Home security systems have come a long way in the last decade. We now have the ability to control our systems through an app on our smartphones. With this always-on availability, we can conveniently keep tabs on our home—anywhere, anytime.
While this technology is extremely appealing, wireless home security equipment requires a reliable Internet connection. With so many devices connected at once, homeowners need to ensure their network can properly support their system. A weak Internet connection or overloaded network can cause a lapse in security, putting you, your loved ones and your home at risk.
To avoid purchasing security equipment that is incompatible with your network, we’ve listed several questions you need to answer before investing in a home security system.
1. Is My Internet Fast Enough?
You should never purchase home security equipment until you’ve confirmed the speed of your Internet is fast enough to handle all your devices. To test your Internet speed, you’ll need to:
- Connect your computer to your router using an Ethernet cable.
- Open your web browser.
- Navigate to https://www.speedtest.net/.
- Click “Go.”
Speedtest.net will show you your download and upload speeds. Internet speeds can fluctuate throughout the day. Consider running multiple tests to determine an average speed and keep that number in mind as you shop around for security equipment.
2. How Much Bandwidth Do I Need?
Bandwidth is the amount of data your Internet connection can send and receive.
Your bandwidth requirements are unique to your wireless setup and the amount you’ll need varies depending on the:
- Size of your household.
- Number of connected devices.
- Number of users.
- Intended activities (i.e. video surveillance).
An effective way to determine exactly how much bandwidth you’ll need is to enter your household details into an online bandwidth calculator, or connect with a security professional before purchasing equipment.
3. Are There Any Wi-Fi Dead Spots or Weak Zones?
You will also have to identify Wi-Fi dead spots or weak zones in your home. These are areas where you get a poor Internet connection or no connection at all. Dead spots and weak zones can cause your security equipment to run extremely slowly or not function entirely.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to identify dead spots and weak zones. All you need to do is connect a wireless device to your network. Then you need to walk around your property, paying close attention to your Wi-Fi signal. If the connection fails, then that indicates a dead spot. If your signal falls just above zero, then it’s a weak zone.
Make notes of any areas of poor connection and communicate them to your security provider before purchasing equipment.
What to Do If Your Internet Won’t Support Your Home Security System
If you’ve answered the above questions and discovered that your current Internet will not support your home security system, then you have two options.
The first option is to look for other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in your area that offer the speed and reliability needed to back your security system.
If ISPs are limited in your area, your second option is to look for upgrades within your current service that are compatible with the requirements of your security system.
If you have any other additional questions about your ISP and your home security system, contact one of our trusted experts to schedule a consultation. They will work with you to design and install a custom security system that’s compatible with your Internet. Contact us today!