Posts

Why Fi? Home networks that run as smoothly as your refrigerator.

 
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).”