Top 3 Things to Consider When Setting Up Home Tech
There is a lot to consider when setting up internet-enabled devices in your home. Whether you’re connecting your new smart TV, a new security camera, or a brand new game console, there are a few factors you should account for.
5GHz vs. 2.4GHz WiFi
If your router is dual-band, and many modern routers are, you will need to consider whether you should connect to the 5GHz or 2.4GHz band when setting up a new piece of tech. This should be distinguishable in the network connection interface on the device you are setting up.
For instance, if you go into the WiFi settings on your phone, you likely see two internet connections. If the name of your WiFi connection, known as the SSID, is MyWiFi, you will likely see two options; MyWifi and MyWiFi5G. As the name indicates, MyWiFi5G is the 5GHz band, and MyWiFi is 2.4GHz.
So, how should you decide which band to connect to? The main differences between the two bands are speed and range. The 5Ghz band gets greater speed, but 2.4GHz provides more range. So, if the device you are using will always be near the router, then the 5GHz band is the better choice to get the best speed. If your home is larger and your device is far from the router, the 2.4GHz band is better.
Suppose you want to use 5GHz in a larger home. In that case, you may consider investing in a mesh WiFi system with range extenders throughout the house.
One additional factor is if you frequently experience signal interference between your devices. If this is the case, you will want to connect to the 5GHz band if possible due to the superior interference resistance.
What Internet Speed Do I Need?
If you wonder what is a good internet speed, you will have to consider your personal use case. The internet speed you require will be based on how many devices you connect simultaneously and what your usage looks like.
The more connected devices, the more congested your home internet will become, thus reducing performance. So, suppose you have a dozen different devices all connected at one time, and you do a lot of live video streaming. In that case, you should consider opting for an internet speed of at least 150 Mbps.
Suppose you only have a couple of devices connected for emailing and some minor video streaming. In that case, you could be satisfied with 25 Mbps.
What Speed Do I Need for Netflix?
For streaming Netflix, the required speed depends on the resolution of the video content. If you typically stream video in 1080p, which Netflix calls HD, you need a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps. However, if you frequently stream Netflix content with 4K resolution, your minimum speed should be 25 Mbps.
Still, having multiple devices streaming content or gaming at the same time is common in most households. As we discussed before, the more connected devices you have, the greater the network congestion. Because of this, it’s recommended to opt for download speeds of 200 Mbps to account for bandwidth issues from multiple devices on the network.
Setting up home tech with your WiFi is not a difficult task. When doing so, the critical thing to consider is that every device you add will eat into your network’s bandwidth. You will want to analyze your home internet service to determine if your speeds are sufficient as your number of tech gadgets grows. You’ll also want to consider the differences in your 5Ghz and 2.4GHz WiFi bands to make the best decision on which each device should connect to.