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Whether looking at security or just the ability to ensure all your smart and regular devices work properly, having the right network setup is paramount. While professional help can help find the best solution for your needs, it can also be costly, and not always necessary.


With the right knowledge, even beginners can address their network concerns in a way that will make all your devices and users happy.


Wired, Wireless, and the Network Connections Your Home Needs
Wired, Wireless, and the Network Connections Your Home Needs


Speed and Reliability

Two sides of the same coin, speed and reliability are going to play the major factors that determine whether a device on a network will please or frustrate. This is a concern that is best addressed in the early stages of planning, where waiting too long could lead to modifications that are difficult to install around existing systems.


What you need exactly is best answered by asking yourself what you want. Take the desire for video streaming a program like Love Island, as an example. To access this show in the United States, a user needs to have access to a streaming platform like Paramount+ or Hulu. These systems require fairly consistent connections, with speeds up to 16 Mbps for high-demand 4K content.



Smart devices will tend to require far less bandwidth than streaming, though this is not always the case. Smart cameras can require 10 Mbps in network bandwidth on the more demanding end, and they require high reliability so no recordings are lost in transit. Smaller devices like thermostats will tend not to require a high amount of reliability, however, as repeated simple signals will eventually fulfill all device requests.



The Right Network Solution

When starting with networking, the most fundamental knowledge that users need to work with is that cabled connections reign supreme. Over wireless, signal loss is so expected that it's built into the technology at a core level. In contrast, cabled connections are an extremely reliable solution, and are much faster. They’re also safer, which can be a concern for many home networks.


The issue with simply pronouncing cabled supremacy is that wiring an entire house can be difficult and expensive. If your cables run through the walls, then repairing them can be frustrating and time-consuming.



Going full wireless is a much more convenient solution, but it also introduces the issue of signal degradation, especially through walls. Higher-end routers can help alleviate this problem on the sending end, but for a receiving device to keep sending, additions like Wi-Fi signal repeaters can be strong solutions.


A final potential solution to increase network reliability could be found in powerline adapters. These are attached to a home's power line with an in and out, which can send signals around further than Wi-Fi, though not as reliably as cabled connections. Noise in the power system can be a real problem here, so we recommend getting a refund policy if you try this method.


Wired, Wireless, and the Network Connections Your Home Needs
Wired, Wireless, and the Network Connections Your Home Needs


Looking at all these options, the key factor is to understand what you need before dedicating yourself to a solution, or set of solutions. Sometimes it can be best to mix and match the different options to suit your concerns. You could connect a PC or game console via a cable, for example, stream with Wi-Fi, and use powerline adapters to ensure total smart device coverage. Weigh your needs carefully, take your time, and you can find the perfect fit regardless of your level of expertise.


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