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The future of home networking…

The image is a new technology called Glyph. It is a home theater that you wear!

One of the things I have long considered is the impact of bandwidth on the technology world we are entering. In particular, I listen to the various commercials on TV, and I am always laughing. There is a series of ads that talk about the upload and download speeds available. There are series of commercials that talk about the in-home wi-fi experience. I am not sure that either is relevant.

In part because there is no frame of reference for either.

  1. If you have a lot of IoT or a lot of devices you access remotely, then you need a system that supports good upload and downloads. Most cable models and DSL solutions have extremely limited upload speeds which based on your data push, doesn’t work as well.
  2. If you watch a lot of movies, then you care much more about download speed. Streaming services need good bandwidth.
  3. Finally, the last component is the in-home wi-fi. We offer the fastest in-home wi-fi is the one that frankly makes no sense. No matter what your total available bandwidth is, the more devices you use, the less that total bandwidth is so, who cares. If you have a total in-home available bandwidth of 100 and every device needs 10, then the 11th device begins your home network decline. (that would be in a family of 4, less than three devices per person). Easy equation right? Except that the reality is some devices (home security, home video surveillance) need more than 10, in fact, given the simple equation above, they need 20 each.  Ergo, who cares how fast your in-home wi-fi is.

You see when you have devices that don’t play nice, you have a problem. While there are some devices that have connections in your home, few of them play nice. There aren’t specific rules for what nice is for a device. There also aren’t specific rules for providers. They don’t ask you the three questions above. They should, but they do not.

So, sit down, relax and go through the three questions. What is it you need? What has the most value for you? Then watch your network for a week. Does it provide the service you need, now? If so, don’t do anything.

If you don’t have what you need, then it is time to do some research. Why is your home network slow? Because you can triple the speed of your house, but if the problem is a device that continues to take your network down because it is chattering and with the more available bandwidth it can chatter more, nothing else is going to fix your problems, anyway!

What do you think?

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Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

9 Comments

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  1. I think that as the world becomes 100% connected we’ll get to a point where bandwidth truly doesn’t matter. Google is already implement free internet in some cities, and I’m sure the next generation of houses will be wifi-houses. Of course, my assumption is that bandwidth will eventually out-pace demand – which I think it will.

    Just think about what it was like when you had dial-up – things will constantly improve….

    • You have an interesting point, but I think you are ultimately going to be wrong. The reality of the infrastructure is the speed of light. (as in light can’t go faster and currently, that is the fastest form of transportation).

      1. Right now today 51% of the total bandwidth of the internet on a Friday is from Netflix. As they continue to expand into a global delivery model that amount is going to increase.
      2. 12 billion or so IoT devices today producing 100 or so Zetabytes of data a year – that is projected to increase by 3 and 4 times in just five years.

      Just those two numbers alone make the reality of bandwidth risky.

      Add to that the projections that there will be a billion more smartphones in 2020 and there will be the first fully connected driverless cars.

      Sorry, I respectfully disagree, there is a limit without planning. We may reach it before we are ready.

    • You won’t get much radiation from Wi-Fi and other signals. I suspect you are more at risk being near a Microwave oven. That said, it is and will be everywhere. Over time you won’t be able to escape, people will figure out how to Bluetooth enable the trees in parks!

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