So, I’m having a house built this year, which gives me the opportunity to build a strong base for wi-fi and smart home setup pre-drywall. I’ve been doing some research on options, but there’s so much information out there that it’s overwhelming. Please forgive what I’m sure are pretty basic questions…I was about to post in a home networking subreddit but the folks there were WAY more advanced than I am currently.
At the moment there are two main things I’m trying to figure out - best overall smart home ecosystem, and best way to get a great wi-fi setup.
I’ll start with wi-fi because that’s likely a more simple answer. In our current house we’ve been using an Eero mesh Wi-Fi setup for several years and love it. The new house will be larger though - going from around 3000 square feet of living space to around 5000 square feet. The builder will do cat-6 wiring throughout the house where ever we want it, and also offer ceiling mounted wireless access points from Ubiquiti as an add on to locations we choose. My question is this - I can’t find a clear answer on what the difference is between having multiple wireless access points and the wireless mesh network we currently have. Are multiple wireless access points a better setup because they are wired back to the source? Is it functionally the same thing? Can I use both, with the mesh network extending the reach of the wireless access points?
For the smart home options, we currently run a lot of separate accessories. Nest thermostat, Vivint security with doorbell, sensors, cameras, etc., Echo dots, Apple TV, etc. I’m hoping in the new house to be more intentional about setting this up in one ecosystem, but from what I’ve found that’s more complicated than I thought. In terms of ecosystems I see Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Ring/Amazon, but I also see that Matter is coming as a protocol to let separate smart devices integrate more easily. Does anyone have a great setup they could share info on?
More generally…If you were having a home built and could make pre-drywall wiring decisions, what would be the must-haves?