Remember when you were a kid and dreamed of having robots help with your homework, do your chores and even beat up the big kids who hung around the end of your street giving, you a hard time when you wanted to go to the park?
Today that dream is a reality (except for the bully-thrashing droids: ethics and all that). With the Internet of Things making many of our electronic purchases ‘Smart’ we can now talk to the objects which surround us and they will do as we ask.
Whereas once we could only access the internet via a computer, the Internet of Things (IoT) means that all connected devices are able to communicate with one another, sharing information which makes it possible for them all to work in conjunction, and therefore more efficiently. Many of these devices could be considered gimmicky, and only ‘Smart’ for the sake of being smart, and not for any functional necessity.
Practical, Fast, Efficient
On the other hand, many IoT devices are extremely useful, especially if managed properly. We want home automation because, like any technology, it reduces the burden on our labour or our time, and generally makes life easier. An example of this would be your house detecting (via GPS on your phone) when you were approaching. It could turn the heating or air con on, turn on lights if it was dark, even pre-heat the oven and turn the water heater on so you could take a shower or run a bath without having to wait for the tank to warm up.
And as you pull up to the door your smart security cameras can tell whether it’s you or not, opening the garage door, or opening the front door, especially handy on a cold, rainy winter’s night.
Most devices are fairly easy to install yourself, but other devices such as access control, environmental controls such as air conditioning, lighting and thermostats are better left to the professionals. In fact, if there is any doubt about how to safely install a smart device you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions, and check out online discussion forums, or see if there are clear how-to videos on YouTube.
The More You Use, The More You Need
As you connect more and more IoT devices to your home network, the more data you’re going to need to make them all run efficiently. Each of them doesn’t use much, but when you factor in high demand periods, your Smart HDTV, computers, laptops, and games machines all needing data when your family are all at home doing their own thing then you can see that the extra strain means you’re going to need fast, stable broadband internet if things aren’t to start running slowly, buffering or freezing.
Most home automation systems rely on a Smart Speaker as an interface between you and the IoT. Whenever you yell “Alexa, turn on the…” your Smart Speaker is relaying that command to the device via your internet data. And Alexa is surprisingly data hungry. Because she is always listening to you while also ‘talking’ to the other IoT devices in your home she can devour an average of 1GB per month. If your current broadband is at all slow you could find that adding new devices is already having an effect on the efficiency of your home network. For example, commands you give are carried out slowly, or maybe not at all if there wasn’t enough bandwidth available to get the request to the right place.
Be Smart, Choose The Best Data Provider You Can
If your current internet provider isn’t always reliable you could find that you would rather change providers than put up with your entire home buffering several times a day.
The obvious answer is to get Full Fibre broadband as this technology overcomes many of the issues which have so far made IoT home automation unviable.
Full Fibre to the home can deliver up to 900 Mbps. The average Alexa device uses 36 Mb per day, meaning that all the data your Smart Speaker uses in a month, your router could supply in a single second.
As well as being able to deliver all the data you could possibly need, Full Fibre is stable. You won’t find that it slows down at busy times of day because the is no need to throttle in the same way that it was necessary with copper wire infrastructure. This stability means you can reliably run as many Smart safety and security devices you need without having to worry that they’ll disconnect or buffer just at the wrong time.
Because 900 Mbps is such a large amount of data, Briant Broadband offer a range of flexible plans which you can change as your need changes. So if you start off with a limited number of IoT devices you can use one of our slower packages, increasing it if you need to without incurring additional admin fees. And because we don’t have contracts you won’t get tied into commitments you don’t want when you do change.