With more and more of my household devices needing wi-fi, I needed a better way to provide wi-fi in my house. After trying several solutions I decided on Mesh technology
Needing Wi-Fi All Over the House
It all started last year during the drought in California: I wanted to better control my sprinkler system, and to better manage the amount of water I used at my house. I went through several steps to solve this problem. First, I went looking for devices that would be smarter at using water: devices that would alert me when plants needed water so I could only water when the plants really needed the drink. I found several watering systems that fit the bill, but all of them had a slight problem: they needed wi-fi in an area of the house that normally have wi-fi coverage: the garage in the front of my house.
So I tried to solve this problem with additional repeater devices that would broadcast the wi-fi signal to various locations in the house. I found that these repeater devices often would need rebooting, and were not often self-fixing when they failed. I spent too much time walking all over the house, unplugging and replugging in devices.
The next challenge was that the home/consumer quality devices I choose often would not use the same wi-fi name as my house wi-fi so as I walked through the house bringing all these devices back online, I had to log off and log on to different wi-fi access points. Not the most efficient way to have house wide wi-fi. I also have a two-story older house and already had to augment my existing wi-fi with the use of Ethernet over power-line devices that let you use the electric lines in your house to bring Internet access to an area that doesn’t have Ethernet wiring.
So I installed my Rachio wi-fi sprinkler system that hooked into the local weather station and automatically held off watering when there was rain in the forecast. Then I installed the PlantLink devices that would alert me when my plants were thirsty. However, I still needed a way to have wi-fi all over the house, in front yard and in the back yard without having to log into multiple access points. And one can’t garden in the yard without having a bit of streaming classic jazz or classical baroque music to plant spring bulbs to, so I wanted to make sure I could get wi-fi coverage — and therefore tunes — all over my property.