Insteon vs Wi-Fi
If you’re interested in turning your home into a smart home and need help navigating through the sea of smart devices and technologies they use, this article is for you.
One thing anyone starting this journey will see is a ton of Wi-Fi based smart devices. At first thought, a smart device that uses Wi-Fi for wireless control makes total sense. After all, your tablets, phones, laptops and now even kitchen appliances are using Wi-Fi. Well, if you ever experienced problems with Wi-Fi (really, who hasn’t?) you know that there’s a lot that can go wrong on Wi-Fi networks; dead zones, slowing speeds, connection drops, limited range, router crashing, and the list goes on.
So, why bog down your already stressed Wi-Fi network with more Wi-Fi devices?
Thankfully there’s Insteon! Insteon doesn’t use Wi-Fi but rather a unique combination of wireless and power line to communicate. Each device also acts as a repeater, allowing signals to reach further than any wireless system available today.
All Insteon devices communicate to the Insteon Hub which gets plugged into your router, further ensuring no interference with Wi-Fi. So, let’s dive further into the specific reasons why you should choose Insteon over Wi-Fi smart devices:
- Insteon smart devices won’t interfere with your Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi smart plugs and switches may seem like a simple way to start controlling lights or appliances, but it’s yet another device that will burden your likely already stressed Wi-Fi network. Laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, and other Wi-Fi connected devices share a finite wireless resource. You’ve probably noticed that when more devices are connected to your network, streaming quality of services such as Netflix is negatively impacted. This also impacts download and upload speeds across all devices, not just streaming services. On a more technical level, Insteon’s radio frequency used for communication (915MHz) is far away from that used by Wi-Fi (2.4GHz-5GHz) which avoids signal saturation and network degradation.
- With Insteon you won’t need to become a Network Administrator
If you’ve ever updated to a new router or had to change your Wi-Fi password, you know the pain involved in updating all your family’s devices: laptops, smartphones, tablets, printers, Apple TV, Chromecast, network extenders, and the list goes on. The average home has 80 switches and outlets in it, imagine having to manually update the network settings of each device! With Insteon, the Hub connects directly to your router and therefore never needs to know when you change routers or Wi-Fi passwords.
- No need to upgrade your router or add expensive and complex range extenders to reach your smart devices
Sure that low price Wi-Fi smart plug seemed like a good bargain at the time, however when you discover that the lamp you want to control is in a Wi-Fi dead zone, you’ll be facing the cold reality that you now have to open up your wallet again to either upgrade your router or add Wi-Fi extenders (see reason #2 above). With Insteon, only the Insteon Hub connects to your router. All the Insteon smart devices talk to the hub over a proprietary wireless signal that’s far away from the ever crowded 2.4GHz (or 5GHz) spectrum that your Wi-Fi system uses. Insteon also uses the home’s existing power wires to broadcast commands. This allows Insteon signals to travel all throughout the house, unhindered by walls or other Wi-Fi-blocking materials in the home. If that wasn’t enough, each Insteon device you add, acts as a repeater ensuring that things work when you need them to – without the need of expensive and complex Wi-Fi range extenders.
- Insteon works even when your Wi-Fi doesn’t
If your internet is down or your Wi-Fi just isn’t working, Insteon devices will continue to perform their schedules and sensors that automatically turn lights on and off will continue to do so regardless of the state of your router or internet. This is true for Insteon Keypads or handheld remotes that activate scenes across the home. Insteon does this due to a peer-to-peer network approach that cuts out any middleman and this has the added benefit of increased command and control speeds.
- No limit to how many smart devices
The average residential Wi-Fi router has a limit of approximately 250 IP addressable devices. Not bad for most homes, but if you take a moment to count up all your wall switches, lamps, and count up sensors that you’d want (door/window sensors, water leak sensors) AND then add that to the number of Wi-Fi devices you and your family have connected today, 250 starts to feel claustrophobic. Other smart lighting control systems out there can be even more restrictive, capping out at 40-60 devices. Insteon systems can easily reach into several hundred devices. For those committed to making their home a truly smart home, Insteon and its ability to scale, is hard to beat.