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Everything Wants a Little Piece of Your Home Wi-Fi

You’re at the office and your smartphone discreetly informs you of an important message. Okay, it’s really only important because you ordered something online and you wanted it like yesterday. The message tells you that your package has arrived and is waiting for you on the front porch. You do the obvious thing – or at least what’s obvious in this time of Wi-Fi connected homes. You fire up the smart doorbell video app on your smartphone. Yes! There’s the package.  

By the Numbers

This is the new normal for many of us, thanks to a growing array of smart devices coming into our homes. We turn them on and they (usually) effortlessly connect to our Wi-Fi network. The hardest part is remembering the main Wi-Fi password. But have you considered all that has been added lately? The number of devices might surprise you. According to connectivity giant Cisco, the average home in the United States has about eight networked devices per person, and they’re all looking for a digital slice of your Wi-Fi pie. That number is expected to climb to nearly 14 devices by 2022. One of the biggest contributors to this Wi-Fi-gobbling smart home invasion answers to the name of Alexa. Amazon’s Echo devices have a strong 70 percent share of the market, and by the end of the 2018 holiday season, America had installed more than 66 million smart speakers in our homes.  

Why Everything Got So Slow

It all adds up. The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly and quietly eating up a significant amount of your Wi-Fi bandwidth. While most of today’s wireless routers claim they can support up to 250 devices, each device has a specific need for bandwidth delivered at a certain speed. Most don’t need much, but there are some outliers. Plus, many applications run in the background even though you think they are powered off or in idle mode. That smart doorbell camera you used to check on your Amazon package at the front door. Depending on the resolution you have it set at, it can be gobbling up as much as 5 Mbps. Meanwhile, somebody might be streaming a 4K movie on a TV. They need at least 25 Mbps, just to watch the movie. Is somebody else streaming music to the smart speaker? They’re using 2–3 Mbps. Maybe someone in your house likes to play Fortnite? It takes ample bandwidth and low latency to support an immersive game like this. Adding up these devices can help you see why your connectivity is slowing down. And, since the number of devices needing access to your Wi-Fi network will continue to grow, you’ve got to figure out how much more bandwidth – as well as speed – you’ll need to handle it all. A family of four can easily consume over 100 Mbps with their laptops, game consoles, tablets and a minimal amount of smart devices connected to their Wi-Fi network.  What to see how much bandwidth your home needs? Click here to use our Bandwidth Calculator.

Let Us Help

With Lumos Networks Fiber Internet, we can provide up to 1,000 Mbps per second of blazing fast Internet to your house, and our Managed Wi-Fi solution can instantly upgrade your entire home’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Learn more about our Managed Wi-Fi online by clicking here.

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