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Wi-Fi for Smart Home

Smart house needs smart wireless network. Many HomeKit smart device use Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. If wireless internet is down – all house is down.

While trying different wireless routers I have found, that Apple devices connects faster to Apple wireless routers. So, because I am in Apple ecosystem I am using Apple wireless routers.

For my home it is enough for one Apple Airport Extreme in the center of first floor. Its long range and strong signal will cover first and second floors. And I hope the basement. Also, I need my wireless network outside the house in the backyard and near the front door. For this I will use smaller airport version – Apple AirPort express, placing two of them in sealed boxes outside the house. One near the entrance and one in backyard.  Airport express does not have ultra-fast AC standard connectivity, but for unlocking front door, opening garage door or controlling lights and music in backyard will be more than enough. Of course, this could be done by 3G internet, but the problem is that while being near the home, phone picks up weak Wi-Fi signal from inside the home and the unlocking of door is painfully slow. And when all smart house management depends from wireless network it is very important to connect Wi-Fi routers to Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). In this case power small power supply outages will not disrupt communication of smart devices.

The setup of AirPort Extreme is straightforward.

Connect the cable from switch to WAN port of Airport. Then click on Wi-Fi icon on MacBook and connect to newly discovered AirPort extreme.

AirPort Utility will open. If it does not open automatically, run it manually from Applications. Wait while AirPort Utility gathers information about base station ant network

Follow onscreen instruction in AirPort Utility.

All you need to edit is:

Network name – the name of wireless network.
Base Station Name – name of base station itself, it needed for base station identification.
Password and Verify – password of Wi-Fi network and airport administration.

After this, the setup is done. No more changes needed, we have wireless network.

To extend wireless network more base stations needs to be added. Connect additional AirPort Base station to power supply and network cable to WAN port.

Open AirPort Utility, click on “Other Wi-Fi Devices” and select newly found AirPort

Give a name for new AirPort base station

And all the configuration will be done automatically. It will detect that additional base station is connected by network cable and will configure it accordingly

To add third base station to network just follow the steps to extend network again.

Now, when there is fast and reliable wireless network at home, I can start to connect smart devices and gadgets. Will start from one of most important systems – smart heating system. Stay tuned!

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