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If you plan to install a lot of smarthome devices, skip Wi-Fi



  Lutron Caseta Dimmer Switch

Many smarthome devices connect via Wi-Fi. This is fine if you have only a handful of them installed. However, if you plan to decorate every room in your home with smarthome devices, you should pay attention to Wi-Fi.

There is nothing wrong with Wi-Fi based SmartHome devices, but the more you install at home, the more your Wi-Fi network can be overloaded. If you're just starting out and still building your phone slowly, you do not have to worry. However, if you plan to add smart devices to every switch, outlet, light bulb, and device in your home, you may want to use something other than Wi-Fi, and here's why.

Wi-Fi has its limits

Wi-Fi certainly seems to be a magical technology with unlimited possibilities, but is not invincible. There are limitations that you should keep in mind.

 Linksys Router

A Wi-Fi router can theoretically support up to 255 connected client devices. Although it is possible to connect 255 devices to your router, this is not nearly practical. Not only do all of these devices compete for the bandwidth of your individual Internet connection, but all your Wi-Fi devices would interfere with each other so that nothing would get a good wireless connection.

You'll probably never get to a point where so many devices are connected to your home network. However, if you turn every switch, every outlet, and every light bulb into a Wi-Fi-enabled Smart version, depending on the size of your home, you can almost reach 255. And that does not even include your phones, laptops, streaming boxes, and more.

Wi-Fi 6 could fix the congestion problem if hardware supporting this new standard appears later in 2019, but you still have to be concerned with limiting device volumes. The fewer devices you have, the better.

Stick to Z-Wave or ZigBee for Lights, Switches and Sockets

 Philips Hue and Wink Hubs

It's perfectly fine to stay connected with Wi-Fi smarthome devices Thermostat, video doorbell, voice assistant and more (besides, you have no choice there, as most of these devices are just Wi-Fi). However, if you want to plaster your entire house with smart bulbs for each luminaire, it's best to use a different wireless protocol, such as Z-Wave or ZigBee.

RELATED: What Are "ZigBee" and "Z-Wave" Smarthome Products?

For beginners, these protocols do not interfere with Wi-Fi, which saves a total of traffic jams. In addition, because Z-Wave and ZigBee devices require a hub to which they are connected, the number of devices in your network drops significantly. Even if you install 20 Z-Wave light switches in your home, all are connected to your Smarthome hub. Your Wi-Fi router sees this as a single device on your network.

 Lutron Caseta Hub

For example, you could buy 20 of these Kasa TP-Link light switches, each connecting to Wi-Fi. Fi individually and are displayed as 20 separate devices in the network. Or you can purchase a Lutron Caseta kit with lift and switch and 19 additional switches. These do not use Z-Wave, but a proprietary radio frequency. Although you have 20 installed, they are only considered one device in your network because the hub is the only connection to your router.

If you have few devices, do not sweat

 Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

While I still recommend Z-Wave or ZigBee for small things like switches and sockets, but it does Not a big deal if you only equip your home with a small handful of smarthome devices – maybe a switch here and there or some smart lights just in your bedroom.

Also, for average consumers who may not know much about smarthome, setting up Wi-Fi-based devices is much easier anyway. However, as you get more experienced and expand your smarthome, you'll find that hub-based devices are the way for many smaller things, and many companies make it easy to set up hubs and connect devices to them.


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