December 17, 2018

Why your home needs an enterprise network

By phy6

There’s a substantial premium placed on ‘Gaming’ grade computer hardware these days. This includes home routers that often end up overloaded on an increasingly critical component of your life at home.

Home network requirements have evolved over time:

  • Long ago, we had one or more computers for browsing and had to share a single internet connection.
  • Torrent downloading and file sharing networks came to be, and required hundreds to thousands of simultaneous network connections to other internet computers.
  • Voice Over IP services entered the market and had to ensure their network traffic was prioritized ahead of downloading or basic browsing.
  • Then came the proliferation of YouTube, Netflix, and other video streaming services with higher bandwidth requirements.
  • Today, we’re just beginning to see the exponential growth curve on the number of connected devices due to home automation and the internet of things.  Lights, your door bell, garage door, air conditioning, drive way sensors, security cameras, refrigerator etc. etc. will all be active devices on your home network with needs to share your internet connection.

Gaming grade hardware doesn’t cut it anymore

‘Gaming’ grade network hardware was typically seen as the best you could find in store.  The trouble is, these devices have reached a pricing level that exceeds the value their provide.  We also find that single, all-in-one ‘routers’ are becoming insufficient for the requirements of a modern home.  All-in-one means the devices typically include capability of a Router, WiFi access point(s), and network switch together in one box. When one component of that box becomes insufficient, we end up replacing the whole thing.

Now that have new options to use entry level Enterprise grade networking components, we should think of purchasing the individual components that meet our specific needs.  Have multiple floors in your house?  Maybe you should have one Wi-Fi access point (AP) on each floor at the front and back of the house?  Want coverage in your garage? Add another AP for that space.  etc. etc.  At a basic level, you can use new, modular hardware at a lower overall cost compared to premium consumer all-in-one routers that now cost up to $450.

Can we use Enterprise hardware in the home?

Yes! The biggest challenge is a bit of learning required to understand how it works, install, and get it setup.  Some companies like Ubiquiti have gone a long way to make this easy.  You can expect that a home networking upgrade project will take 1-2 days depending on the number of access points, overall size of your house etc.  If you’re ready to get started, check some of their helpful guides: Beginners Guide to EdgeRouter

Cutting to the chase:

We can find GREAT options for enterprise level / suitable for home – network components with product offerings from Ubiquiti Networks (Technology platforms for Internet Access, Enterprise, and SmartHome applications.)

Suggested basic level hardware:

  • Ubiquiti Networks ER-X-US EdgeRouter X, 5-port (C$67.85 at Fetchcart)
  • Ubiquiti Networks UAP-AC-LITE-US UniFi AP, AC LITE (C$109.06 at Fetchcart)

Additional value focused discussion and reference on this hardware:

Best of luck!