Connectivity is a highly valued aspect of our modern lifestyle, meaning a reliable wireless connection has made its way from nicety to necessity. But what is the right equipment for you and your family? That depends on what you’re looking for, and how you expect your needs to change in the coming years. Are you looking for something simple, affordable, and easily installed? Or do you rely on a high degree of connectivity, making use of that home office and streaming videos while your kids play games in the next room?
If you are looking for something minimal, yet functional, Apple Airport Express offers a simple home wireless solution that provides good wireless coverage in smaller homes (up to 2,000 square feet) requiring only one wireless access point, and integrates effectively with an array of devices. At Residential Systems Inc., we regularly install these devices for basic home internet users. If you are looking for something more robust, Ruckus Wireless offers an enterprise grade solution designed for businesses and equipped to manage the rapidly expanding network of devices within the home. With the fastest wireless signal on the market, seamless handoff capabilities, and state-of-the-art security; Ruckus is our recommendation for the more connected home user.
There are THREE PRIMARY CONSIDERATIONS in choosing the right wireless system for you:
- The number of devices in your home
- The size of your home or coverage area
- Your lifestyle
HOW MANY WIRELESS DEPENDENT DEVICES ARE IN YOUR HOME? A family of four likely has four cell phones, four laptops, a few tablets, and, in 2016, an average of 2-6 additional devices (smart tv, wireless printer, etc.). Additionally, if you have or plan to incorporate smart home technologies—the number increases dramatically. How might this number change? A recent study on the expansion of “connected things” predicted that we will reach 20.8 billion “connected things” globally by 2020, up from 6.4 billion in 2016 (Gartner, November 2015). What does this mean? Smart home technologies are likely in your future: lighting control, temperature control, home security, locks, kitchen devices, health devices, wearables, etc. This translates to increased demand on your wireless connection. Choose Apple Airport Express If
- You intend to maintain a fairly small collection of wireless connected devices (approximately ten or less) within the home
Choose Ruckus Wireless If
- You have approximately 10+ wireless connected devices in your home and are looking to incorporate new smart home technologies
IS YOUR HOME LARGER THAN 2,000 SQ FT?
We recommend having one access point (AP) per 2,000 sq ft. Apple’s Airport Express works well for a smaller home, but leads to gaps in coverage as the span of internet access increases. This problem can’t truly be solved by adding additional access points as the devices are not designed to communicate effectively. Ruckus’ Seamless Continuity Ruckus devices are designed to work together: as you transition away from a given access point, it is able to track your movement and transfer your wireless connection to a new access point without any disruption in the signal. Ruckus offers the added benefit of a “zone-director” (also called the “air-traffic-controller”). This device functions as a critical point to ensure that all access points are online and behaving correctly at any given time, increasing both the security and reliability of your wireless system. Are you interested in outdoor coverage? Ruckus’ outdoor access points also enable you to install an outdoor theatre system at the edge of your property; or perhaps take your laptop into the garden; or even install a home security system that allows you to check in on your property from anywhere in the world. As of now, Apple Airport Express APs cannot be installed outdoors. Choose Apple Airport Express If
- Your home is <2,000 sq ft
- You don’t need outdoor access
- A comprehensive home security system is not in your immediate future
Choose Ruckus Wireless If
- Your home and/or property is >2,000 sq ft
- You want outdoor access
- You have or would like to install a home security system in the near future
WHAT TYPE OF INTERNET USER ARE YOU?
An easily relatable visual is to consider devices as cars, and your wireless technology as the road. A more robust connection is like a wider road, allowing more cars to pass through at a much faster rate. Now, imagine the opposite. How much traffic do you create? Consider how you use wireless within the home. Is your home office in use while others are also online? Are you streaming movies in the bedroom while your kids are streaming games next door? If you’re wireless usage is frequently high volume, you may require a more robust solution. Are you an “early adopter”? Both Apple and Ruckus integrate well with most devices. Emerging technology, however, requires larger capacity with stronger send and receive power. Ruckus R500 series’ 2×2 antenna configuration is designed to efficiently manage the newest technologies. Choose Apple Airport Express If
- You are generally only streaming on one device at any given time
- You don’t require a wireless system that is compatible with all new technologies
Choose Ruckus Wireless If
- You often have more than 1 device streaming at the same time (eg: your movie and your child’s game)
- You consider yourself to be an “early adopter” of the newest technologies
The Solution, Ruckus vs. Apple? If you are a basic internet user, Apple’s Airport Express is likely sufficient for your needs. If, however, you have a more complex internet environment, we highly recommend Ruckus Wireless. Residential Systems Inc. has deployed dozens of systems throughout Colorado since partnering with Ruckus over a year ago; customers who’ve adopted Ruckus Wireless have been resoundingly happy with their decision. If you feel you might be exceeding the capacity of your current wireless system, contact us for a free consultation. We can help!