We all want the best right? I decided to put my money where my mouth is and go all out with my home set up for the best possible internet experience.
Adding a backup internet connection
The first thing I needed to consider was my internet connection. While I already have my home connected via Pentanet Fixed Wireless, having a second, separate connection will not only give me a backup in a pinch, but also a tonne of flexibility in terms of extra bandwidth. I went with a 25/5Mbps NBN connection.
Setting up a new NBN connection at home
Setting up a new NBN connection was pretty easy. As my house had been connected to the NBN in the past, it meant my connection went live on the same day. Here’s a great step by step explainer on getting a new NBN provider here.
Managing two internet connections
Now that I have two internet connections, I needed to work out how I was going to manage them. There are several devices on the market that can handle automatic failover and load-balancing, however, I wasn’t confident with my technical knowledge so I went with an ‘old school’ manual approach.
If either of my connections is struggling, I disconnect the service directly from my router and plug in the other service instead. While it isn’t pretty, it works for what I need it for. More on this below.
Now we move onto my router! I’ve been a big fan of the AmpliFi HD Router since they were first released. I can use the super slick app to see what’s happening on my home network from anywhere in the world. It’s super handy to be able to turn off my kids devices at dinner/homework time and the modular design + Wi-Fi performance is amazing!
Ethernet to all devices
To be completely sure I have the best experience on all of my devices, consoles and PC’s, I arranged for a local electrician to run ethernet cabling from the wall behind the router to behind every TV, console and PC in my home. I also had the electrician install an ethernet point where a second AmpliFi HD router site so that it could have an ethernet backbone instead of wireless. This cost a few hundred dollars but in my opinion, it is well worth it. I lowered latency around my home and can achieve full speeds nearly everywhere.
NBN & Fixed Wireless gives incredible flexibility
Having two separate internet connections gives me a tonne of flexibility.
If my kids and wife decide to try and watch 4k in different rooms, that’s going to put a strain on my bandwidth if I was using a single connection.
With multiple routers and ethernet cabling throughout the house, I can ensure there is always superfast internet in any room for any use case.
So, I can be working in my office, the kids can be gaming to their heart’s content and my wife can be streaming 4k, all at the same time with no lag and no problems.
Get Smart - Smart Home Devices
Now that I have the ‘framework’ in place I decided to add some fun stuff! Smart home equipment has come a long way and I decided to take advantage of it!
Google Home Minis
To start with, I installed Google Home Minis in each living room, the dining room and the kitchen. These sync up via the Google Home app and can be played all together or individually meaning my music follows me wherever I go.
Chromecasts for old TVs
Next, I turned a couple of old TVs into smart TVs by chucking in a Chromecast Ultra. This allows me to cast Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and YouTube from my phone to the TV in ultra-high definition. It also syncs up with the Google Home app giving me more control of everything.
Smart lighting has always been interesting to me and I’ve had one of the earlier Philips Hue models for some time. I went all out and bought a bunch of additional bulbs and synced my Philips Hue account with my Google account. Now I can change the lights by speaking to Google Nest and remotely via the Google Home app!
For the final touch, I added a Ring doorbell to my front door, giving me the freedom to answer the door from the comfort of my couch. I also installed a Google Nest Cam facing both my car and my wife’s car. These were easy to install with the Ring taking a grand total of seven minutes and the Nest Cam taking fifteen minutes to get positioned properly with the power cable hidden to my liking.
Some people may suggest I’ve gone over the top? Personally I’m ecstatic with the whole set up and truth be told, I get a little excited when I get to show off the automation features of my home to guests.
Links to the equipment I used:
- AmpliFi HD Router
- Google Home Mini
- Google Nest Cam
- Google Chromecast Ultra
- Amazon Ring Doorbell
- Philips Hue
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