How I Integrated Google Home into our Major Home Renovation

Smart Home
Modern Smart Home. Flat design style concept, technology system with centralized control. Vector illustration.

I have been a long term user of both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.  But recently when we began our major home renovation I decided to focus solely on using Google’s platform for our Smart Home.  I should write a post about why I choose Google but as you might guess there are pros and cons to each.  But in our case given the technology I was bringing into the house it seemed that Google would be the better fit.  So far I think it was the right call.

Just like building a home, if you decide at the outset to incorporate smart features, do your homework early and extensively.

In the case of our Home Renovation, we took the house down to the studs and rebuilt it from there. Which if you have ever gone through a renovation you can appreciate how extensive this project-wise.

At the outset I’m new I wanted to utilize as much smart technology as possible in the home without breaking the budget. I hope is to highlight the different features we integrated over several posts.

But before I get to the actual smart devices themselves, you should take a serious assessment of your home’s Wi-Fi network.

We utilize spectrum’s broadband service and prior to the home renovation, I had what I thought was a fully capable router. However, it turned out I was wrong.

As we begin integrating more and more features into the home, I began to notice more issues arising with our Wi-Fi network. Primarily having to do with connectivity. Now, most routers manufacturers will talk a good game about how many devices they can have on your network utilizing their router. From my experience, I would throw that out the window because you truly don’t know what your network can handle until you are knee-deep in problems.

Prior to beginning the Home Renovation I had spent a fair amount of time looking into a mesh Wi-Fi network for our home. While I am not a technology guru, I do know enough to be dangerous. I have utilized Wi-Fi extenders in the past and I was fully aware of how an extender can throttle the broadband put through to any device is connected to the extenders.

However with a mesh network you aluminate the throttling and provide your home with far more expensive Wi-Fi coverage with minimal drop off in terms of speeds.

There are more and more excellent mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market and I spent a good deal of time researching the top names in the market.

I ultimately decided to utilize Google’s Nest Wi-Fi mesh network.

That is a link to that product that should help you get a better feel for its capabilities.

Why Google Nest’s Wifi Mesh?

In the beginning, as we began to add more devices to my original router I could tell that once we got over 20 connections things really began to deteriorate in terms of quality and connectivity.

On the Nest Wi-Fi specs, it states that it can handle up to 100 connected devices. Which at this time I have over 55 devices connected to our mesh network and would agree with that statement.

The mesh network consists of a router then additional Nest Wi-Fi points. Our home is not extremely large but out of an abundance of caution, I decided to utilize the router +2 additional points located in our home.

I think I could’ve gotten away with only the router plus one additional point but I decided to splurge and buy the three.

In terms of getting the network up and running, it could not have been any easier. If you read a lot of reviews you will see that the ease of setting up is often mentioned.

Google Home

One other feature which I have found to be very nice and extremely handy is that the additional nest points also act as nest home devices. So when you ask Google to perform some type of task these devices are capable of doing the same things that a Google Home device can do. Now there are some subtle differences but all in all, I have found that feature to be very helpful.

But in terms of speed and coverage, I have been extremely impressed. But more importantly, I have been particularly pleased with this system’s ability to act as the backbone for our smart home.

To use a reference from building a home, the mesh network is the foundation on which you will build and integrate your smart home features. So if you have a week or poorly constructed foundation then you will never be able to fully enjoy and utilize all of the smart technology that you want to integrate.

It took me some trial and error to realize that but if you intend to expand your smart home features even an existing home I highly recommend that you begin to analyze your wi-Fi routers capabilities. It seems like an inconsequential aspect of a smart home network but in my case I found it to be a critical component to making it all work.

So Far the Right Call

We have been in our home now for roughly 5 months and while there have been some hiccups, I have been extremely impressed with how reliable and efficient the Nest Mesh network has been.  If you have teenagers then you can appreciate the horrors of losing the internet at home.  In their mind its more critical than power or water or gas, maybe even food…

 

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