By Craig Blignaut, Product Manager: WiFi at Vox

Today’s households feature a growing number of connected devices, turning to actively managing home WiFi will help users optimise their network for the best smart home experience, enable profile-based filtering controls, and help detect network security threats before they become a problem – with the added benefit of access to specialist help should it be needed.

Apart from smartphones, laptops and desktops, we are now seeing more connected devices making their way into the home, including TVs, fridges, switches and even Internet of Things devices. Not only are all of these reliant on a good internet connection to work, but they could all also make your home network more vulnerable to threats.

Using software installed on compatible fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) routers, service providers, such as Vox, are able to use deep smart home insights and tools to proactively identify, test and resolve network and router issues, as well as to effectively and efficiently support customers who call in for assistance – and providing them with peace of mind as their concerns are addressed.

The provider can monitor connected devices, device bandwidth consumption and signal strength over time, uploads and downloads per device and on the network and much more, allowing for proactive remediation without the user even realising it. An example could be identifying that a certain smart device has poor connectivity due to congestion, and automatically moving it to a different WiFi channel to improve its performance.

More importantly, it means that your network and all the devices connected to it are being constantly monitored for threats and other critical vulnerabilities. When a device on the network is identified as being compromised, the provider will act based on the severity of the issue.

If a software or firmware update is all that’s needed, an alert will be sent to the user for them to take action; in extreme cases, however, a compromised device can be quarantined from the local network and the internet, and the user can request for support in resolving the issue.

Home users for their part have access to an AI-driven platform that provides them with WiFi traffic behaviour analysis, as well as more advanced network management, parental control, network threat detection and device management features and functionality than what is commonly found on consumer routers or mesh WiFi products.

Using an Android or iOS app, home users are turned into WiFi professionals with insights that guide them around improving security and better controlling and protecting their network, with features such as admission control preventing unknown devices from joining the home network, and the option to admit or deny connectivity access to those devices.

With internet research forming an important part of today’s learning process, parents need to look beyond basic steps such as limiting bandwidth or the time devices have access to connectivity, and rather filter sites (such as social media and gaming) and enable features such as safe search and safe YouTube, ensuring children are able to do their online research. By setting up profiles, they can dictate the permissions that are given to each user, ultimately transparently protecting their network without interfering with privacy.

When thinking of smart homes, the thought is often on a higher speed connection, but what good is speed without control? It is clear that the smart home era needs smarter WiFi too – without the user having to become an IT expert first – and managed home WiFi offers a unique, comprehensive approach to giving users full control of their home and guest WiFi network.