You settle down with a few friends to watch “House of Cards” on Netflix and so it begins, start…stop… buffering…play…buffering. Arghhh! Isn’t technology WONDERFUL?!
The rest of your household runs so smoothly. Your refrigerator keeps things cold – it doesn’t require any attention and rarely lets you down. Your oven cooks things – set the temperature and walk away. Why can’t your network behave the same way? Is your home network conspiring against you?! You’re not alone. It can be a challenge to keep your house connected to the internet in addition to all of your devices.
Unfortunately, these problems can be traced to any number of sources. The data that arrives on your TV screen from Netflix has to go through more stops than a Southwest flight from Rockford to Topeka. While the largest part of that journey is made outside of your home, it backs up like rush hour once it arrives to your house. The outside journey is made through very high-end and professionally maintained equipment. But once in your home…not so much.
In your home, the equipment is designed to be simple to set up, maintenance free and of course, has to be so inexpensive that your internet service provider can basically give it to you for nothing. The problem here is when any sort of a failure occurs, the equipment simply stops working. You can’t diagnose the error, you can’t troubleshoot it, all you can do is re-boot it. Then things start working…until the error occurs again…so you re-boot again. Sound familiar? Moreover, homes come in many shapes and sizes with differing construction materials and different wiring infra-structures. But who needs wire anyway? Just connect a bunch of wireless devices right? No. Not right. Wrong. Very wrong.
Off the shelf Wi-Fi devices are basically set up to operate in a vacuum by themselves. Installing more than one device without professional configuration can cause network conflicts, the devices can interfere with each other and they can confuse the wireless devices that we love so much. Not only that, the connection information can be a pain. When a friend tries to connect to your network do you have to give them codes suited for strategic air defense encryption?
“Hey Dave, can I get on your wireless network?”
“Sure Bill, just look for “2wIRe276399” and enter the password “94be3465lL43T” but if you’re using it in the guest bedroom go to “Lynksis01” and type in “0brwLLJerK”.
“Thanks Dave, is that jerk with a capital J?”
So…the solution to these problems? The best solution starts with setting up access points across your home to eliminate dead spots. This equipment needs to be configured correctly so that your devices can seamlessly move from access point to access point without your interaction and so they don’t interfere with each other. You can also add more sophisticated equipment to create a more robust wireless network environment with simplified connection information. Equipment can be installed by professionals to monitor your internet connectivity and re-boot the basic gear the moment it shows an issue.
And for those of you who want a mission critical killer network with all of the diagnostic capability and robust features of the commercial equipment that is maintained by professionals, there are solutions for you too. You can make your network run like a finely tuned Ferrari (on the autobahn).
Many thanks to our Guest Blogger! Paul Faber is the co-founder of MediaTech and a charismatic tech geek. His company designs & installs high-end home automation systems that encompass network infrastructure, home audio/visual, lighting controls, climate, and more fun stuff (think The Jetsons).”
Can your home be smart and pretty? Absolutely! Forbes is predicting an explosion of smart home networks that will become the brains behind you homes good looks. An intelligent mix of wireless technology along with your homes traditional hard wired systems will allow your inner geek to shine whether you are building a new home, remodeling or updating an older home.
These are our Top 5 Picks for smart features you will want in your home!
- Whole House Integration
The ability to access lighting, heating, security and more from multiple touch screens located throughout the home is a time saver and the ultimate convenience. Using either remote controls or a central controller that interfaces with your smart phone or tablet, the well connected homeowner can monitor and operate current conditions at home for peace of mind and energy efficiency. New HVAC systems actually learn your typical behavior for heating and cooling and automatically make adjustments so you are always comfortable. Whole house automation can even extend as far as your garden irrigation system.
Peace of mind is within reach with digital door locks that have the ability to operate through your Smartphone as well as set off alarms and send you a text if they are triggered. Some systems have integrated cameras allowing you to see and talk to visitors even when you’re not home. And did you every wonder what Fido is doing all day? Now you can check on his activities as well as the kids through an internal camera system with a live feed to your Smartphone.
To see or not to see, that is the question. Everyone is happy when the decision is made based on the potential use of the room. The newest televisions have superior sound and video quality in streamline fashion. Networking permits multiple entertainment points throughout the home with the ability to access a whole house DVD and music server along with security cameras, lighting and the internet. So hide the television behind the fireplace art or show it off in a media-centric room, there is a system to suite your style.
Smart home appliances are more intuitive and affordable than ever. All will increase your productivity while building some flexibility into your over scheduled life. While you are enjoying the kids soccer game, you can start the dishwasher then sit back and wait to receive the text message from you oven telling you dinner is ready. Even gardening becomes easier with sensors that send you updates on humidity, air temperature and pH to maximize your crop without stepping into your Wellies. Smart Body analyzers will plot the data from your morning weigh in and track your heart rate, body fat and workout to keep you on track for wellness. Even the refrigerator is multitasking to help you plan meals with recipe suggestions based on current contents and an updated shopping list.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Integrated systems use occupancy sensors, dimmers and timers to contribute to your overall energy savings and climate control. Dishwashers, washers and dryers are incorporating intelligent features so they will operate when consumption in you area is the lowest in order to save you money. Lighting systems can gradually brighten your rooms to wake you up naturally. Clothes dryers now use sensors to stop once the clothes are dry and your oven will let your thermostat know it is heating up the kitchen so HVAC can adjust to keep you comfortable.
Lowell has the smartest solutions for all of your home technology needs, including multiple convenient and discrete charging stations so you will always be ready to go!