WiFi Challenges for Large Homes
We love big houses. Lots of room for everyone in the family to spread out and make their own space. Unfortunately, large homes are a nightmare for wireless internet. Large square footage and the increasing number of mobile devices per user create some chaos when it comes to implementing IT solutions.
Large houses have large WiFi needs. This blog outlines some challenges that occur when installing WiFi in large homes and some of the solutions that are available.
1. Building materials are important in determining a WiFi solution. Properties built pre-1990s generally have a traditional design with separated rooms, while the “open concept plan“ is much more common in modern dwellings. Heavy walls and flooring can reduce WiFi signal strength, especially if they are brick or concrete. Any kind of metal (chicken wire, foil insulation) or water (fish tanks) in your walls will completely block it. Whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling an older home, it is important to know how the structure can affect technology.
2. Since we’re talking about large houses, let’s state the obvious. The higher the square footage, the more signal strength you’re going to need. Not to mention, that everyone in your household probably owns several devices. It is unlikely that a single router or access point will be able to send a signal that can cover multiple users in different rooms and floors…which seriously impedes your Netflix binge watching and Spotify streaming.
3. Standard routers bought from an electronic store or rented from an ISP are sub-par and not outdoor compatible. That means that there is no wireless access on your porch, yard or driveway. Also, consumer-grade access points are unintelligent in their communication with each other. What do I mean by this? Imagine that you have three floors in your house and have installed an access point on each floor. The wireless signals emitted from these points are NOT controller based; they do not “talk to each other” and instead fight over your device. When you move between floors, the access points have a difficult time “letting your device go” to the next signal.
Repositioning your router or purchasing WiFi extenders serve as other options for increasing signal strength, but there is only one way to ensure that internet is available in every nook and cranny of your property.
How does it work? Here’s a step-by-step.
1. A technician performs a Wireless Network Site Survey on your house to assess the building materials and determine if there are any potential issues for the wireless signal.
2. A wireless engineer uploads a digital floor plan to a wireless network design software system to create a heat map showing the best possible spots for access points and exactly how much area they will cover.
3. Next, they work together to install, test and certify the wireless equipment. It is important to clarify that this is enterprise-level (professional, business-grade gear), which eliminates the issue outlined in #3 above because the access points are weatherproofed and linked via a cloud controller. The controller provides your family with one SSID that automatically authenticates your devices and switches between access points. The cloud controller also has built-in monitoring, which battles interference from other household items/neighbors and maintains the health of the network.
4. After installation, the engineer will perform another wireless site survey to ensure that the equipment is working correctly. That’s it! You have now embraced the current and future technology with the best wireless coverage in your home!
5. The best part: professional solutions come with added perks! The enterprise-level service has 24/7/365 customer support. You can call anytime, day or night, to get help with your network.
Large houses and wireless internet don’t have to be enemies. It may seem like a stretch to have professional IT in your home, but the benefits speak for themselves. 24/7 network management, onsite technician assistance, replacement of failed products and round the clock support are all reasons to invest in Managed WiFi. The “do-it-yourself” route may seem like the better solution for handling IT, but taking the cheaper path (both in cost and effectiveness) with consumer-grade products will ultimately lead to underwhelming results.