Bringing WiFi Routers Out of the Shadows
With all of the technology consumers use in their homes every single day—and with consumers expected to be toting around 13 connected devices by 2021—having a solid in-home network is critical to the performance of those devices. Granted, in a high-end, luxury home, networking likely won’t be an issue as integrators connect as many devices as possible over hardwire, the wireless network still plays a critical role.
What’s interesting, then, is recent data from Parks Associates that showed what a massive opportunity the industry has when it comes to pushing the latest in in-home WiFi technology. While roughly 70 percent of U.S. broadband households have a home network router, according to Parks, only 11 percent are using a whole-home WiFi mesh-networking product. Further, only 22 percent are using any kind of WiFi network extender to improve coverage throughout their home.
“Mesh network systems, also referred to as ‘whole-home Wi-Fi’ by makers and retailers, are designed to maximize Wi-Fi coverage and performance in the home. They can replace the home Wi-Fi routers and network extenders that are commonly provided by broadband providers today,” Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “With WiFi the dominant method of connection in the home, having a strong signal is necessary for proper function of the multiple connected CE and smart home products consumers are buying. There is still plenty of room to grow for mesh networking products.”
The problem with adoption in the in-home WiFi space boils down to a lack of education on these products for consumers. To most, having a WiFi router is thought to be enough. Why spend several hundred dollars to upgrade something that’s doing OK for their needs?
Though manufacturers of these products have been able to vastly improve the WiFi experience for consumers, they’re downright lagging when it comes to telling their story in the best way possible—another hurdle when it comes to adoption. The pitch today is simple: WiFi routers, particularly mesh systems, provide seamless coverage that’s faster, more secure, and more efficient. And, better yet, they actually look good while doing all of that.