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Is your WLAN good enough for your smart home?

You're ready to turn your home into a smart home with smart locks, smart bulbs, smart speakers and more. Before you buy anything, make sure that the most important part of your smart home is up and running.

Internet supplies the smart home and it can come to a standstill without a strong, fast Wi-Fi connection. Shortly after I introduced a Google Home speaker and a series of Philip Hue bulbs (with its hub) into my house, the Wi-Fi started to spit. Soon, even loading a website was a tedious task, and rebooting the router became a daily business.

After a few fixes, the Wi-Fi is back to normal, but save yourself the trouble and prepare your home before you install the Smart Home technology. Here is what you need to know so that you can have your Smart Lamps and Netflix as well.

Check your Internet service first

When did you last check your Internet plan? There is a good chance that you will probably pay for slow internet that will not work with your smart home.

This year, after struggling with internet issues, I found out that I paid more than I would have for slow internet . All I needed was a few minutes of searching the website of my Internet Service Provider (ISP) to find a new plan and get faster internet for less money.

Seems too good to be true, right? Well, most ISPs do not proactively go to their customers to offer better prices for better service. It is up to you to contact them to find out about new plans that are available to you.

Spend a few minutes on your ISP's Web site or call, and you'll probably get the fast Internet that your smart home needs, and also save money.

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What to look for when buying a router


Can your router or modem handle speeds?

Modern, up-to-date routers and modems are very important in the smart home because newer devices can handle a large number of devices at a higher speed and support the high speeds they now receive.

Think of everything that is already connected to the Internet at home. Between one or two laptops, tablets, smartphones, streaming sticks, and game consoles, your bandwidth will run out fast .

If you then want to plug smart plugs, smart lights, a smart speaker, and a smart lock, your Wi-Fi may slow down crawling or device start-up if it's not possible.

If your current setup is a couple of years old, I urge you to upgrade. If you rent devices from your ISP, contact them to see if your current device can handle the speeds you're paying for and if it's not possible.

Better yet, buy your own gear. You save rental costs and gain more control by upgrading your equipment . Pay attention only to the maximum speed offered for your internet plan. When purchasing a router or modem, keep in mind the maximum download speed you can use, which is usually stated in the box or in the online product description.

Need more help? We have instructions for on the purchase of a modem and on the purchase of a router .

Make sure your router is in place

Do not plug your router into a closed room like a cabinet or surrounded by books in a bookshelf. Interference is your worst enemy when it comes to a strong Wi-Fi signal and when that signal has to penetrate into solid objects – walls, books, wood – it gets weaker.

In addition, routers are getting slightly warm and need good ventilation to work well. Let a lot of air flow around you.

Is it time for Mesh?

Ready for the ultimate upgrade? You've told us before, and we'll say it again, to get a mesh network .

These powerful systems give your entire home a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal and deliver optimal performance for all your smart home technology.

The disadvantage? They are expensive, start at $ 250 (£ 189 or AU $ 337) and get off there.

Read all about advantages and disadvantages of mesh networks here .

Setting up your home Internet can be a stressful process. We've made it easy with everything you need to know about Wi-Fi for your smart (or non-smart) home:

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