Martin Boulter

Martin Boulter
Delivering Professional-Quality Rack-Based Solutions

Installing an easy-to-manage and aesthetically pleasing rack-based IP Network requires discipline, planning and even a little bit of artistic flair. When installed as part of a home or small business network that includes AV equipment, proper organization and aesthetics can be especially critical to the user experience and value perception.

Remote Network Access: Which VPN Protocol Should I Use?

As we try to find a balance among home, work and recreational activities, there comes an increased need to manage data and systems from anywhere, and using any device (phone, tablet, laptop). But how to securely access and manage the network remotely, without worrying about who has access to the data?
The Internet can be a dangerous place for those who don’t carefully consider data security. While there are many options for connecting remotely, my preferred method is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Installer Tips: Enhance Wireless Media Streaming with 802.11ac

As wireless devices become more ubiquitous and advanced in their capabilities, demands on the wireless IP network continue to surge. Fortunately, the wireless network technology advancements are keeping pace with those demands. With 802.11ac, demanding applications such as media streaming that were once relegated to the hardwired network are now achievable wirelessly. We have discussed the 802.11ac standard in previous installments of this column. Now let’s take a closer look at the technology to better understand how the average home or business user might benefit from these 802.11ac performance enhancements.

Installer Tips: Add Value to Your Next Network Installation with VLANs

The ability to optimize IP network and application performance is an essential skill for any installer. Depending on the customer’s network usage and application requirements, VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) may be a valuable part of a high-performance network setup. Knowing how and when to implement VLANs can help set you apart from the competition and improve the customer’s IP networking experience.

Custom Installer Tips: How to Set Up a Secure Guest Network

In today’s connected world, we want Internet access everywhere we go. Because of this demand there is a growing trend in both residential and commercial networking to offer free connectivity to visitors. The challenge seems to be doing so without compromising the integrity and security of the network. However, setting up a guest network that provides visitors with reliable connectivity—while keeping the private network secure—is actually much simpler than it may seem. With a little training and the use of the right tools, installers can easily deliver secure guest networking services to their residential and commercial customers.

Wireless Networking

The next generation of Wi-Fi has arrived—802.11ac is the latest Wi-Fi technology standard that promises even greater wireless networking performance than products based on the still shiny and new 802.11n standard. 

Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking Ethernet Switches

In the previous three installments of this series, we discussed the basic components of an IP network, the functions of those components, and then took a closer look at routers. In this issue we will focus on Ethernet switches—the backbone of your local network. When selecting a switch or a combination of switches for your network, there are several issues to consider: 

Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking

In parts one and two of this series, we discussed the basic components of an IP network, and the functions of each of those components. Going forward, we will look more closely at each of the component categories, and we’ll provide guidelines on what to look for when making product selection decisions.

Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking

With AV, security, and home automation systems all running over IP networks, professional installers have a tremendous opportunity to grow their businesses by offering networking solutions.

Professional Installer’s Guide to IP Networking: Part 1

Once you understand the primary components that go into an IP network, how do you determine which components to choose? As an installer, the first thing to understand is that all networking gear is not made equal, and equipment choice will impact installation complexity, network performance, and the overall customer experience.

IPIQ: The Connected Home

With advancements made in Megapixel technology, IP Cameras have increasingly become part of the residential and commercial security environment. These Megapixel IP Cameras deliver significant enhancements over traditional analog cameras.

The Connected Home: VPN vs. Port Forwarding

Installers of home and small office networks are often asked by customers for the ability to access their private local-area network (LAN) remotely via the Internet. Such remote connections are convenient and often necessary for frequent travelers, as well as for geographically dispersed locations or employees. Installers and service providers might also use a remote network connection to provide better customer service, troubleshoot network problems and resolve issues without the need to send a technician onsite.

Measuring Wireless 
Network Performance:
 Data Rates vs. Signal Strength

In January we discussed the use of Wi-Fi signal mapping technology as a sales tool to demonstrate signal strength of the wireless network. Now, we would like to introduce the other important measurement that all network installers should use to validate the installation and ensure a positive customer experience. Although signal strength is often the…