Smart Home. Sunday , July 22nd , 2018 - 23:41:55 PM
The key ingredient for any smart home is the network. While more and more devices connect to mobile technologies like 3G, 4G and traditional cellular, the most economical and secure network for your home is still a fixed wired or wireless one. LAN (wired Ethernet) has been around for decades but is still cheap, fast and compatible. If you're building a new house, renovating or don't mind DIY, installing CAT6 LAN cables are ideal, and will be fast enough to power your smart home devices probably for the next decade. CAT5e is the minimum cable type that is recommended to ensure reliable data speeds of at least 1 Gigabit over long distances but to truly relax buy CAT6 knowing you can reach speeds of 10 Gigabits up to 100m distances in the future if your devices need it. If you need to route cables externally through doorways or other tight spaces, CAT5e might be better since the cable is thinner, more flexible and can be flatter (if you choose flat cables). But bear in mind your network is the critical backbone of your smart home so investing a little more money and time is best if you plan to live in your home for many years. A 100Mbit LAN can support Blu-ray 1080p content; possibly 4k video, and you can be rest assured that a 1 Gigabit LAN should support your media streaming needs for at least the next 10 years. After all, Gigabit Ethernet can transfer data at more than 100 MBs, while 1080p Blu-ray streaming requires only around 5% of that.
An ordinary smoke detector that gets activated can cause confusion, especially if you have several units at home. If it isn't monitored, there's no way you'll get alerted about a possible fire - unless you have some friendly neighbors looking after your home. For your safety and security, it's best if you can upgrade your smoke detector to something smarter. Most smart smoke detectors today are industrial grade and can last a long time. Some of them even come with dedicated apps to help make monitoring a lot easier. Apart from battery life, they can also tell you exactly which area of the house is showing increased temperature. They can even connect you to your local police and firemen for a quick resolution. These extra features can mean a higher price tag. However, considering that they can augment your home security and initiate a faster response, they can be considered as valuable investments. If you are on a tight budget and investing in new devices doesn't seem feasible at the moment, your next best option is to invest in a device that can turn ordinary devices into smart ones.
Every smart home needs a wireless WIFI network too, but it's much more difficult to reliably distribute digital content about your home using WIFI - you will save countless hours and money by choosing a wired LAN as the backbone of your digital home. If you absolutely must use WIFI, ensure you invest as much as possible in your router and choose one with fantastic antenna performance and range, as well as the latest specification of WIFI available in the market. Since we are focusing on a budget smart home, "powerline" Ethernet adapters are not recommended due to their relatively high cost versus reliability. But if you are confident in their performance, they can be superior to WIFI.
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