Building a home? Make it internet-ready

Laptop woman

We live in an age where nearly every home has some internet-demanding gadgets.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • To improve the range, stability, and speed of internet connectivity all over your home, run internet cables through the house.
  • Wireless connection rarely works well, especially if there are many internet-dependent devices in different rooms.

Many people consider buying or building a home for the family a key indicator of success. In so doing, certain provisions are imperative; otherwise, the house will not be considered complete. These include plumbing, piping electricity, and now, the internet.

We live in an age where nearly every home has some internet-demanding gadgets. These include phones, computers, printers, TV, and games devices. In addition, other electronic equipment that traditionally didn’t connect to the internet now come loaded with features that allow them to connect to the internet and communicate with other intelligent devices.

Such equipment includes intelligent washing machines, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, and many more. New homes should therefore make provision for connecting such electronics to the internet and operate them by phone and, where necessary, communicate with other devices.

Most of our homes are built of stone and metal. Compared to wood and other building materials, the ones we use deteriorate internet signal as it flows to different rooms and floors.

To improve the range, stability, and speed of internet connectivity all over your home, run internet cables through the house. Ensure that ethernet cables are run in most rooms so that when ready, electronic devices can be plugged to walls to tap the internet.

Wireless connection rarely works well, especially if there are many internet-dependent devices in different rooms. Stone walls make it even worse.

Connectivity to intelligent devices

Wired networks have better, steadier connectivity, especially for high bandwidth-hungry activities such as video streaming. As you build a home, make provision for surveillance cameras, the majority of which nowadays use the internet and can be controlled remotely using a mobile phone or computer.

Additionally, where you place the router in the house matters. A router is a device that lets all your wired, and wireless devices use that internet connection in your house and allows connected devices to talk to one another.

Don't secure the router in a cabinet or in a tiny, closed place. Wi-Fi signals radiate out from the router, so placing the router in the centre of your home is your best bet. Apart from the possibility of overheating, the cabinet can block Wi-Fi signals or reduce the strength of the signal.

If you can't plug in your router anywhere else, place it on a shelf or an elevated place in the room with no obstructions around it. It's even better to place it near a window.

If you have a small dead zone — or rooms with weak or no internet signal — install a Wi-Fi expander to boost your internet signal. Some internet service providers may sell or loan the expander to you to increase your internet signal strength.

As you think about plumbing and electricity, also consider connectivity to intelligent devices that could be installed in your kitchen, bedrooms and even bathrooms.

Mr Wambugu is an Informatician. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Samwambugu2

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