Yesterday we examined exactly how fast your computer wants to communicate on the network. Most desktop PC and Macs communicated at Fast Ethernet (100BASE-X) until early 2009 when they started converting to Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-X). The reason for this shift was primarily due to the high demands of moving video on the network. Your security system and smart appliances only consume a small fraction of this communication bandwidth… but video is big and demanding. A two hour HD movie can consume up to 9 GB of storage, and this video file will take hours to transfer on a Ethernet (10BASE-X) network.
In short, the conclusion is to make sure that your network switcher can simultaneously handle 10Base-x and 1000Base-x ethernet. The day your son-in-law comes over and wants to transfer his weekend-videos to your network… you will be happy.
Wait one more minute before buying your new switcher/router. How about wireless?
Basically, wireless is the solution to rewiring your house every time you want to add a new smart appliance or new features to your home monitoring solution. You need to carefully add the wireless capacity to your switcher/router. There are basically three varieties of wireless that you will come accross. WiFi: 802.11b, WiFi: 802.11g, WiFi: 802.11n (often referred to as wireless b, g, and n. In a nutshell the higher the letter designation the faster the speed and the further the wireless signal reaches. If you could simply choose, pick (n) for speed and distance. However, my iPhone, iPad, and other devices still all use (g). So you need to pick a wireless network that simultaneously handles (g) and (n). Yes… simultaneously. If you just go in to your local network store they will sell you a switcher/router that steps-down to the lowest rate… (yikes! stop!). We want every device on the network to communicate at its highest rate! This means simultaneous network speeds.
So lets wrap up by selecting a couple of switchers/routers that simultaneiously handle “fast” and “gigabit” ethernet and simultaneously handle Wifi (g) and (n).