Increasing amounts of at-home technology to automate all aspects of your life mean more use of your home WiFi distribution network. All these components mean more drain on your bandwidth and additional exposure for hackers to break in. When was the last time you reviewed your system and completed recommended upgrades? Here are a few items you should look for:
- Are you getting enough bandwidth from your Internet provider? In many areas, you may be limited to one or a small number of providers; however, even in cases where only one provider exists they may offer various options for amounts of bandwidth. In general, you’ll need about 5 Mbps for every 10 smart devices on your home automation network. Surveillance cameras need another 10 Mbps. If you’re working from home or use a good amount of video streaming for school or entertainment purposes, you’ll need even more. In addition to speed, other criteria are also important such as network latency and overall reliability.
- Are you using updated components? If your network is a few years old, there are likely new options for equipment to make your system more functional and secure. For example, the latest version of WiFi, “Wi-Fi 6”, uses a more secure protocol, “WPA3.” Most routers are likely still using 802.11ac or “Wi-Fi 5” but some can be upgraded through a firmware update. WPA3 technology prevents hackers from recording your Internet sessions to steal your password codes.
- Are you backing up your important pictures, music, videos, and files? While backups won’t impact the performance of your home network system directly, homeowners who use wireless speakers and home theater technologies will find it important to keep their extensive music and movie e-libraries secure and accessible. In the “olden days” we needed to buy robust external hard drives and perform manual backups of our system and drives for offline storage. Today, more options exist from expanded onsite backups maintained in your home (“Network Attached Storage Devices”) to various cloud storage solutions to keep your backups on a professionally maintained server hosted by a storage provider.
- When did you last change your passwords? A common way electronic thieves break into home networks is through the Wi-Fi system. Use a secure password and make it a habit to change it regularly. Most WiFi distribution systems provide an option to create temporary guest passwords for visitors and vendors who may need short-term access to WiFi distribution in your home—make sure you use those instead of your secure password.
- Are you using professionals to install home automation? While home automation equipment can be easily purchased from big-box stores, the security protocols these devices use can be questionable, and not all equipment “talks” well with other components. To get the most from your home automation system, contact professionals who are able to provide whole-home systems to meet all your needs. They will also have the expertise to examine your home network to make sure it is set up properly to provide connectivity for all your Internet needs while keeping your system safe and secure.
Your home is your number one investment; so let our professionals at Accurate Electronic Interiors help you make sure it’s the right one for your family. Come visit our showroom in Central Point or give us a call to see how easy it is to add automation to your home.