Network design

Tips for Bringing Home Network Design Outdoors

These days, custom integrators can offer homeowners a variety of ways to enjoy home entertainment and other technology outdoors, and just like indoor facilities, one of the most demanded technologies is a home network. rugged wireless.

Providing your customers with the most reliable, stable, fastest and most spacious network comes down to good design – of course, that goes for indoors and outdoors.

High-quality, business-grade wireless routers, switches, and access points (WAPs) contribute to network performance, but if WAP selection and placement is faulty, connectivity and coverage mediocre ones will ensue, resulting in dissatisfied customers and expensive redo. Access Networks corporate network provider for best practices for dealing with specific outdoor home network coverage.

Roadmap to an exceptional outdoor home network

“Network design is an art form, especially when it comes to the outdoors,” says Nathan Holmes, Access networksdirector of training and development.

“Considering all of the environmental factors that can affect the performance of Wi-Fi – landscaping, trees, weather, varying elevations, bodies of water, neighboring networks, and the size and extent of the property, the development of a networking plan for the outdoor space is often trickier and more complicated than for the interior of a house.

Comprehensive and detailed design drawings are the cornerstone of any networking project, notes Holmes. It’s a lesson many integrators have learned as they continue to solidify their networks for a booming home work market.

Whether it’s adding and repositioning WAPs to meet higher bandwidth demands, finding and repairing weak connection points, or implementing more stringent cybersecurity measures, the network home is healthier than it has ever been, in part thanks to good design practices, he adds.

Integrators can provide reliable Wi-Fi network coverage for large outdoor spaces if customers may be considering the technology for their patios, decks, gazebos, pool house, boat docks, and other outdoor spaces.

And while it can be relatively straightforward to add a WAP to an indoor space, laying new cables in an established yard is a disruptive and expensive endeavor. It is essential to properly design and install the outdoor network system the first time. Holmes offers the following tips:

Start with a very thorough site survey

Don’t make the mistake of setting up a few access points outside the house and calling it a day, or relying on the indoor network to evacuate the signals into the yard. It’s a poor plan at best. Your customers want a seamless Wi-Fi experience when they walk outdoors without any degradation in signal strength or random dead zones.

The rise of outdoor living is driving demand for better outdoor connectivity, not just for streaming audio and video content, says Holmes, but for controlling security cameras, door locks, pump pumps. swimming pool, lighting, motorized gates and more.

Once you have an idea of ​​how your guests will be using the Wi-Fi, walk around the entire property noting the location of large boulders, outbuildings, walkways, landscaping and landscaping elements, changes in elevation – anything that could interfere with signal transmission.

Also identify places where WAPs could be mounted – light poles, doorways, the eaves of the main house, and other structures. This will serve as a map for the WAP layout and design.

Define coverage areas and specify applicable WAPs

Most guests don’t need or want Wi-Fi coverage on every square inch of the property. “You’ll get better performance from a network and prevent signals from escaping into neighboring yards by focusing Wi-Fi power on specific pre-defined areas,” Holmes notes.

For example, a long driveway from which owners use a W-Fi connection to control lights and door locks, requires a strong and consistent signal from the entrance of the property to the front door, but the Areas adjacent to the driveway do not require Wi-Fi – The Fi signal thus radiating Wi-Fi energy in all directions would be unnecessary and could cause interference to a neighbor. The same principle applies to walkways leading to beaches, sidewalks around swimming pools, and other pathways leading to popular destinations.

outdoor home network access networks MV acoustic evolution
The certified HTA Acoustic Evolution integrator illustrates the points of the external home network in his proposal plans.

A sectored WAP, designed to direct Wi-Fi signals in a single direction in a specific pattern, does the trick in these situations. Because the transmission path is so well defined, signals travel farther with minimal degradation than Wi-Fi transmission by an omnidirectional WAP.

Sectorized WAPs are ideal for long and narrow Wi-Fi hallways, but they can also be configured to provide wide coverage. You will just need several strategically positioned units.

Another plus: they’re perfect for parties. While many residential outdoor WAPs only allow one person to access Wi-Fi at a time, Holmes explains, sectored WAPs – which were originally intended for use in stadiums – allow you to divide The area. Usually covered by a single omnidirectional access point, smaller sections supported by a sectorized WAP allow multiple people to access Wi-Fi simultaneously.

Despite all of these benefits, sectorized WAPs “shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolkit,” says Holmes. “They are not for every location or every project.”

Application and Landscape Considerations Impact Installation

It’s best to specify WAPs based on their application, he adds – omnidirectional WAPs for wide 360-degree coverage in a backyard, for example, and sectored WAPs for targeted 30 to 120 coverage. degrees.

Another consideration to optimize your design for the Wi-Fi performance expected by the customer in each area of ​​the property. You will need to get your customer’s opinion for this. If their biggest concern is speed, go for a design based on 5 GHz frequency settings. For long-range and consistent connectivity? A 2.4 GHz based design is suggested.

Finally, comments Holmes, be sure to take into account the impact of environmental and landscape conditions on the roof. The seasons change. Trees that may have been bare when the outdoor array was originally designed are now in full bloom. Think of it as interference from Mother Nature.

This huge expanse of grass in the yard now contains a swimming pool. Consider natural changes in ownership and your clients’ home improvement plans into your network design to avoid problems down the road. This is an important last step in ensuring a quality outdoor Wi-Fi experience.

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