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A Guide to Installing a Secure and Efficient Wi-Fi-Based Smart Home System

Welcome to the world of smart homes, where technology and convenience meet. Installing a WiFi-based smart home system can bring numerous benefits, such as increased comfort, energy efficiency, and security. From controlling your home's lighting, thermostat, and entertainment to monitoring your home's security, a smart home system can make your life easier and more enjoyable.


However, with great technology comes great responsibility. It's crucial to ensure that your smart home system is installed correctly to avoid any issues or vulnerabilities. The last thing you want is a system that doesn't work properly or, even worse, puts your personal information at risk.


That's why we're here to walk you through the key factors to consider and best practices for installing a WiFi-based smart home system. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your smart home system operates smoothly and securely, providing you with the convenience and peace of mind you deserve.


The key to having a seamless Wi-Fi based smart home experience is a Wi-Fi network that has been properly implemented.


Conduct a Site Survey


The first step in deploying a Wi-Fi network is to conduct a site survey. This initial step will help you determine the best placement of access points, identify potential sources of interference, and calculate the number of access points needed to ensure complete coverage.By conducting a site survey, you can guarantee that your Wi-Fi network will perform at its best and keep you connected around the clock.


Select the right equipment


Access point placement can make or break your Wi-Fi network. To ensure optimal performance, place them in areas with good coverage, away from interference, and at a height that maximizes coverage. Don't forget to install them where maintenance and servicing are easy.


Optimize Security


Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to security threats, and it is essential to optimize security to protect your network from unauthorized access and data breaches. Use the latest encryption standards, such as WPA2, to secure your network. In addition, consider implementing additional security measures such as network segmentation, guest network access, and access control lists.


Regular Maintenance


Regular maintenance is essential to keep your Wi-Fi network running smoothly. Create a maintenance plan with regular software updates, firmware upgrades, and hardware checkups. Regular maintenance can help identify potential issues and keep your Wi-Fi network performing at its best.


Key Reasons behind Network Failures


When adding Wi-Fi-based smart devices to your home, it is important to note that, the more the number of devices, the higher the chances of network congestion leading to unstable connectivity and performance. There are certain key reasons that lead to network congestion in your home network such as -


Low bandwidth


If you imagine your network as a data pipe, bandwidth is the 'size of the pipe' through which critical traffic flows. If the pipe is not large enough to accommodate all of the traffic at once, problems arise with traffic flowing smoothly, causing congestion.


During peak TV streaming hours, for example, when a video streaming service consumes 40% of the internet, causing network congestion, network bandwidth usage may be affected.


Devices using too much bandwidth


Network congestion can also occur when your network has too many active devices. When there is a high volume of traffic on your network at the same time, data packets can become backed up on their routes, similar to having too many cars on the road at the same time. 'Bandwidth hogs,' or devices that communicate or run too frequently, cause excessive activity.



Packet Retransmissions


Data packets that are lost or arrive damaged must obviously be resent. If this happens twice or more, your network will experience network congestion with no incremental benefit.


Collisions


Packet collisions can be caused by poor cabling, overloaded devices, or faulty equipment, and can result in a serious situation in which all packets must stop and wait for a clear network to retransmit. This causes even more congestion and delay, and, as with a highway collision, traffic direction is frequently required.


Creating an Efficient Wi-Fi Network


There are several things that can be done to reduce network congestion and create an efficient Wi-Fi network.


Create additional subnets for smart devices



Most of us have a home network full of simple devices that offer some level of convenience by connecting to the internet and allowing us to interact with them remotely via an app or another connected device. Some examples are:

  • Smart Thermostat

  • Smart TV

  • Smart coffee maker

  • Smart washer and dryer

  • Smart doorbell

  • Smart cameras

  • Smart vacuum

  • Smart light fixtures

  • Smart locks

  • Alexa or Google Home


These are just a few of the most well-known. You can take network implementation to the next level with an advanced router by using network segmentation or subnets. Network segmentation divides your home network into subnetworks: Instead of a single network, you have several. And, similar to the guest network approach, once you've created a subnetwork just for your smart home devices, they should all be connected to it. Each subnetwork has internet access via your router, but devices on one subnetwork cannot "see" devices on another.


Each range of subnetwork IP addresses in the image above begins with the same number: 192.168. This is a standard private, or internal, IP address range that can be used in any home or business. The following number ranges depict segmented IP addresses. Home Wi-Fi devices use network IP addresses ranging from 192.168.2.1 to 192.168.32.254. In this example, the IoT devices use a similar range of addresses, but on the 192.168.3.xxx subnet. They can only see devices on that same segmented network, so a third party attempting to access them cannot see devices on the Home Wi-Fi network.


Prioritize Network Traffic


You can identify unnecessary traffic and prioritize network traffic in ways that reserve bandwidth for specific users, devices, or platforms to ensure that critical online processes run smoothly. Other types of traffic can then be assigned to the remaining bandwidth.


When you prioritize network traffic, you frequently reclassify internal traffic in ways that reserve specific amounts of bandwidth for different purposes.


These steps will ensure a clean and effective Wi-Fi network implementation for years to come. A clean Wi-Fi network will, in turn, ensure a trouble-free smart home that is both functional and scalable.

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