Creating an Internet Family: 8 Tips to Build the Best Home Network
Are you interested in building the best home network for your family’s needs? If so, you’re not alone. Nearly every family is looking for the best and fastest internet plan for their home. After all, between IoT devices, automatization, streaming services, and working from home, the bandwidth requirements keep increasing. And unfortunately, signing up for the cheapest plan with your local internet service provider (ISP) might not be enough to enjoy a seamless online experience.
The best home networks offer a mix of secure, fast connections and an easy setup. They prioritize stability, speed, and user-friendliness above all else. Here are the best ways to upgrade your home network so everyone in your household can enjoy the highest-quality experience without breaking the bank!
Place Your Router in a Central Position
Those who’ve tried to speed up their wireless internet know it’s important to place the router in a central location within your home. A good location will give you a strong and fast connection throughout your entire house or apartment.
To get a strong signal, don’t hide the router behind any furniture. Instead, set it up higher. This helps extend coverage into areas otherwise blocked by furniture, such as corners. Also, avoid placing the device near windows or enclosed spaces like closets. Brick, glass, cement, and wood all weaken the strength of the WiFi signal.
Finally, never place routers on top of other electronics, such as televisions or speakers. Doing so could cause interference with their signals, causing malfunctioning and communication breakdowns.
Consider a Mesh Unit
Mesh units have grown in popularity as a great way to extend coverage throughout larger homes.
A mesh unit is a small device that connects to your router and then broadcasts WiFi over an extended range. These devices are easy to set up and can be used independently or alongside other routers. For example, if you’re struggling with WiFi coverage in your home, a mesh system could be the solution to connect in otherwise inaccessible areas.
Mesh systems are perfect for larger homes because they use multiple nodes to create one network that covers every square inch of your home. Your device will automatically connect to the node with the strongest signal.
Ethernet: The Best Home Network is Wired
Wireless internet can be spotty and unreliable. Compared to WiFi, Ethernet is always the faster, more reliable, and more secure option. In addition, the more devices you can get off the wireless network, the better your WiFi signal will be. For example, TVs, game consoles, and personal computers work much better when wired.
The best way to expand the number of wired devices in your home network is by using a network switch. The number of devices you can connect depends on the type of switch: some switches support eight ports, while others support 24 or more. So, if you’re building the best home network, make sure there are enough ports for all your devices.
Switches work similarly to hubs but dedicate separate bandwidth to each connected device. This means that when one device sends data over the network, it doesn’t have to compete with all the others for bandwidth access. Instead, each device gets its dedicated connection. Hubs, on the other hand, send data to all connected devices, which can cause lagging and buffering.
Use Your ISP’s Home Network Management App
The responsibility of modern ISPs extends far beyond providing internet services. Subscribers also need adequate online security and more autonomy in their home network management. That’s why many ISPs have stepped up and launched apps that help subscribers take control of their home networks.
For example, Race Communications’ Race CommandIQ helps subscribers build the best home network by offering the following benefits and features:
- Parental controls, such as screen time management and content filtering
- Bandwidth priorities, sending internet where they need it most
- Monitoring usage based on device or user
- Changing the WiFi password and setting up guest networks
- Automatic cybersecurity checks and alerts
A network management app is great because it makes building the best home network incredibly easy. While not every user knows how to log into the router and change the SSID settings, everyone can quickly learn their way around a home network app.
Isolate IoT Devices on a Separate Network
Smart home devices have taken the world by storm because they offer an easy way to control our lights, temperature, security, and more. However, because they often lack sufficient security features, IoT devices are a prime target for hackers. In 2021, Kaspersky reported 1.51 billion data breaches in six months.
The IoT device can be an entryway for hackers, and from there, they can take control of your entire network and connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. And if you work from home, they can also access all your work-related data, which can result in disastrous data breaches on a company scale.
Hackers can use malware, such as viruses and spyware, to hijack your devices and turn them into part of a botnet. A botnet is a network of compromised computers that hackers use for nefarious purposes.
That’s why the best home network typically hosts smart home devices on a separate network. Everybody recommends it, from ISPs to the FBI. The easiest way to set up a separate network is to create a guest network.
Set Up a Guest Network
The best home internet is not just fast but also safe. If you want to keep your home WiFi safe, a guest network is the most common way to do so. A guest network is like an isolated bubble on your home network that keeps out intruders and preserves the security of your primary network.
Use a guest network for:
- Smart home devices
- Visiting guests
- Children’s devices or online activity
By setting up a guest network, guests (or IoT hackers) can’t access other devices on your WiFi. And more importantly, they can’t compromise the safety of your home network by accidentally introducing malware into your home.
You can set up a guest network via your ISP’s network management app or router. In the case of the former, you need to:
- Log into the router
- Navigate to network settings
- Enable the guest network
- Set up the guest network name (SSID)
- Choose a password – not the same as your main network’s
Switch to Fiber Internet
Today’s best home networks are equipped with the increasingly common fiber internet. It offers the fastest home network speeds and usually comes with no data caps. In addition, while cable connections typically have lower upload speeds, fiber provides symmetrical speeds, making your online experience seamless and lag-free.
Fiber connections are generally more expensive than traditional broadband services. However, unlimited bandwidth access means you won’t run into any throttling issues when streaming an HD movie or playing an online game with your friends.
Choose Your ISP Wisely
However, more than choosing fiber internet is needed when creating your home network. The next step is to compare different companies’ offers based on price, reliability, security, and customer support. Check out what other people say about their experience with ISPs on Google or Yelp.
See how well they respond to complaints or if they have any bad reviews, which would mean they might throttle or otherwise slow down your connection. On the other hand, do their good reviews highlight their excellent customer support? If so, it’s safe to say they’re doing something right!
Additionally, look at how much they charge for installation or activation fees. Make sure they’re reasonable – they can add up quickly.
The Best Home Network with Race Communications
In conclusion, the best home network is the one that’s safe, convenient, and reliable. Hopefully, this guide has helped you start your journey toward the best home network.
And remember, if you’re looking for a fiber internet provider with great customer support and security measures, check out Race Communications. Contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry, and we will help you build the best home network you’ve ever had.