If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about upgrading to a smart home, buying a home with smart home capabilities and devices installed, or are already living in one and want to improve or update things. And we think this is a great choice, as the benefits of a smart home are many. You can save time, save energy (both your own and off your power bill), customize your living conditions to more exacting standards, and feel like you’re living on the cutting edge. However, to make it work, you need a good internet service to back it up.
Here are some of the key factors and tips to help you decide on the best internet service:
What Makes for a Good Internet Service
In most cases, what makes a great general internet service for any home will make a great internet service for a smart home. While some things are more important (we’ll get into that later), ultimately the same factors as always apply:
- You already know this, but all else being equal, fast internet is better internet. This applies to both upload and download speeds (with download speed taking precedence), and you should absolutely try to find a plan that offers at least a 100 Mbps download speed.
- However, max speed doesn’t mean actual speed. Try to find information on the average internet speed for the provider so you don’t fall victim to a bait and switch.
- Excellent equipment options can make for an excellent service. While it shouldn’t be first on your mind, make sure that you won’t be working with outdated technology.
- While you might not think about customer service at first, it is vital, and you need to look into it. And while the industry doesn’t have a great reputation for customer service, there are providers working that score top marks in some regions.
- While this doesn’t relate to your smart home, you naturally will want to consider cost and contract length.
If you’re ever concerned about where to look or want additional opinions, we recommend you use resources with which you can compare services in your area and only in your area. Once you get a scope of your options, the decision will become clearer to you and you can move forward, perhaps getting a few quotes from top companies.
Setting Up for the Entire Home
A smart home isn’t a smart home if it only works for a couple of rooms. Larger homes (or perhaps those with designs that interfere with the WiFi signal) might run into trouble getting everything to work. When choosing a provider and handling initial setup, make sure that your router can reach the whole house, and that the signal is strong enough to make up for problems created by distance. You may wish to ask what equipment is provided by a potential ISP, and then look up what it can do.
If you’re terribly worried, you may want to see if you can create a setup involving multiple routers (a rare scenario) or a WiFi range extender or two, but ultimately your main concern should be making sure that whatever you’re working with can reach the whole home.
Consistency Is More Important than Speed
If you are hoping to get the most out of your smart home and not run into any hiccups or service interruptions, you should know that when picking out a service, consistency of connection is far more important than speed. When doing things like changing your heating or turning on or off your connected oven, you need to know its reliable. Few, if any, smart home devices use as much data as things like online gaming or video streaming, and you shouldn’t have to worry in that regard.
For this, we recommend you read user reviews and reliable sources to determine if service outages or hiccups are a regular occurrence. If so, that service might not be the best, even if they promise faster speeds and lower prices than the competition. However, we also recommend that you read reviews and reports critically, as not everyone in the space acts in good faith.
Turning your home into a smart home can be a great way to improve your overall lifestyle and maybe even lower a few bills in the process. Yet that doesn’t mean you should be careless about picking an internet provider now that you have all of the best gear and gadgets installed. Your internet connection is your main artery into the details of your smart home, and if it has an issue, you have an issue. We hope that this guide has provided you with a better understand of what you need, and we wish you good fortune with your search.