With all of the recent technological advancements coming in to our homes, smart automation devices are without a doubt at the forefront. Revenue generated by home automation and consumer electronics grew by an estimated 57% in 2016, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Such technologies range from smart thermostats to easy to use home IP cameras.

One of the most important things to be aware of is that just because an automation system seems like a smart idea for the home, it may have disastrous results on a business’ network. This doesn’t mean that you simply can’t use certain devices in the workplace; it means that since the technologies were meant to operate with home-grade equipment, using them at an enterprise level may take a few tweaks.

We have found that even though manufacturers commonly label many devices to work on 2.4 and 5Ghz segments of the wireless spectrum, they won’t truly work in an enterprise environment. This is because, quite often, the same wireless SSID is shared between the 2.4 and 5Ghz networks. Most equipment designed for the home will jump between both networks, leading to unstable system operation and potential issues with other devices on the network.

In order to make consumer devices that face this problem work, you need to “dumb down” your equipment and run just a 2.4Ghz network. This allows you to limit the network to a single segment of the spectrum being associated with the SSID, eliminating the ability for the device to jump from one network to the next. We have also segmented problematic smart devices in to their own VLAN on networks to keep them separate, with quite a bit of success. A lot of smart automation devices will find their way to the enterprise with time, and until then – when in doubt, use a network cable.