Network Strength and Costs
With more and more devices in our homes – more than you think – you need to strike a balance between speed and cost. Keeping your network strong and secure is a given, but you should look at what you can hardwire into your gateway to maximize speed and free up wireless capacity for devices and systems that can’t be wired.
Many people have looked to simple solutions such as EERO, which plugs repeaters into power outlets in homes and offices. It’s known as a wireless mesh system, and it’s a technology that hasn’t won us over. The modules are repeaters, and the problem is that each time you repeat, you cut signal strength, and that diminishes the speed of the network to deliver signals to the target computer, TV, tablet or smartphone.
You might think you don’t have that many devices on your network, but you’d be surprised. In our house with four people, we have a dozen computers, tablets and smart phones, several automated systems for the doorbell and for turning on certain lights. We also have a Sonos sound system with seven speakers around the house. I haven’t added in smart TVs, which many households have. Most of them use a USB antenna to connect to their home wireless network, and then people use the wireless network to stream movies and shows – especially if they’ve cut the cord on cable TV.
Depending on your provider, you can get Internet connections ranging from 15 megabits per second (of data transmission) to 1 or 2 gigabits per second. Many users in moderately connected homes have service ranging from 50 to 300 megabits per second (mbs). The faster the speed, the more data it pushes through per second. However, your TVs, computers and devices on your wireless network may not be getting the full speed you’re paying for because of repeaters and the number of devices using the network at a given time.
You can maximize wireless performance and your Internet costs by hardwiring some computers and smart TVs and then determining how much speed you need to support your wireless devices. Wired computers and TVs will get the full benefit of your connection speed, and you may not need as fast (and expensive) a connection as you think.
To use our house as an example, we have a 150mbs connection, and we use it more for downloading large files than for streaming movies and shows. With hard wiring, it works fine. If I would double the speed to 300mbs, it would cost $90 per month more. That’s $1,080 more per year, and I wouldn’t get the full performance because of the wireless penalty.
With smart TVs and streaming becoming more popular, TV manufacturers are heading off potential problems with customer satisfaction by including Ethernet connections in their units. Taking advantage of the hardwiring capability can help you avoid problems elsewhere in your home.
In the office, hardwiring as many components of your system to the network is essential. Hardwiring grantees your computers and peripherals will work at the speeds you’re paying for, and it will free up wireless capacity for the devices that you must have, such as phones and tablets.
Regardless of whether you have a home or business network, remember that your service speed can be increased or decreased without a visit from a technician. You can see how one connection speed works and then have your provider raise or lower it from their service center.
We can help you by installing the wiring and connecting your equipment. We can also help you analyze your system’s performance to find the right combination of speed and cost. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.