- Central heating thermostat
- Light bulbs!
These devices connect to your router and home network using either WiFi or or a ‘hard-wired’ ethernet cable connection.
Wired vs Wireless
Most devices are equipped with WIFI these days and you may have everything linked to your router wirelessly. Though convenient, this is is not ideal if you are using several products at any one time, especially if you are streaming video, music or gaming.
Connecting a device using a ‘hard-wired’ ethernet connection to your network, will provide a faster and more stable connection. Ideally your WiFi should mainly be used only for your portable devices. There are also permanently positioned devices which; don’t have an ethernet port, are unable to be reached via a cable, or transmit and receive such a small amounts of data that running a cable to them would be unnecessary.