Why a Smart Home Needs a Strong Wiring Backbone
Wireless connectivity is faster than ever, but your home still needs a solid network of wiring for higher bandwidth, better Internet security, and a host of other benefits. In a world that increasingly uses wireless communication, conversations about cabling / prewiring can seem a bit outdated and, frankly, unnecessary. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. Wiring is and will remain, an important component of any modern home. Why?
Your home’s new nervous system
Think of a home’s wiring infrastructure as the ‘foundation’ or ‘digital backbone’ that supports all of the various technologies in your home. High-speed, low-voltage cabling delivers data, audio/video signals, communications, security, and control commands to a wide variety of devices throughout the home with unsurpassed reliability, accuracy, and speed. The wiring that connects all of these technology systems serves as the virtual nervous system for the home. Think of a home’s wiring infrastructure as the ‘foundation’ or ‘digital backbone’ that supports all of the various technologies in your home. It is true that a high-performance wireless network (Wi-Fi) is fairly capable at shuttling all sorts of signals throughout a home, though there are a host of all too common limitations and challenges with relying too heavily on this approach: slow downloading and uploading of video files, finicky access to the Internet, and buffering during video playback, to name a few.
Cabling “Comes of Age”
“Wireless networking was developed as a communications platform for devices we walk around with, like laptops, smartphones, and tablets,” says Eric Bodley, president of Future Ready Solutions. It’s a flexible and convenient mode of networking for certain applications, though as the number of wireless devices in a home continues to grow, the bandwidth of a wireless network becomes increasingly congested. When this happens, signal delivery slows or even comes to a complete halt. Bodley relates the inherent problems of wireless networking to extinguishing a house fire with a garden hose. The hose simply can’t handle the volume of water needed for the task.
Building a Better Highway
A home that has been properly prewired with ample wire and fiberoptic cabling provide a fast, reliable multi-lane highway on which signals can travel, free from connectivity issues, traffic bottlenecks, and slow delivery. A home that has been properly prewired with ample wire and fiberoptic cabling provide a fast, reliable multi-lane highway on which signals can travel, free from connectivity issues, traffic bottlenecks, and slow delivery. Every signal gets to where it needs to go without any disruption or hiccups along the way. High-resolution 4K videos download to TVs and computers quickly and without picture degradation, multiple people can stream content from the Internet at the same time without issues, and high-resolution music travels without latency to speakers located throughout the home.
Proper wiring also ensures a more secure network, less susceptible to cyber hacking, viruses, and other ailments. It is a benefit that resonates strongly with homeowners, as nearly two-thirds indicate concern about the connected devices in their homes “listening” to their conversations, according to a survey by iQor. Cabling mitigates this risk and ensures that services delivered to the home on cabling stay on cabling, dramatically reducing signal interference or security threats that can plague wireless networks.
One of the biggest benefits of installing wiring throughout the home, however, is the burden it takes off a Wi-Fi network. As more devices connect instead to a wired network, a home’s Wi-Fi connection is more available to the devices that depend on a wireless connection. Devices like smart thermostats and light switches that need occasional access to a network can continue to utilize Wi-Fi to its full capacity, while other products like surveillance cameras and TV/movie video streaming that can max out a wireless network are better served by a wired connection.