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SoundWaves Answers Common Home Networking Questions


Isn’t It Time You Evaluated the Performance of Your Network

Whether streaming the latest season of House of Cards or starting your work day from a home office, we’ve all come to rely on greater connectivity. A reliable home network is essential to keep a growing number of wireless devices connected to the internet and running smoothly. If you’re curious about how you can improve the performance, reliability and security of your network, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to get answers to some common home networking queries.

What are the key components of a network?

A network is made up of several different parts, and the major components are routers and modems. A gateway is the combination of a modem and a router, providing an all-in-one solution. Switches and wireless access points are two other pretty important devices within a network. A switch adds more ports to an existing network increasing the number of Ethernet-ready devices that a network can host. An access point connects users to one another within the network and casts a Wi-Fi signal to a designated area.

How many devices does my network support?

Before we can answer this question, let’s define what a connected or smart device is and that will help us get a more accurate count. A smart device is an innovative gadget that connects to the internet including computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, streaming media players and home automation devices. Now think about each member of your family, he or she probably has several devices that connect to the internet and therefore part of the network.

Additionally, it’s important to consider what each member of the family plans to do on their connected devices as some activities require more bandwidth than others. If several family members are streaming movies or playing online games, you may experience lag time or buffering issues.

What speed internet connection do I need?

While determining how much internet speed is required is a pretty straightforward calculation, it involves several factors. You’ll need to consider the following:

  • The number of family members using the internet (include guests or friends who may visit regularly)
  • The types of online activities that each engages in (downloading music or streaming movies)
  • The necessary bandwidth to support those activities
  • And how many family members will be using the internet at the same time

Rolling out more bandwidth is rarely the solution to most home networking issues. Previously, homeowners might have believed adding greater capacity to the network was the answer but our experts at SoundWaves can evaluate the performance of the current network system. Based on that evaluation, we can make recommendations about next steps.

Is my router secure?

A wireless router is almost as common as the oven in your kitchen, and we often forget these devices exist. But failing to properly configure the wireless security features or neglecting to change the default settings can result in a vulnerable network. Ensure any wireless router, or another access point supports the latest encryption standards, has a built-in firewall, and that you create a strong password that cannot be easily guessed. While these are some basic recommendations, there are additional technical features and security measures that our team can implement for you. But unless you want to hear about WPA encryption, MAC address filtering or disabling SSID broadcasting we’ll stop for now.

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Will I need additional equipment?

Depending on the age of the equipment, you may need to upgrade. Typically, anything older than 24-months is considered to be out of date. If your existing equipment is less than two years old, we may still be able to use it. Should you require new equipment, we’ll work with you to determine the best products to meet your needs.

A typical home network is headed in only one direction, an increase in the number of devices connected to it. The IT Techs at SoundWaves can troubleshoot network problems, assess the state of your current Wi-Fi environment, and make recommendations to improve the reliability, performance and security of the network. Are you in the Greater Philadelphia region? Contact us to learn more.

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