Smart House but Dumb Internet

Smart Home and Bad Internet
Smart House but Dumb Internet by FiOS

Commercials are supposed to convey information with a little bit of entertainment value, and Frontier’s new series of “Smart Home” commercials are no exception. And while the assertion that today’s Smart Home needs a smarter Internet is true, the reality is that today’s traditional Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not provide hardware capable of optimally supporting the Smart Home, chiefly:
– support the number of devices present in today’s homes
– support for different wireless protocols
– support for multiple simultaneous connections

To ensure that the Smart Home network is optimized, many people will add an additional router or access point, like one of the options outlined below.

Many routers today, like this one by Asus, have multiple antennas and support simultaneous connections to enable more devices in your home to connect at the fastest speeds available, but some of these routers lack an interior design appeal.

There are other residential “mesh” network products on the market, like the Netgear Orbi pictured here. The primary device connects to the router, and the secondary units are placed throughout the home and connected to power. These are also effective, but don’t always blend in to the home.

In certain situations, it may be more aesthetically sound to install something like this wireless access point (WAP) by Araknis, which looks more like a smoke detector than a giant tarantula or vase.

These devices also support simultaneous connections at the fastest speeds available, without compromising one’s sense of interior design. The Araknis WAP can be installed centrally in your home, or you can combine multiple WAPs to form a “mesh” network where the WAPs create s singular wireless network.

The wireless network is the foundation for today’s Smart Home, and without a solid foundation the integrity of everything connected can be jeopardized. Here are a few things to remember when trying to upgrade your internet experience:
– select a router/WAP that supports MIMO 2×2 or 3×3
– ensure the device supports 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless protocols
– change the default password!
– use the included security protocols, specifically WPA2 encryption

Need to change your router/WAP password but don’t know what to change it to? Use a line from a favorite movie, like “thehillsarealivewiththesoundofmusic”, or if you have to use numbers, you might replace the “o” with “0” or similar. Plus, it always causes a chuckle when guests ask for the wi-fi password and I tell them “iloveitwhenaplancomestogether”

*not my real wi-fi password

Total Cost – $150-$400

This is the first post in the upcoming Smart Home Series, that walks through setting up the modern Smart Home.