Can You Really Future-Proof an IP Network?

Learn certain things you can do to optimize a home or small-business network today for new developments – like IoT, hacker bots, cloud services and 4K – tomorrow.

When we were using cheap networking gear three or four years ago, it wasn’t so important to think about future needs.

Just throw away your $80 off-the-shelf switch, hop over to Best Buy and purchase a new one.

But now that we are (or should be) deploying enterprise-grade networking devices, the thought of trashing a four- or five-figure system becomes unpalatable. So it’s important to think ahead.

“You need to build some flexibility into network design, just like you would in a home audio system,” says Benson Chan, VP business development for Pakedge.

There are the obvious precautions such as buying a switch with more ports than you need today, and over-wiring with Cat 5/6 cables if you have the luxury. But other issues that you might not be able to predict. How do you prepare for these things?

That’s the subject of a webinar, Building a Future-Proof Network for the Home and Small Business, hosted by SSI‘s sister publication CE Pro and sponsored by Pakedge – it’s available for free download on

When you installed a networking system two or three years ago, did you predict the importance of streaming? And especially, says Benson, “I don’t think people were ready for 4K.”

At the same time, now we’re on the brink of having scores or hundreds of devices on the network, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). How do you prepare for the bandwidth requirements and prioritization?

Most importantly in all of this, security breaches have become ever scarier.

Chan notes, “With Internet of Things, people really need to think of the integrity of the [network] – not so much with firewalls and virus protection because those protect things from the outside. But with IoT, what happens if the refrigerator sends out a virus?”

Other trends like BYOD need to enter your decision-making today.

Read Julie Jacobson’s full article on future-proofing an IP network on CE Pro.

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About the Author


Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration.

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