Many years ago my introduction to the world of networks was as a backup network administrator. I was the email and collaboration services lead, and I backed up the network lead. Well, I backed him up for a couple of years, then he decided to hire a new person, who well didn’t work out at best. Anyway, one of the things I learned all those years ago was the difference between overloading and toppling a network. Overloading is where you have X amount of available bandwidth, and you are currently running at x+2. Think of it as being like a highway that was built for three wide lanes, so they repaint it and make it four narrow lanes. You don’t have a lot of room for error on that highway!
Every single smart device you plug into your home network (or your business network) is slowly doing the same thing. You are increasing the number of lanes supported by your internet connection. Your network bottle necks may surprise you. Cable companies often advertise that they have the fastest in-home WIFI. That is awesome, and for those people who not only never leave their house, but never use any internet services and don’t connect to anything, that is great. You see the problem with this new highway we’ve created is directionality. Rush hour traffic can be managed easier if you have a consistent flow of cars. If during the morning all the cars are coming in, and during the evening the cars are going out. You can take the two center lanes and switch them to increase overall morning inbound, and night time outbound traffic flow. You can’t do that with your home router.
I’ve talked in the past about different ways to solve the problems so that I won’t spend time today. This is more a cautionary network tale, be careful. The more you need devices in your home, or the more useful those devices become, the more bandwidth they need. The more bandwidth inside your house, because you have the fastest in-home wifi, may not be an issue! The issue starts once you traverse beyond your house into the wild blue yonder known as the internet.
No matter how smart that device can be, it becomes dumb if the network isn’t working.