If you work from home, there are a number of metaphorical moving parts you need to keep an eye on. Hardware, software, mobile devices, cloud services; the list goes on. But the most important one is invisible: your home WiFi network.
"The most noticeable change for the home network, is we're connecting more and more devices every day," said Brad Little, Vice President and Managing Director, Netgear, ANZ. "We now average 12 devices connected to our home network right now. Next year it will be more."
Without realising it, you may have slowly compromised your home office, simply because life has grown more technologically exciting. Chances are the one piece of hardware you aren't paying much attention to, is your WiFi router: that black box that arrived in the mail when you first connected the internet to your home.
"Life has become more bandwidth intensive," said Mr Little. "Entertainment and consumer devices has been the driving force – game consoles and TVs, then mobile phones and laptops. It's a real challenge to make sure the right devices get the right data priority to ensure you get the best experience."
It's WiFi, but not as you know it
Don't think you're trapped with your humble WiFi black box. A new system of wireless internet distribution - known as the whole-home network, or 'mesh' WiFi – will soon become the single most important system in any home office.
Typically, this new system comprises a WiFi base station connected to a second satellite WiFi router, which provides tri-band (your existing WiFi is likely dual-band) wireless internet coverage across your entire property. The new Netgear Orbi system is one such solution, with simplicity at its heart.
"Orbi sits on top of your existing system and creates its own, new network," said Mr Little. "It can be up and running in 5 minutes, and uses a single SSID [network name]. As you scale up [add satellites] to cover more space, you don't need multiple network names and passwords."
No more WiFi range extenders. No more connection dropouts as you move through areas of your house. A whole-home system will allow you to work in any room, without losing speed or network strength.
As the nation's mobile data network grows, we're likewise seeing a growing number of new mobile internet routers that deliver speeds in excess of anything you'll experience on a wired connection.
Take the new Nighthawk M1 Gigabit mobile router. Capable of wirelessly connecting up to 20 smart devices to the internet, with typical speeds up to 900Mbps the norm. Yes, that's almost like adding a zero to the speed you get from your top-tier NBN service.
By utilising a combination of connectivity devices, such as these above, you can ensure the transition between home, commute and office, is as seamless as possible.
If you're planning to update your home office equipment, take a look through the gallery above for the latest in technology to help lift your game.