What are today’s homebuyers looking for? According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, millennials make up the highest share of homebuyers at 37%, and Gen X makes up 25%. And both rank technology as a priority when choosing a home.
To satisfy demand, builders are incorporating more tech in their designs. For some, this might mean more wireless capabilities. But for customers looking to future-proof their homes—and improve connectivity—this means more wires, not fewer. A home thoroughly wired for Ethernet not only means faster download speeds, more reliable service, and more home security for your clients, but it can also increase the value of their homes, too.
Ethernet solutions for today’s homes
Installation of wires, ports, and switches ideally occurs during the early stages of construction. But this isn’t always the case, and installers may be asked to retrofit older homes.
Customers thinking about adding tech amenities to their homes will need to consider which rooms they want wired, how many ports they want in each, and the best location for distribution. The latter is preferably a room with the necessary amount of shelf space to hold network equipment. The Primex SOHO Pro™ P6300ND WiFi transparent media panel provides a centralized distribution point for the components and services.
The most recent standards for Ethernet cables include Cat 6a, Cat 7 and Cat 7a. Bandwidth tends to increase with each new standard but so does cost. Cat5e will satisfy the needs of most homes since networks rarely see speeds above 1 Gb/s, however to truly future proof a home, experts recommend a minimum Cat6 Ethernet cable.
Some IoT pros even recommend putting network wiring and ports in every room. Mesh wireless networks are only efficient up to a point. But proper structured wiring ensures the rock-solid infrastructure necessary to support audio, video, network, lighting, and security systems, and whatever else the future holds.
Home theater yes—but also, other IoT devices, telemedicine and more
With people watching more video at home than ever, just about any home theater system will benefit from the capabilities of a quality Ethernet connection. Connecting devices directly to the modem ensures 4K video can stream at peak quality and at less compression or frequent buffering. Home theater essentials may also require some additional structured wiring to execute. Where structure wiring solutions aren’t feasible, a plug-and-play powerline adapter lets you run a semi-direct Ethernet connection from modem to streaming devices via the home’s existing AC wiring.
While home theaters have a wow factor, seamless connectivity in more practical home solutions should not be underestimated in their attraction to prospective homebuyers. Smart appliances, automated lighting and smart blinds, and smart meters to regulate utilities have, if not exactly a “wow” factor, a definite “cool” factor.
Other areas where homes do and will require more bandwidth include telemedicine (including monitoring for older and/or ill residents, and sensor data and video to connect those in remote locations with professionals), and online learning—something many of us have gotten to know in these times.
PoE (Power over Ethernet) also accommodates new security features and devices. New PoE standards allow manufacturers to design security devices with diverse endpoints, including video cameras, intrusion and occupancy sensors, and data capture points (card readers, keypads, and RFID readers), and communication devices such as emergency call boxes. These devices can use a single network cable connection that can carry both IP network data and DC power.
As we head into a post-pandemic future, many of the connectivity habits that we’ve picked up to manage our new lifestyles will remain. Your customers’ bandwidth needs will continue to grow, placing a heavy burden on the infrastructure for transmitting data throughout the home. A home with all the wiring already in place can not only make life easier now but attract buyers later.